Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Magic of Learning Styles

It’s the Holiday Season in many parts of the globe. Did you know that even the way you spend this festive time depends largely on your Learning Style?

Kinesthetic people will try to include in their programme items like skiing, wind-surfing, outdoor activities or trips to fun places.
Visual people will be far more likely to want to relax with a book or the TV.
People whose Learning Style calls for doing things alone will prefer to spend Christmas in a smaller crowd than those with a preference for many peers.
Those with a high responsibility attitude might be tempted to take their laptop along when visiting family or travelling away from home.
Those who don’t like the cold and live in the Northern Hemisphere will probably be checking out the holiday travel specials to warmer climates.

With almost 50 Learning Style elements, the list can go on and on. What is your Learning Style? If you’re new to this site, click here to find out. We guarantee that you will have a better chance of a prosperous 2009 when you know how to work according to your personal strengths.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sleep and Learning Styles

Research studies show that we don’t get enough sleep. Teenagers and people in their twenties often sacrifice sleep time in favour of parties, computer games or TV. Adults forego sleep in order to cram more tasks into the day. Even young children, over-stimulated by their flashy toys and classes for tots, find themselves unable to settle down at night.

And yet our ability to learn is directly related to how well we can memorise new things, while our ability to memorise depends on our sleep patterns. We all know that we need enough sleep for our brains and memory to function properly, but what’s surprising is the fact that information becomes "cemented" in our brains as we sleep.

One study suggests that it is valuable to study right before going to sleep because sleep helps you store what you’ve learnt. In other words, if your Learning Style calls for evening-time studying, you may be better off than somebody who is a morning person.

What is your Learning Style? If you’re new to this site, click here to find out.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Learning Styles and Teaching Science

Question: Can you hammer in a nail using a banana?

Answer: Sure you can. If the banana is frozen using liquid nitrogen.

Lesson planning:
Try to hammer a nail with a ripe banana. Make a lot of mess.
Drop another ripe banana into liquid nitrogen for 30 seconds.
Use cryo gloves and crucible tongs to remove the banana. Do not reach into the liquid nitrogen with your gloved hand.
Hold the banana in your gloved hand and hammer the nail successfully.
Do not let the children touch the frozen banana.

Explanation for students: A banana is made up of a lot of water, and water doesn’t make a very good hammer. When frozen, the water molecules slow down and hold tight to one another, creating ice.

Now, wasn’t that a lot more fun than an ordinary science lesson?

That’s what multi-sensory teaching is all about: having fun. Creative Learning and Prashnig Style Solutions advocate multi-sensory teaching as a means of getting students to pay attention, to behave in class and to learn the curriculum.

If you’re a teacher, make things easy for yourself. Depending on the child’s Learning Style, a bored student will most likely act up in class. They may play the fool or refuse to comply with instructions or simply stare out the window and daydream. They will certainly not learn much and they will not make your day.

Determining your students' Learning Style is the first step to a stress-free fun day.
With school science results falling dramatically in many countries, it’s time to resort to tricks such as hammering nails with bananas or soap suds explosion... even if the tricks border on magic. After all, isn’t all science magical? And aren’t magic tricks simply science that we don’t understand yet?

Friday, December 05, 2008

What REALLY Can Change Your Life

Have you ever:
Yawned in a meeting?
Got stressed in a noisy environment?
Struggled to get your point across?
Had trouble remembering the seven things your boss told you to do?

It’s not your fault! It’s simply that the way you communicate and work is different to the one in your immediate environment.

Everybody is different. We all know that. The question is - what can we do about it?

Creative Learning provides a range of online instruments designed to analyse your communication and working style. The resulting report is easy-to-read, objective and non-judgmental.

Depending on your Working Style, you will be good at:
- Concentrating under pressure
- Dealing with clutter
- Making lists
- Working night shift
- Operating computers
- Handling people

You tell us. What else do you excel at? Find your unique set of strengths here.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Learning Styles and Thanksgiving

Your Learning Style is unique. It’s unlike anybody else’s. One in a billion. No, actually, let me be more exact: your Learning Style is 1 in 3552713678800500929355621337890625.

If that’s not reason enough to be thankful for your Learning Style this season, let’s be thankful for:
- Our ability to learn new things.
- Our ability to remember the things we’ve learned.
- Our ability to communicate our knowledge to others.
- Our ability to deal with stress according to our Learning Style.

Don’t you know what your Learning Style is? Find out today and be thankful!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Learning Styles and a Gifted Teenager

Being a gifted learner is often a challenge, particularly when the education system doesn't match their abilities.

