Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Finding out how your child learns so he can succeed in school

Even though it might have been a while ago, try to think back to when you were in school. Think to the different classes you took and activities you did in those classes. Did you like taking tests? Did you get a lot from reading a textbook, or were you a more hands-on person? Are you still that way?

Whether or not your child is struggling in school is a big deal -- at this point in their lives perhaps it is the biggest deal. Regardless of how they are doing you find yourself helping them with their homework, reminding them about projects, keeping them organized; perhaps it feels like so much of your time is involved in just getting them on top of school work. If your child is struggling or not succeeding in school then all of this seems so much bigger, so much harder, and so much more involved.

School work and learning should be fun, though! It should feel wonderful to your child when they succeed, when they learn a new letter, when they read a sentence. And as hard as teachers work, sometimes there are kids who just don’t seem to get it. Children feel let down, worthless, or even stupid when they struggle more than their classmates. But perhaps we need to step back and understand how the school system is standard, but our children are not. Sally is different than Steve who is different than Mike. No child’s mind is the same, no child is the same, and no child learns the exact same way.

So we find it isn’t a question of intelligence, but of which intelligence. By figuring out if your child learns by doing, seeing, or hearing you can find out how to best help your child with their homework, studying, or learning of a new concept. Knowing your children as students and how they learn will make all the difference in whether or not they love to learn and whether or not they succeed in school. If you are able to identify early the way(s) your child learns best you can teach them strategies that they can use independently too. You can give them the skills and the confidence to learn how they need to.

Some basic learning styles are:

*Auditory (learn by hearing)
*Visual (learn by seeing)
*Kinesthetic (learn by doing)


Use the above link to take a quiz with (or for if they are too young) your child. Answer as honestly as you can to try to identify how your child learns. Your child may use multiple learning styles -- that is perfectly natural. If they do then they probably use different styles in different situations.

After taking the quiz you can use this link to read more about what each particular style entails:

Do you know how your child learns? How have you addressed this at home and at school?

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