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One of the best things about starting each session is watching and realising how each of the babies and kids absorb the information which is offered to them in class. It can be somewhat disconcerting as an adult or parent if you aren't sure what to look for or even if you are seeing anything signficant being taken in by your child! Firstly, don't worry :) babies and kids take in far more than we can ever imagine and certainly more than it appears, even when they have their back to the action!!
There's a more formal term for how your child learns which is "Approaches to Learning", it's more of an umbrella term. In class we most often see the following learning styles:
- visual learners
- kinesthetic learners
- auditory learner
To dig a little deeper:
Are those who absorb information by seeing it. You won't necessarily see them repeating the action at the same time but you might notice a visual learner taking in information by watching and looking. Sometimes watching the teachers though also at the other adults in the room. (It keeps us all honest to keep modelling for all the kids when we notice a child learning by seeing.)
Kinesthetic learners are people who learn by moving, they are experiencing and experimenting by moving their own body. They won't always be moving in the same way as the teacher, parent or adult caregiver but are trying out the ideas to see how it feels and fits their body. You'll notice a kinesthetic learner by their desire to move and "do".
The last of the predominant learning styles, auditory learners are those who learn by listening and by then, at some point, using their listening and repeating skills to sort the information they have absorbed. Auditory learners really need to hear what they are learning and remember a lot of the information they are presented with just by hearing it.
It's important to remember that no one learning style is "better", it's a case of which fits your child and what you might perceive as their learning style when they are very young can also evolve. As we meet our children where they are developmentally, rather than expect them to meet us, understanding their learning style is hugely helpful. As parents and caregivers we all want to give our kids the very best we can, realising your child's learning style is one of the steps towards supporting your baby or child's healthy development.
What learning style do you think your child has?