Because schoolwork comes so easily to them, sitting in class and doing repetitive homework may be boring. Depending on his or her Learning Style, as well as on the teacher’s attitude, a gifted teenager will most likely choose a way to pass the time by:
- moving about, even when not allowed to
- reading their own book (usually advanced for their age) during class
- playing the fool
- being insubordinate
- daydreaming.

Alternatively, they may fake or even develop headaches or stomach aches (psychosomatic illnesses) in order to avoid school altogether.

Furthermore, some children and teenagers may hide their true talents in an attempt to fit in with their peers (if their Learning Style shows a preference for pairs, peers and/or team learning). They may underachieve on purpose, or fail to reach their academic potential because they are not motivated at school (if their Learning Style shows the need for internal motivation).

If left in a classroom with a generalized curriculum, the gifted child will not progress to realize their full potential. They will feel neglected and understimulated. Gifted children need special programs to flourish and to develop their abilities.

Gifted children who feel supported and understood will have an easier time reaching their full potential. Determining their Learning Style is the first step.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Teenagers and Learning Styles - Who’s the boss?

There is more to learning than school and university:
some things you learn are useful, such as reading and writing
some things you learn are fun, like a sport or a new game
some things you learn can save lives - including your own life.

What skills don’t you have that could potentially save a life?
First aid?
Survival swimming?
Snow rescue basics?
Safe driving?

A research experiment in Toronto aimed at teaching teens about the risks of driving, confirmed that while teenagers learnt well, they also forgot quickly.

I bet the researchers did not use Learning Style Analysis in their experiment, or the teens would have scored much better!

Learning styles will show you how you can master any life skill: be it driving, squash, paintball, bridge, oil painting, speaking Japanese or effective communication.

What life skills or life-saving skills do you want to get this year? Make it easy on yourself with this super-easy 2step process:
Ask yourself: what is my Learning Style?
Find out.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Teenage Learning Styles and Computers

Computers are cool. You probably use one every day to play games, talk to your friends or do homework research.
However, some types or learners benefit from computer learning (also known as online learning or e-learning) more than others.
Check out your Learning Style report. If you have a preference or a strong preference in 4 or more of the below elements of the LSA Pyramid:
· VISUAL (external)
· VISUAL (words)
· TACTILE (touching)
· MOBILITY (stationary)
· TIME OF DAY: evening
· KINESTHETIC (internal),
then you learn well using a computer (education games, Internet research, etc.)

Be aware, however, that not all information you find on the Internet may be correct, unless it comes from a trustworthy site (a government website, Wikipedia, etc.)

You may also enjoy socialising on the Internet. Although this point may seem painfully obvious, keep in mind that not everybody in cyberspace is who they say they are, even if you’ve been emailing and chatting for months. Please allow your parents to discuss the topic of Internet safety with you.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Teenage Learning Styles and Halloween

Did you know that...
... your Learning Style affects the way you will party this Halloween?



Learning styles have an influence on your life outside of school, too. They shape the way you connect with your friends and the way you ask your parents to extend your curfew for Halloween.

Your Learning Style will determine what type of party you will organise, and whether you will do the organising or fall in with other people’s plans.

Even things like music, how many crisps you’ll eat and how long you’ll dance will be controlled, to a degree, by your Learning Style.

Spooky, isn’t it?
This Halloween, ask yourself who is in control of your life: you or your Learning Style.
Find out.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Teenagers learn well to live well

There is more to learning than school and university:
  • some things you learn are useful, such as reading and writing
  • some things you learn are fun, like a sport or a new game
  • some things you learn can save lives - including your own life.

What skills don’t you have that could potentially save a life?

  • First aid?
  • Survival swimming?
  • Snow rescue basics?
  • Safe driving?

    A research experiment in Toronto aimed at teaching teens about the risks of driving, confirmed that while teenagers learnt well, they also forgot quickly.

    I bet the researchers did not use Learning Style Analysis in their experiment, or the teens would have scored much better!

    Learning styles will show you how you can master any life skill: be it driving, squash, paintball, bridge, oil painting, speaking Japanese or effective communication.

    What life skills or life-saving skills do you want to get this year? Make it easy on yourself with this super-easy 2step process:
  1. Ask yourself: what is my Learning Style?
  2. Find out.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Learning Styles and Teenagers: Your Future Job

Because some jobs require shift work...
Because some jobs mean working under stress...
Because some jobs are better suited to visual people, while other jobs require moving around...

... you can use your Learning Style report for your career planning.

Learning styles will show you how to communicate, plan your work, manage your time and handle deadlines.

