Teaching methods for learning of your child

Teaching methods for learning of your child

Many people find teaching children to be rewarding, some will tell you that it’s just plain stressful at times.  What are the best ways to teach kids?  Do the methods and techniques vary across subject manner?  For example, would you use the same approach to teach a child how to tie their shoes as you would how to do multiplication tables?  Probably not.  That being said though, there is no fool-proof way on how to teach kids.  There are several methods and techniques you can use.  Children are versatile.  Before you dedicate yourself to a teaching method, figure out how the kids learn best.  From there, you can choose teaching methods and techniques that are right for them.  You will be surprised how fast they can learn something once you teach to their learning style. There are 7 primary methods that help the child to learn:

Visual Learning:                                                                                                                              

To help your child to learn and grasp concepts faster, teach them through pictures, icons, charts, diagrams, and color coded information.  For example, if you are teaching a kid how to tie their shoes, walk them through step by step instructions with each step illustrated.  Use shoe laces that are half one color and half another to help them identify which side is which.  If you are teaching an academic subject like rain forest ecosystems, allow kids to research topics using graphics and compile their findings into a poster.  Visual learners can also retain information better if it has been categorized according to colors.  As a teacher (official or unofficial), always have different colored pens, pencils, markers, labels, and sticky notes on hand.

Aural Learning:

Aural learning thrives on teaching techniques that involve sound.  Making up a story or a song with the directions or the main concepts of the lesson will help this type of learner succeed.  Encourage them to rewrite the lyrics to their favorite songs to learn new things.  You can also use music to set the mood of the learning environment. If you need them to be excited about something they find boring (math, grammar, history, could be anything), play some pump-it-up music for a few minutes.  For younger children, use oral storytelling and sing-along to teach important lessons.  For example, if you are teaching about different body parts, sing the “Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” song.

Verbal Learning:

Verbal learning centers on the use of words.  Copying down phrases and words, taking their own notes during lectures, reading out loud, listening to audio recordings, and discussions are effective teaching methods and techniques for this type of learner.  Teach spelling by having them write out the word correctly multiple times on a piece of paper or on a white board.  Help your children understand rules by writing them on a poster board that they can see and refer to.  If your kids are interested in writing, learn how to help them write a mystery story that they can be proud of.

Physical Learning:

Physical learning helps the child to learn through “doing”.  Encourage kids to build, create, act things out, and experience what they are learning.  If you are teaching about Ancient Rome, allow kids to build models of ancient buildings and historical sites.  If they are not good at building models and structures, try having your students act out what they are learning in a skit, improve, or a play.  Field trips, technology, and playing games are also effective teaching methods for physical learners. Experimentation is also a good method to use.  Encourage kids to learn from their mistakes and failed attempts.

Logical Learning:

Logical learners need to know the elusive “why?” The answer “because” or “it just is” will never sit right with them.  They will excel at following complicated directions and using technology and games to reach learning outcomes. For example, have the kids develop a hypothesis that they can test.  Discuss the results on whether failed or succeeded and ask them why this was the case.  You may be surprised how they articulate their answers.

Social Learning:

Social learning thrives on interpersonal communications and child learns best in a group atmosphere. You can teach to this learning style through role playing, group projects, volunteering, service projects, and debates.  Let kids engage with others, facilitate discussions, and encourage collaboration.  You will also find that social learners can make great pen pals.

Solitary Learning:

Solitary learners prefer individual teaching or self-paced learnings.  Being in group situations can cause anxiety and lead to them shutting down.  Try centering your lesson plans around things they are already interested in and use their interest as a vessel to learn new things.  For example, if you have a child obsessed with airplanes you can use this to teach about gravity, weather, physics, motivation, cultural differences, motivation, or even cooking.  

It is important to note that many kids learn well from a blend of learning styles. The methods discussed above will help the child to learn in a better and practical way.

The author of this article is Assistant Professor, Pioneer Institute of Professional Studies.

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