1 Tip to Help Your Child Read

30/09/2015

It would seem currently that many parents want their child to learn how to read as soon as possible.  While I understand that most parents want to give their child a head-start in their education, sometimes giving them a head-start brings issues into the light that previously were unconscious.

I remember sending my daughter to a playschool in Taman Desa when she was only two, and upon entering the class they were already having the children read simple sentences from books (albeit they were doing so through memorisation instead of phonetics).  I was actually quite intrigued!  In the U.S. where I come from, we usually don’t start teaching children to read until later on in their development.  As time went on, I began to realise that the method they were using to teach for her wasn’t working for her.  Sure, other children seemed to do well but my daughter struggled a bit.

Eventually she starting going to a different school that taught reading through more visual means, and although she did considerably better than her previous school, she still wasn’t advancing as fast as the rest of her class.  After much trial and error, we discovered the issue and took the necessary changes to rectify it.  What was the issue?  We had to find out my daughter’s learning style and apply teaching methods that worked with her instead of against her.

Now I am happy to say that she is doing quite well in her studies and has scored straight A’s on her last few exams.  But how does one go about learning about their child’s learning style?  What are the tell-tale signs and how can we, once we have discovered our child’s learning style, start applying lessons in this format?

 

Learning Styles

 

The three main styles we are discussing today are

  1. auditory,
  2. kinesthetic or
  3. visual

Naturally most children are not 100% one style and there can be overlapping behaviours, but you can find out which style is more dominant in them by taking this simple test here.  Are they more inclined towards auditory, kinesthetic or visual learning?  Knowing which one your child is and what methods works best for each style can support you and your child in making education fun all while expanding the child’s ability to learn and retain information. 

Auditory:

Children whose learning style is more auditory tend to listen more, talk more and even sing.  They excel best when listening to instructions and do well with stories (especially when they are the ones telling the story).  Sometimes they won’t make eye contact with you but that doesn’t mean they aren’t listening.

Tips for teaching auditory children:

  • Phonetics: focus on the sounds of the words.
  • Speak out loud: teaching through singing or intonation works well with auditory learners.
  • Read aloud: have your child read out loud as this may help them retain more information.
  • Quiet environment: Work with them in a quiet place so they aren’t distracted.

 

 

Kinesthetic:

A kinesthetic learner is someone who must touch, hold, feel and grasp what is being taught.  They tend to want to figure things out by taking things apart.  Beware taking them into a store with things can be broken!  They tend to be extremely active!

Tips for teaching kinesthetic children:

  • Move: incorporate hand and body movements into what is taught.
  • Mould: often kinesthetic children learn best with 3D and hands-on activities.
  • Do: don’t ask them to sit still and pay attention, involve them somehow!

 

Visual: 

A visual learner tends to be quiet (though this isn’t the case for all visual learners) and is always watching others.  Anything that is visually stimulating gets their attention.  They learn most through graphics, videos, flash cards and pictures.

Tips for teaching visual children:

  • Flashcards: use flashcards with decent graphics in order to hold their attention.
  • Educational movies: again, movies these days are more visually stunning than ever.  Instead of watching their favorite cartoon, opt for something more educational.
  • Visualisation: try getting them to close their eyes and make pictures in their minds.  This will also support them in retaining more information.
  • Environment: Use the same environment every day so there is nothing new to look at and they can more easily focus on what is in front of them.

 

While your child may lean towards one learning style more than another, this does not mean that everything written above will work for them.  In the end, you have to be willing to, through trial and error, discover what works best for your child.  Taking the quiz here will support you in getting a better feel for how your child learns.  Additionally, simply observing them will also support you in identifying what may be their learning style!

Wishing you success in teaching your child or children most effectively!

 

Jana Moreno

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