What are "learning styles?"

What Are Learning Styles?

Teaching your kids doesn't become easy but it can get easier once you finally figure out what type of learner your student is. Most schools are just now starting to decipher "learning styles" and using the information to teach effectively. Read about the different "styles" here, decide which one your student is, and develop a plan that will be beneficial for your children. For all children, there is at least one "right" way (the most productive one) and several "wrong" ways to teach. Here are the seven learning styles. Please look for tips explaining them and how to engage children that have them!

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intellligence
• Interpersonal Intelligence
• Intrapersonal Intelligence
• Linguistic Intelligence
• Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
• Musical Intelligence
• Spatial Intelligence

Every child is strong in at least one of these but has some of each. Analyzing learning styles and personalities really entails no more than carefully examining the dynamics and fibers of every individual. If you find that one particular method that you are using is not working, try looking at your child's learning styles again to see what would appeal more to his needs.

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence

People with this form of intelligence just can't sit still. They wiggle constantly, make noises—they can't wait to be outside playing, running, climbing trees, etc. This type of person has intuitive feelings about academic material. They may know the answer to a problem, but not know how to get the answer on paper. They just "feel" it. They learn through their bodies, so to speak, doing action things (touching, physical contact, working with their hands). A great example is a young boy who memorized the capitals of 50 states over a period of five days while rollerblading on the family's patio and repeating them after his dad. To do the same work sitting down would have required ten days of struggle rather than 5 of fun.

A child with this type of intelligence will not get along in a "regular" school setting. Most schools teach in a way that is more conducive to the logical-mathematical intelligence. In "regular" school, this child would frequently be labeled as "ADD" or "ADHD" and Ritalin or some other controlling drug would be strongly suggested.

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

People who possess logical-mathematical intelligence think logically and easily see patterns. Logical-math people are very good at transferring abstract concepts to reality and are often able to communicate these concepts to others. They may also enjoy solving life's puzzles through sciences and can be very good inventors, having the skill to visualize (conceptually alter) an invention before they even make a prototype.

A person such of this type may enjoy Mensa puzzles and games or a card game such as Set, in which players must compare against each other to find the most combinations of similarities or differences in designs and shapes drawn on a deck of special cards. This requires lightening-fast visual analysis and the ability to process information in a certain way. These people normally do well in "regular" school, which was designed for their type of intelligence. The old-fashioned IQ test measures this type of intelligence more than any other.

For children with this intelligence, you can easily get them involved in learning less "mathematical" or "logical" subjects simply by working from the direction of "how-to" rather than relying on teaching facts and figures and hoping for those to somehow "mystically" connect.

Intrapersonal Intelligence

Those with intrapersonal intelligence have strong personalities, but they manifest it in a more personal way than do those with interpersonal intelligence. The intrapersonal type can happily work alone. They possess a deep awareness of themselves and have a highly developed inner world, which they do not characteristically enjoy exposing or sharing with others.

If a person of this type is skilled in music or another art, she or he can be very accomplished in the art form, although performing may not be appealing because of shyness. Children with this predominant form of intelligence can be bookish and quietly knowledgeable, but they do not necessarily fare well in "regular" school. They are often autodidacts-people who teach themselves. They may become self-educated once they get beyond high school or college academic imposition of grades and such. They possess an inner discipline and will to learn real things, not achieve synthetic grades. They also manifest themselves as independent and express strong opinions and feelings in heated discussions.

* Give a child with intrapersonal intelligence plenty of opportunity to work alone, without keeping a heavy hand on them.

Interpersonal Intelligence

People with this form of intelligence have a strong personality and are sensitive to others and what is going on around them in general. They make great social types. Great salespeople have this type of intelligence.

These people tend to have "street smarts." Children with this type of intelligence may enjoy playing in group games and activities and they tend to be very outgoing, often serving as the peacemakers in disputes. Teach this child through games with other children. Let them interact in order to learn.

Linguistic Intelligence

Those with linguistic intelligence are likely to be born poets and writers, loving to play with words just for the fun of it. If they are less predisposed to writing, they may make excellent verbal storytellers. People with linguistic intelligence tend to love to read books and other forms of print and are naturally good spellers, possessing a strong memory for words in all their forms, both as children and adults. They may also enjoy playing Scrabble and doing crossword puzzles or anagrams.

These types are probably skilled at learning more than one language, noting the universal similarities among all the spoken/written forms of communication. Such people learn best by seeing, speaking, or hearing words, so reading print, listening to lectures, and taking notes are comfortable successful ways for them to take in information.

Telling others about this information helps them to reinforce the learning process. If your child majors in linguistic intelligence, he probably would fare well in "regular" school and that might be a great way to teach him at home. Many curriculum publishers have videotaped lessons for use at home—try “School for Tomorrow” or “ABeka”.

Musical Intelligence

People with musical intelligence often hum or sing to themselves. They have a great aptitude for music in general, being able to remember melodies after only three or four hearings, and they possess excellent pitch and usually a good sense of rhythm in varying degrees.

This type often learns by hearing information set to music or by writing their own music to it. They often concentrate better with some type of music playing in the background. To teach one with musical intelligence, you might use tapes that contain the information set to music, or use music as a mood-enhancing tool.

Spatial Intelligence

Having this form of intelligence gives one the ability to think and see in pictures and images. This would be a form of intelligence of a painter or a sculptor who can see in her mind's eye and bring forth in detail what others might miss. T

hose with this form of intelligence love to make charts and maps, so get your student involved by having her make simple maps of your house, your neighborhood, and your city. Let her work on geography as much as she wants.

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