Have you ever been curious about the way your child learns best? While it's probably inaccurate to say that a given child has just one learning style, figuring out a dominant learning strength can help things like homework and school go a tad more easily. Once you know your child's style, you can help present information to him in a way that matches his style, making it easier for him to learn.
Online Learning Style Tests
An online learning test can be a helpful tool in discovering your child's learning strengths. It should never be considered an official evaluation as the online format is limited in its ability to truly assess your child's strengths. These tests typically come in one of two formats. Some tests have a child rate how much an activity appeals to them or which statement best describes them, and other tests ask children to simply check off any activities that appeal to them.
- School Family offers a simple 12-question test where your child checks off his interests to determine his learning style.
- Accelerated Learning's test determines where a child's learning preference falls within seven different styles of learning.
- Edutopia's "What's Your Learning Style?" quiz, asks children to rate how well each of 24 statements describes them to assess learning preferences.
- What Is My Learning Style offers three different tests to really hone in on your learning style.
- LoveToKnow offers a quick quiz in which you can answer questions about your child based on your observations.
Other Learning Inventories and Assessments
The departments of education in many states have recognized the importance of knowing a student's learning style, and therefore, incorporate learning inventories into resource packets for parents of preschool and kindergarten aged children or incorporate learning styles inventories into state exams. Some examples include:
- Iowa and Arkansas use the Qualls Early Learning Inventory to provide parents and teachers of children in grades PK-1 with an individual learning profile for each student. Teachers complete inventories while observing students.
- Kidtelligent is a program that takes your child's learning style and personality and uses it to help you choose suitable activities and goals for your child. The program includes specific strategies to help your child set and reach goals based on his personality and learning style.
- The 4Mat System teaches teachers and parents how to respond to a student's learning style. It contains a learning styles inventory that focuses on how students receive and process information, then offers unique teaching strategies to accommodate each student's style.
What the Results Mean
Most results focus on the three main learning styles: visual, auditory and kinesthetic/tactile. Some tests include other learning styles or multiple intelligences along with the results.
- Visual learners learn by seeing and reading. They learn best through textbooks, pictures, diagrams or demonstrations they can observe.
- Auditory learners excel through listening and speaking. Auditory learners will do well in a lecture hall atmosphere, by listening to tapes or music.
- Kinesthetic or tactile learners learn best through touching and doing. Hands-on activities work well for this type of learner, and a tactile learner tends to do well with manual dexterity tasks.
No matter which learning style a child has - visual, auditory or tactile - a combination of teaching styles can be effective since most people have a little of each style and are dominant in one area. Knowing what type of learner a child is makes teaching and learning much easier.