Learning Styles: Which One is Your Child?
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Play with math manipulatives such as beads, blocks or interlocking cubes. Use puzzles, small touchable objects, specimens or samples.
Parent's Style, Too
Lorraine Peoples, author of You Can Teach Someone to Read, suggests it's not just how a child learns that a parent needs to consider, but also how the parent reacts to his or her child's learning. For instance, with a visual learner, it's important to be aware of your facial gestures, both positive and negative. The tone and inflection in your voice will speak volumes to an auditory learner. And let your can't-sit-still kinesthetic learner take an active part in his or her lessons, suggests Peoples.
In the early 1980s, Howard Gardner, a professor of education at Harvard University, developed the theory of Multiple (or the Seven) Intelligences: Linguistic (words), Logical-Mathematical (numbers/reasoning), Spatial (pictures/images), Musical (tone, rhythm and timbre), Bodily-Kinesthetic (whole body/hands), Interpersonal (social interactions) and Intrapersonal (self-knowledge). Dr. Thomas Armstrong has written several books on determining a person's area of strength, including In Their Own Way: Discovering and Encouraging Your Child's Multiple Intelligences.
In addition, Daniel Goleman's book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, uses brain and behavioral research to suggest healthy emotions — more than book-smarts — as the strongest indicator of human success. He defines emotional intelligence in terms of self-awareness, altruism, personal motivation, empathy and the ability to love and be loved.
The Keirsey Temperament Sorter categorizes individuals into one of the four temperaments: Rationals (such as Einstein), Idealists (such as Gandhi), Artisans (such as Hemingway), or Guardians (such as Washington). From there, each temperament is further divided by role variants. Check out Keirsey's website: www.keirsey.com.
Remember, though, that labeling your child is a double-edged sword. It can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
But the truth is that we're all a little bit of all these learning styles and more.