It’s exam revision season, and I ask my child to revise 30 minutes on an e-learning platform, encouraging to write principal points along the way of the revision. The child decides to be smarty pants about it and says ‘my learning style is visual so don’t need to write down.’ Thank God for the knowledge of teaching, my response was ‘I am aware of the different learning styles and happy you are aware of your’s, but you still need to write down what you see in your words for better understanding’. I went on to say “you can use a mind map to draw out and map out your points.” All these were said in my best possible sarcastic mum voice.
However, I was very proud that the child identifies with an appropriate learning style. This got me thinking, how many parents can determine their child’s learning style? Having had the opportunities to teach, lecture and be an educator for several years, learners struggle to revise appropriately for exams because they have not identified their learning style. It should be said, learning style is not age restricted, and it can change over the years. A child can move from one style of learning at any stage of development and can also identify better ways of revising for exams. The critical point is, at any particular stage of the development of a child, a parent can ensure to recognise their child’s learning style and encourage it as a technique for learning.
There are several types of learning styles but the three main ones I will focus on are: listening, touching and seeing.
- Listen: this is also identified as auditory. Children that fall into this learning style need to pay attention to what is being said. They hear and listening to the information and can retain it. When it comes to revision, these children can benefit from listening to podcast of the topic of their choice. Listening to music, of their choice, while revising can also be beneficial to these children. This is why some children can carry out verbal instructions and task better than other children because their strength lie in audio learning style.
- Touch: customarily identified as kinesthetic or physical learning style. Children that fall into this bracket revise better with activities that are practical and hands on. Such activities can include tabletop games, problem-solving activities and task that require real or life experience. Children can either be descriptive or use a bullet point technique when taking down revision notes for an exam. Flash cards, puzzles and quizzes may come handy during revision. Tactile objectives are also beneficial.
- See: children that fall within visual/sight learning style are observant of details. Descriptive writing and creative writing is at play here as they will write down, in details, what was observed. Children will enjoy revision with picture books, documentary. Reading can be a vital part of these children as they can use their creative eye to visualise the outcome. Mind maps and visual boards are also excellent exam revision techniques.
Children learn differently and have own mechanism that they use to revise for an exam. However, all learning styles can be used intermediately and across the board. Applying a set rule is not suggested because a child may learn better using the visual learning style on a particular subject but when another topic is introduced the listening technique works better.
NOTE: Parents should note that many technological resources can be used to make learning fun and engaging for their child. This should be taken advantage to the fullest.