Friday, November 30, 2007

Learning Styles and Illiteracy

Globally, illiteracy is becoming one of the most prominent social pains of the 21st century. While in developing countries the problem is chiefly the lack of teachers, schools and teaching aids; the problem in the West is the overabundance of technology.

In a world where television, computers and cell phones reign supreme, books are taking a distant second place. Even SMS or email no longer resembles the written word, with shortcuts and phonics such as: “GTG PAW c u 2nite”.

Of course, struggling to read may have its roots in health issues such as vision problems or dyslexia.

More often than not, however, if a child has access to food, school and books - yet they have not acquired the ability to read, the problem may lie in their Learning Style.

Your child’s learning style dictates the way in which he or she understands and remembers new concepts. The learning style will also determine the way they learn to read.

If your child is not visual, for example, they will have no natural curiosity about books. If they need mobility for their learning, sitting still with a book is an unnatural thing for them to do. If they are not left-brained, the idea of starting the book at one end and continuing in a linear fashion will be foreign and uncomfortable.

You can help!

A tactile child will benefit greatly from being allowed to handle the book and trace the words with their fingers. An externally auditory child will prefer to read the words out loud. And you can keep a kinesthetic child’s interest by asking them to act out the plot of the book as you read it together.

Is your child tactile or kinesthetic?

Of course, as with any new learning, learning to read should take place in an environment that’s tailor-made for that specific child’s learning needs. The Learning style Analysis (LSA) report shows parents exactly how to turn the learning area at home into a successful one.

To find out your child’s learning style, have a look at this free online demo.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Learning Styles and ADD

It is hard for parents to have their child diagnosed with ADD (attention deficit disorder). It’s harder still to make the decision to put them on medication such as Ritalin.

So before you accept somebody’s ADD label as applicable to your unruly and impetuous child, who’s acting up in school and has trouble paying attention, here is a reality check.

· Most healthy children’s attention span is shorter than the sound of their name.
· Most healthy children are impetuous (spontaneous).
· Most healthy children are a handful and will misbehave regularly.

Of course, some children are noisier than others. Some children run around more and listen less. It all has to do with their own unique learning style.

A learning style is the way in which a child understands and remembers new concepts.

If your child needs mobility for learning, he will want to pace the classroom so as to better understand the lesson. An impulsive child will shout out an answer before she hears the end of the question, potentially earning a label of hot-headed or unthinking or attention-deficient. If your child is highly kinesthetic, she will not want to be stuck between the four walls of the classroom.

Moreover, if you child’s learning style is a mismatch with the school’s teaching style, and if he has a history of being misunderstood by the teachers, he may become rebellious and unruly.

Such children are at risk of being misdiagnosed with ADD.

To find out your child’s learning style, have a look at this free online demo.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Learning Styles 100

Did you know that there were at least 100 reasons to know your child’s learning style? To conserve space, however, we will mention only the top 10:
1. Your child’s learning style is the optimal way in which she understands new concepts.
2. A learning style consists of learning needs that should be met in order to ensure learning success.
3. A learning style also consists of learning non-preferences which - when violated - can lead to the child’s lack of interest in new material, failure to progress and disrespect for teachers and the school system.
4. Your child’s learning style can tell you whether she is a gifted student or an underachiever.
5. It can alert you to her likely behaviour on the Internet.
6. It can predict whether your child will be likely to develop a smoking habit.
7. It provides indicators as to whether the child could be in danger of becoming overweight.
8. Understanding your child’s learning style helps you turn homework into home-fun.
9. It helps your child build her self-awareness and increase her self-esteem.
10. It helps prevent misunderstandings and communication gaps.

That's only 10 out of 100 good reasons to purchase a LSA for your child.

Speaking of the number 100, it’s hard to believe that this is our 100th blog post. We’d like you to celebrate the centenary with us, and what better way than to make it possible for you to discover your child’s learning style?

This is why we are extending this special offer to you: buy a Learning Style Analysis (LSA) Mini Complete before the end of November 2007, and we will throw in the Learning Style Manual as a free bonus to the first 100 people who respond.

All you need to do in order to claim your gift is enter this code when purchasing your LSA MINI Complete online: 4CE6WPB.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Learning Styles and Lesson Planning

As a teacher, you will be undoubtedly familiar with the idea of Learning Styles (the individual sets of needs and impediments which make up the way students learn). You will probably have used our LSA instruments and free group profiles to assess the learning styles prevailing in your class.

In other words, you will now know which of your students will be most responsive to external awards, what time of day to tackle new concepts and how to arrange your students into study groups. You will know when to present the global picture and when to concentrate on details of the material. You will know which of your students respond best to open-ended exam questions.

But planning every lesson in a way that allows for multi-sensory stimulation requires some consideration and a lot of creativity. In general, you can use the following guidelines, no matter what your subject and syllabus:
- kinesthetic students will benefit from field trips, acting out the lesson, dancing to memorise facts and moving their bodies (for example, forming letters with their arms will help them memorise their shape);
- tactile students will benefit from projects that involve making learning tools and models of new concepts with their hands (for example, a model of a cosine curve shaped out of clay, colouring in a map);
- internally visual students will need to imagine themselves inside the lesson’s topic (for example, in a microscopic boat travelling inside a person’s body when learning biology, or taking part in the Russian Revolution);
- externally auditory students will need to discuss the material with their peers, write and recite a poem about the new topic or explain the lesson to their younger siblings.

For more ideas on how to plan your lessons according to your students’ learning style needs and non-preferences, please refer to our LSA Manual.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Learning Styles and Learning Difficulties

  • Is your child bored at school?
  • Does homework become a daily battlefield?
  • Has the teacher ever mentioned that your child tends to be disruptive or undisciplined in class?
  • Are your child’s school results a poor reflection on the child’s intelligence and ability?
  • Has your child been diagnosed with ADD (ADHD) and you feel uncomfortable with that diagnosis?
  • Is your child’s reading level below expectation?
  • Is maths difficult?

    If you said ‘yes’ to any of the above points, your child may be experiencing a mismatch between her learning style and the way in which the school is teaching the curriculum.

    Your learning style dictates the way in which you understand and remember new concepts.

    Some of the factors that affect your child’s learning style, and therefore her learning success, include:
    * Her need for snacking during the learning process
    * The amount of real or artificial light in the room
    * The presence (or absence) of background noise in the room
    * Your child’s need for adult supervision or for learning in a group
    * Your child’s preferred sense or senses for information intake
    * … and many others.

    Ultimately, if your child’s learning style needs are not satisfied, she will experience learning difficulties. She may become unenthusiastic about learning new things, her self-confidence will plunge (she may start to believe she is ‘stupid’ or ‘slow’), her attitude may become rebellious or apathetic.

    To find out your child’s learning style, have a look at this free online demo.