A Parent’s Guide to Learning Styles

Have you ever wondered why it seems like your child can never forget what they hear or see? Or maybe wondered why it seems they really “get it” by putting an idea together using a hands-on approach? Perhaps they have a knack for remembering new rhymes and songs? This isn’t a coincidence; when it comes to learning new things, we all have different preferences. These are typically referred to as learning styles.

In this post we will go into more detail about the various learning styles, as well as offer some useful suggestions for how you, as a parent, may utilize this knowledge to support your child’s learning.

What are Learning Styles?

Although the idea of learning styles has been around since the early 1900s, learning preferences for students and teacher preferences do not always match.  Learning styles, in general, can be categorized into three types: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.  According to William Furey of Education Next, a 2017 study examining the pervasiveness of “neuromyths” found that 76 percent of 598 educators surveyed agreed that individuals learn better when they receive information in their preferred learning style.”  While science and research has “debunked” the theory as a myth, many educators and students themselves believe that individuals do learn in a specific way.

It’s crucial to clarify that this does not imply that students should only learn in one certain way. It’s more important to provide variety in learning activities so that all learning styles are accommodated.

What Does This Mean for My Child?

We become more aware of the many diverse activities we have available to help learning when we are aware of the various ways children might learn. Traditional methods that are used, such as note-taking and written assignments, are proven techniques. Finding the strength of each individual child and applying it to all aspects of their learning will benefit them.

What Is A Visual Learner?

Visual learning occurs when pictures and imagery are incorporated into the learning of the students who are typically creative and can recall concepts using color and diagramming to enhance their learning.

What Is An Auditory Learner?

Auditory learners are sometimes hard to define.  With an auditory learner, it may feel like they never listen when you speak to them, but they can tell you what you said, almost verbatim, though it appears they are “zoned out.”  Auditory learners tend to have better success in school when they are able to listen to instruction rather than to read or write.  The auditory learner tends to rely on mnemonic devices to help them memorize facts.  Audio books, reading aloud, and discussion helps an auditory learner with new concepts.

What Is A Kinesthetic Learner?

Traditionally a kinesthetic learner will learn new concepts by using a hands-on approach.  These students learn better through movement or “doing.” A kinesthetic learner needs movement while recalling facts in order to be successful in acquiring knowledge.


It is our wish at A Grade Ahead that the above information will give you, the parent, ideas that will help with your child’s academic success.  If your child does not seem to fit a specific learning style or if they do, remember that using a variety of techniques can strengthen their overall academic success. Consider trying an enrichment program in either math or English to help both you and your child. At A Grade Ahead, we believe in taking a variety of approaches, including our new “Blended-Learning Program,” to help each student reach their full academic potential.

What do you think? Does your child fit into a specific learning style? How do they best receive and retain information? Do you agree that most people have a preferred learning style? We would love to hear from you in the comments!


Author: Pamela Crum, Lead Teacher at A Grade Ahead, Inc.

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