By Deanna Hurn, Founder and Executive Director of Miracle Math Coaching
Here’s a test for those of you with children who know how to read:
Let’s say a gazillioniare offered your family a fortune if your child can memorize some poetry. The length of the poem depends on the age of your child – a few lines if he or she is younger, a page or two for older ages.
They have to learn the poem during the course of a day, and you can only choose one way of teaching it to them, either by:
- Showing your child the poem, with each line illustrated with a colorful drawing
- Reading it aloud to them repeatedly
- Allowing your child to read it to him or herself and write it out as many times as needed
- Giving your child the words of the poem in the form of a puzzle that he or she has to put together
- Having a discussion about the poem’s meaning and their interpretation of it
With millions of dollars on the line, which way of learning would work best for your child? Knowing the answer will make a world of difference in how well your child does in school.
Children learn in many ways, and one way is measured by VARK. As I’ve relayed before, VARK is an acronym that describes four kinds of passive learning styles, relaying how a particular student learns most effectively:
- Visual learners absorb information best when it’s presented in drawings or diagrams.
- Auditory learners need to hear the information.
- Read/Write learners perform best when they do what name conveys.
- Kinesthetic learners remember best when they’re physically and actively engaged.
Based on your humongous personal knowledge as a Mom, Dad or caregiver, you probably know which category fits your child. (If not, no worries here’s where your “Village of Support” can come in. Miracle Math Coaching, which can be a great supporter in your village, administers a VARK test during its FREE Learning Discovery Evaluation).
If you know what kind of passive learning style your child has, how can you best support them?
1) Give it to your child’s teacher. A teacher isn’t going to re-do lesson plans based upon the preferred learning style of one student (no matter how precious your child is). But if they struggle in class, a teacher is more likely to be able to help with that important piece of information.
2) Use it to help with homework or test prep. VARK gives you ideas for tools that can help you be more effective in helping your student absorb and begin the process of learning new information.
For students that prefer visual learning aids, create diagrams, drawings and maps; make collages or take photos.
For auditory , read aloud to them and have them read aloud to you, find relevant podcasts or look for book audio recordings (you can download them to your laptop, tablet or smartphone from the public library
For read/write , encourage them to take notes on what they read, find outside reading on the topic online and at the library or have them write the information in the form of a story for a younger sibling or family member
For kinesthetic , use flash cards, turn the information into a game (Jeopardy, anyone?) or have them act enlist a family member to act out a play incorporating what they’re learning.
3 Let it help them strengthen skills they need to improve upon. If your child has a “best” learning style, he or she might also have a “not as good” one. Being able to learn a variety of ways gives your him or her an advantage over students who’ve sharpened just one way of learning. And so use tools from some of the other learning styles to help them do homework and study. That gives them more options to acquire knowledge.
Hope this was helpful. If it filled in some knowledge gaps to help you better understand, your student or your own learning, take the next step and reach out to us. Don’t delay . Miracle Math Coaching would love to be a part of your family’s “Village of Support.” Sign up today for a FREE Learning Discovery Evaluation to see where your child stands academically and how we might help: Click here to sign up now. Miracle Math Coaching is an award-winning, student-focused service with a track record of boosting academic achievement.