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Finding the right school; matching your child's learning style with the school they attend.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Finding the right school; matching your child's learning style with the school tWatch Dana on The Hampton Roads Show!

Educators have long been aware that learning is not one-size-fits-all. In a typical classroom, some students process information best by hearing the teacher explain it, some learn by seeing what’s on the chalkboard, and others learn through hands-on exercises. Three basic learning styles are auditory, kinesthetic, and visual.  It is important for teachers to know the learning styles of the students in their classrooms, so students are successfully learning. 

Auditory learners prefer listening to explanations over reading them and may like to study by reciting information aloud. This type of learner may want to have background music while studying, or they may be distracted by noises and need a quiet space to study.

Kinesthetic learners learn by doing and touching. They may have trouble sitting still while studying, and they are better able to understand information by writing it down or doing hands-on activities.

Visual learners process new information by reading, looking at graphics, or watching a demonstration. Children with this learning style can grasp information presented in a chart or graph, but they may grow impatient listening to an explanation.

Most people use a combination of styles but have a clear preference for one. Once you know your child’s primary learning style, it’s a good idea to let the teacher know what kind of approaches help them learn best.  You will find that educators are much more willing to work with you if you’re giving them ideas that work for your child.  The great thing is that the things that benefit your child are really going to benefit all the kids. 

Really well-balanced students will be able to be comfortable learning in all ways.  They will do well in any educational setting – public or private school, large or small class, etc.  If you have a gifted student, who is intellectually advanced, consider having them placed in an advanced track, gifted program, or an independent school environment where classes are smaller and teachers have a better sense of a student’s learning style for optimal learning.   If you have a students with learning difference, such as ADHD or dyslexia for example, your child will thrive in a learning environment that isn’t in the traditional lecture style format where all they experience is a teacher in front of the classroom talking.  Consider an independent school such as Chesapeake Bay Academy which specializes in teaching to a student’s learning style to optimize learning.  Teachers present lessons using a multisensory approach that engages all students during a lesson and produce quality learning results.

Knowing your child’s learning style is the key to school success and determining if your child’s school best suits him or her.  Consider taking a learning style survey or quiz.  You can find many varieties online which will help reveal what kind of learning is best for your child and how to play to their strengths to maximize school potential.