How children learn

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By Beth Pinyerd

Midyear, we teachers and parents assess how our students have progressed.
As a teacher, I am called not only to teach the “school smart” of teaching daily lessons so children do well academically, but teach a child to wholly recognize their talents and gifts.
As parents and teachers, we must realize that children have natural gifts in one or more areas and that it’s our job to help our children discover and develop these gifts. What a challenge but a rewarding experience each teacher and parent has in helping a little life develop to its fullest potential.
I am delighted at the uniqueness of each child I teach. They have different expressions of who they are and what they do. They do go through the same stages of development at different rates.
But because all young children are different, they approach learning in one or more of the following approaches: visual, reflective, logical, physical, relational, musical, natural and verbal. During this midyear time, this is a very good time for you to assess how your child learns. Step back, observe and provide even at home activities that will challenge your child’s approach to learning.

  1. Visual learners have to see and visualize what they are learning.
    They love to draw, color, and paint. With this kind of learner, a teacher or parent has to plan lessons with a lot of visuals, pictures, and demonstrations. They could look at pictures for hours even as little ones.
  2. A reflective learner usually is an observer and likes to work alone as he thinks concepts through.
    He/she likes to have their own defined space. As a teacher or parent you will notice this child entertains himself by reading a book, working on an activity for a long time or pondering ideas on the computer.
  3. A logical learner is a child who learns by seeing patterns, systems, and reasoning comes very easy for them.
    They have a sense of closure when they fit things together in proper order or complete a puzzle.
  4. If your child is a physical learner, they use their minds and whole body as they learn reading and math.
  5. A relational learner is a child who interacts and relates well with other children.
    The relational learner has many friends and usually organizes his friends into games and activities out at recess in school or playing in the neighbor. These kind of learners are very good listeners and know how to respond to your questions.
  6. When I hear a student humming, whistling, or singing their favorite songs to themselves, I know they are a musical learner.
    Their love of music expands into their expression in language, reading, etc.
  7. A natural learner is one who loves the world outside!
    This kind of learner loves to look for bugs, lizards, frogs, plants, etc.
  8. If your child is a verbal learner they love making up words, telling stories, and jokes.
    This kind of learner in my classroom loves to write stories and read them to the class.
    With all the different approaches I have listed to help you identify how your child learns, keep in mind that the different approaches may overlap because each child is a unique learner. I hope this article helps you in helping your child.

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