It has often been said that a parent’s greatest gift for his child is education. It is an investment that when managed properly will yield positive returns and high dividends.
This is why study time can often be more stressful for the parent than the child. The root of all conflict is simply because parents want the best for their children. For some relationships, “Report Card Day” weighs more heavily on the parent than the child.
All teachers can be parents. But not all parents can be teachers. Still with that novelty distinction, keep in mind that even teachers fall short in helping some children achieve academic excellence.
Everyone has a different capacity for learning. There is no “one- size- fits- all” approach to teaching. Every student is a unique individual.
The capacity to learn could be a function of a number of factors. Some factors could be genetically predetermined while some could be a product of his socio- economic environment.
Below you’ll find five tips provided by MarkitUp, on how to understand your child’s learning style:
1. Understand your Child’s Learning Modality
There are essentially three types of learning modalities:
- Auditory. They prefer to listen to instruction and often read out their lessons.
- Visual. They prefer to read instruction, view images, graphics or videos.
- Kinesthetic. They are restless and prefer practical application of learning.
Take the time to observe how your child behaves during instruction. Talk to his teacher and get his opinion on your child’s performance and behavior during class.
Knowing your child’s learning modality is a crucial step in determining the best approach for instruction.
2. Expose your Child to Other Modalities
- Even when you have confidently determined your child’s learning modality, you should not adapt techniques that only cater to his preference.
- Remember that school work is a collection of various methods and techniques: written home work, group/ individual projects, written tests, oral recitation and field trips among others.
- Not all of these will play up to your child’s strengths. You have to expose them to other modalities so they can adapt accordingly. In effect, you are turning their weaknesses into their strengths.
3. Establish the Conditions that Will Augment Comprehension
We all have our idiosyncrasies when we work. Some of us prefer to work under complete silence while some prefer a bit of background music.
Children are the same way. Auditory children would probably prefer light music in the background. Those who are visual may prefer more stimulation in their surroundings. Meanwhile, kinesthetic may want more an object within reach where they can transfer energy like a rubber ball.
4. Adopt Methods that Emphasize Strong Points for Learning
Once you have identified your child’s learning modality, research on the best methods that play up to his strengths. Here are a few examples:
- Auditory: Verbal instruction, feedback system, audio tapes
- Visual: Use of videos, charts, graphs
- Kinesthetic: Role play/ become the teacher, demonstration/ practical application of theories
Take note that even if your child has a distinct modality, some of these techniques can work with other modalities.
The feedback system for example, may work for the Kinesthetic because it gives him the opportunity to express his understanding of the subject matter.
5. Find 3rd Party Programs that Support Learning Capacity
Parents should not take it only upon themselves to ensure their child’s success in school.
There are 3rd party programs that offer high- level instruction to accommodate every learning modality. These are schools or agencies that can customize instruction to fit your child’s capabilities.
You can also look for former teachers, advisers or consultants who have had experience teaching your child. If they are available, ask them if they can come on- board for consultation.
If their schedule will accommodate, ask them if they can set aside a day in the week to give your child tutorial sessions. 99% of teachers will be more than happy to help you out.
Finally, there is a sixth tip that parents should utilize when trying to understand their child’s capacity to learn.
It is not really a tip. It is more of a value they should subscribe to. It is the value of patience.
Parents can get overly emotional when it comes to overseeing their child’s education. Being over- emotional is understandable because as parents, they are already emotionally invested in the child.
But getting frustrated, openly showing displeasure or disappointment will not make things better. In fact, it will make things worse.
Remember that children go through several stages of change as they grow up. Their learning modality could experience some shifting. Perhaps he finally achieves a degree of balance. The best thing parents can do is give more support and encourage the child to become better.