Individual Learning Styles
If your child is always walking around the house humming a tune, or always needs music to study by, then he/she is likely a musical learner. This type of learner is best at noticing details, pitches, and rhythms that escape the normal listener. They are excellent at keeping tune, and are adept at turning the abstract into concrete objects. They learn best through rhythm, melody, and music. For memorization techniques, ask them to write a song about the lesson (rap works well as a narrative), or teach them a song. Encourage their natural love of music, and try to incorporate music into as many lessons as possible.
This type of learner is always on the move. They constantly walk around, they have to touch everything, and they use body language to convey their feelings. They would rather play sports or do a craft than sit down and read a book. They need active education! Keep them moving. Play word games in the pool, have spelling lessons during tennis. Take them camping to learn about geography and nature. These are the learners who can do more than one thing at a time. Generally recognized as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), many are misdiagnosed. Allow them to use all of that extra energy to learn. Remember to incorporate sense development and interaction with space during their lessons. Attempt to keep the duration of each lesson down to a minimum (10-20 minutes depending on age), and change subjects frequently. Interdisciplinary lessons are very successful with these types of learners.
These are the "social butterflies". They adapt easily to any type of social situation, have many friends and are excellent leaders. They are patient, understanding, and very empathetic, which makes them a favorite among their playmates. They generally make good leaders because of their ability to mediate conflict, and are often referred to as "the Peacemaker" of the family. Encourage their love of people, and allow them to be with many different types of people. They will likely bring home a number of different types of friends. Although this can be difficult at times, it is important to support and accept all of them. This type of learner will do best in a group situation as they compare, share, relate, and interview other people. If no group is available, don't be surprised to see them create one in their animals or toys!
These strong willed people work best alone. They pursue their one interests and have a deep understanding of themselves. They pride themselves on being independent and original, and they tend to stand out from the crowd without even trying. They are the "strong, silent type". They do best in self paced instruction, individualized projects, and working alone. Allow them to be by themselves, but continue to encourage their socialization skills. Create a number of situations for them to socialize, yet allow them to maintain their own space. These children work best alone, and often need to be encouraged to socialize.
In conclusion, we all have elements of each learning style. But the truth is that one or two types stand out in each of us. Determine which style of learner your child is, and figure out ways to incorporate that learning style into your teaching. Continue to encourage the student to figure out alternative styles, and teach them how to bring each type into their life.