Your learning style refers to the way in which you most easily and effectively absorb, process, comprehend and retain information (‘Learning Styles’ 2018).
In Part 1 of this series, we introduced learning styles and how your child’s dominant style determines the types of experiences they need for optimal learning. In Part 2 we looked at auditory learners and their preferences and in Part 3 we discussed visual learners.
If auditory learners have to hear it and visual learners have to see it, kinaesthetic learners could be summed up as having to doit (Alt Ed Austin).
Kinaesthetic learners are often described as being fidgets in school or not able to concentrate when there are long periods where they are required to listen. It can also be hard for kinaesthetic learners to retain information when they are asked to sit still and listen. I know this – I was that child!
There is a plethora of fun activities you can do to help support a kinaesthetic learner and they are all hands-on and exciting games that do not involve sitting at a desk. There are also strategies that kinaesthetic learners can use so that they can retain information when they are not doing activities with movement. I myself have a square ring on my thumb and while I am talking I fiddle with it, twisting it, turning it, pulling it on and off my thumb, this enables me to retain everything from each conversation I have. I always used to allow kinaesthetic learners in my class something to fiddle with and I could guarantee that while they were fiddling I could ask any questions and they could repeat exactly what I had said.
There is a difference between hyperactivity or the need for constant movement, which is typical of ADHD but can have other causes such as diet or anxiety, and a kinaesthetic learner, who simply needs to use movement and the sense of touch to learn. A good indicator that a child is a kinaesthetic learner would be that they become ‘happy learners’, able to engage, concentrate and retain information, when given kinaesthetic learning opportunities.
While students are given multiple opportunities for kinaesthetic learning experiences in early primary school, this starts to disappear in many upper primary and high school subjects. Communication with teachers about what your child needs in order to learn is therefore vital; likewise teaching students that it is ok to have a preferred learning style and how to confidently and clearly communicate that to others are skills that will serve your child well throughout their learning and working lives.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our series on learning styles. If you require further information or would like to discuss a program that works with your child’s learning style, please get in contact – we’d be happy to help.
‘Is it ADHD or a Kinesthetic Learning Style?’ https://www.altedaustin.com/blog/is-it-adhd-or-a-kinesthetic-learning-style.html
‘Examples of Learning Styles’ https://www.education.vic.gov.au/documents/childhood/professionals/support/egsls.pdf
‘Learning Styles’ https://teach.com/what/teachers-know/learning-styles/