Homeschooling

Auditory learners

This is part three of a three-part article.

Do you prefer need music playing as you work or drive?   Are your children distracting to others due to the noises they create when they are working on their schoolwork or playing?  Would your spouse rather make a phone call than write a letter?  If you answered yes to any of these, there is an auditory learner in your family.

When trying to spot an auditory learner, look for these “tells”. When an auditory learner is deep in thought, they will generally look down.  (As an auditory learner, I had to train myself to look at people when they speak.  The more intently I am listening, the more likely I am to look down-so that I can concentrate- as I listen.)  And whatever emotion they are feeling will be easily recognized by their tone of voice.  If given a choice of activities, they will often choose to listen to music, go somewhere to hear the birds, attend a concert.  Auditory learners will also enjoy taking time to sit and talk…and talk… and talk.  Often instructions need to be given verbally.  Even as adults, most auditory learners prefer to be talked through a new activity, rather than simply shown or handed a set of instructions.

Auditory learners enjoy speaking and listening, and will occasionally do both at pretty much the same time.  A room full of them can get pretty loud; if you breathe before the end of your thought, you may forfeit your chance to complete it!  They prefer to share news by making a phone call rather than through email or text.  They notice sounds all around them, and often are making some of their own. (I have a friend that says if she loses me in a store, she simply listens for the humming/whistling.)

When an auditory learner is angry, they will generally let you know with words.  Lots of them.  Sometimes everyone with whom they come in contact knows what is wrong.  When they are excited, they will squeal, yell, and share the news with everyone.  Over and over.  Teaching them tact and proper behavior is important so that grievances aren’t broadcast to everyone around them, and so that they let other people get a chance to speak too!  You can most effectively reward them by praising them vocally.  Better still, say something wonderful about them to a third party where they will overhear you.

Some of the most successful tools for teaching visual auditory learners include:

  • Books on CD
  • music
  • discussion
  • narration
  • memorization
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Homeschooling

visual learners

This is part two of a three-part article on learning styles.

Do you prefer watching a performance rather than just listening?   Are your children distracted by movement around them when they are working on their schoolwork?  Would your spouse rather write an email than make a phone call?  If you answered yes to any of these, there is a visual learner in your family.

When trying to spot a visual learner, try these “tells”. When a visual learner is deep in thought, they will generally look up or stare straight ahead.  And whatever emotion they are feeling will be easily recognized by their facial expressions.  If given a choice of activities, they will often choose a movie, television, or reading.  They may also want to go to a museum or zoo where there are things to watch.  They even use visual language-“do you see what I mean?”

Introducing a visual learner to a new experience can be best done by allowing them time to observe the surroundings/situation before expecting them to dive in and participate.   (They can often be considered shy, as they will want to stand back and observe before participating. Give them time.  They’ll let you know when they are ready.)   Facial expressions, body language, etc. are read automatically.  They can pick out the leader of the group, the trouble-maker, and anyone who is uncomfortable as they enter a new environment. They are masters at picking up visual cues from people in a group setting or one-on-one, and using that information to their advantage.

When a visual learner is angry, they will often say nothing; they do not need to-you can read it on their face.  When they are excited, they grin and their whole face lights up!  No words necessary.  Rewards come in the form of making their work and your approval easily seen-post things on the fridge, smile at them, use stickers and stamps, send their work to family and friends.

Some of the most successful tools for teaching visual learners include:

  • maps
  • posters
  • pictures/drawings
  • dvds
  • collages/mobiles
  • time lines
  • American Sign Language