Learning Styles

By Catherine M. Pruissen

Each of us has a unique way of learning, of processing information. Where you might learn by visually watching someone or how something is done, someone else learns best by hearing or being taught orally. Still your best friend learns by getting in there and doing things. No one way is proven superior, it is simply a matter or our learning styles. The same holds true for how children learn.

Our Role

As a caregiver and a parent, recognizing these three learning styles (visual, auditory and kinesthetic) and using all three when working with your children will ensure everyone learns the same thing at the same time. Here are some suggestions to help you.

* Making a game out of a learning experience usually helps people to remember.
* Plan activities that show the lesson and include a corresponding hands-on activity.
* If you aren't sure of a child's learning style, ask his/her parents. By understanding each child's learning style you can focus your attention on those children who learn best at one part of the lesson (as you're reading a story), then focus on the children who learn best during another part of the lesson (like when you're painting pictures related to the activity).
* If parents aren't sure of their child's unique learning style, pay attention to which types of activities a child naturally select. For example, kinesthetic learners prefer to build and mold things, while visual learners prefer to draw or create. Auditory learners are drawn to music and read-along stories.
* By applying all three learning experiences to a lesson, you allow each child to learn by their dominant style while enhancing their less dominant senses. Sometimes it is a simple matter of three simple steps, telling it, showing it and touching it.


From Child Development Training, 101 Tips for Directorsby Silvana Clark, published byWarren Publishing House, Everett, Washington.
© Catherine M. Pruissen

Catherine M. Pruissen is the CEO of About Child Care Consumer Services and developer of child care online. She has published numerous child care related literature, including Start and Run a Profitable Home Day Care, The Daycare Alternative, How to Find Good Child Care, Caregiver Aids: Business Forms for Caregivers and Parents, Income Tax & Record Keeping for Child Care Providers, and a host of workshops and workbooks. She was the editor and publisher of the bi-monthly newsletter, Parent Care, Your Child Care News-line. Catherine was also the coordinator and workshop facilitator for The Child Care Information Centre in Calgary, Alberta, and ran a successful dayhome for eight years.