The report also contains recommendations as to which careers may or may not be suitable for you. For example, if you can’t stand routine, your profile will say: “As you love change, and enjoy trying out new things, you hardly ever do the same thing the same way twice. It is important that you take into account your strong need for variety and your love of change when you consider future career planning.”
While at school, you will probably do most tasks and projects alone or with a chosen friend. Work, however, is different. Some of the time, you will be expected to be part of a team, working with people you may not know very well, or not like very much, or whose Learning Style is radically different from yours. And some of the time you will need to work alone. No choice, no arguments.
It is also important to check your attitude with respect to:
perseverance, and
before you decide to accept a specific job offer.

Remember, it is even more important in the current economic crisis that you choose a job that matches your Learning and Working Style. If you’re a mismatch, you will not hold the job for long and, what’s worse, your record will be blemished forever... when it’s not even your fault.

What is your Learning Style? Find out.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Learning Styles and Teen Relationships

Opposites Attract!

Calling all teenagers! You’ve probably heard that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Although this is a broad generalisation, there is some merit to the argument that women solve their problems by talking while men retreat to their cave.

Learning styles will show you how to treat and talk to your romantic partner based on their specific learning style, to minimise misunderstandings and potential areas of conflict.

To avoid conflicts and misunderstandings in your romantic relationships, remember the following:
· If she tells you about her problem, listen. Really listen. Don’t interrupt, don’t ask questions, don’t offer solutions. Simply nod and make encouraging “mmmm” noises.
· If he’s particularly quiet, don’t assume it’s something you’ve done or that he’s about to break up with you. Most likely, he’s stressed or preoccupied about something. He may even have a headache. Let him be.
· If she asks you to do five things in one breath, ask her to repeat them slowly so that you can write them down.
· If he takes his time before making up his mind, don’t hurry him.
· If she’s looking particularly lovely, tell her. Don’t expect her to read your mind.
· If his car looks like a mess, think twice before offering to clean it out: he may genuinely need all the pieces of paper, tennis balls and pairs of shoes he drives around with.
· Communicate using your partner’s communication style: if they are visual, send them an SMS; if they are auditory, give them a call; if they like lists, then give them lists.
· Tell your partner what your preferred communication style is.

What is your Learning Style? Find out.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Learning Styles and Teens - Part 3

Learning Styles help teenagers in many areas. Too many people limit their practice of learning styles to school, homework and learning new things. While learning styles do help you achieve academic success, they can also:

· Improve your sports performance in a sport of your choice.
· Help you understand the way the opposite gender thinks.
· Decrease your stress levels.
· Show you how to manage time better.
· Make your parents understand you.

For example...

If your room is a mess, relax: you’re not alone. Most teenagers battle with their parents for the right to keep their rooms the way they like it.

But did you know that being messy could be more than a “teenage thing”? Whether you are organised or disorganised, tidy or messy, punctual or unable to keep track of time a biological (inherent and often inherited) function of your brain.

Perhaps you and your parents can strike a deal: you will keep the bathroom, kitchen and lounge tidy in exchange for them allowing your room to be as untidy as you please?

Your Learning Style report will tell you whether you are untidy by nature. It will also offer you tips on how to help you get organised.

What is your Learning Style? Find out.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Learning Styles Help Teenagers - Part 2

Teenagers - particularly those in Western societies - often face the following problems:
· Low self-esteem
· Lack of confidence
· Depression
· Burnout
· Insomnia
· Hyperactivity
· Apathy
· Feeling misunderstood
· Stress
· Underperformance in sports
· Academic underperformance
· Relationship issues
· Insubordinate behaviour.

Many of those can be solved almost overnight by analysing the teenager’s Learning Style and ensuring important communication takes place on their terms using their preferred Communication Style.

[Do you know your child’s communication style? It’s part of their Learning Style, available through the Learning Style Analysis (LSA) tool.]

Another great tool to solve feelings of low self-belief is the book “I Love Myself” by Angela Smith. It can be used to boost children’s morale from as early as 5 years of age. Read more about “I Love Myself” here.

If you are forced to learn in a way that’s contra-recommended in your Learning Style Report, you can experience stress, burnout, health problems and depression. What is your Learning Style?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Learning Styles Helping Teenagers

· What are the warning signs that your teenager needs help?
· Is your teenager in trouble?
· Are you overreacting?

Teenage years are tricky. They are filled with hormone swings and misunderstandings, with fear and with awe, with too much responsibility and too little freedom. (Or is that “too much freedom and too little responsibility”?)

What teenagers desperately need is:
· acceptance
· a sense of belonging
· communication channels
· being understood
· independence within the framework of loving guidance and support.

When talking to a teenager, make sure you use their individual communication style.
· If they are word-oriented, write them a message and if they are auditory, then talk.
· If they are right-brained, use anecdotes. If they are left-brained, use facts.
· If they are right-brained, start with an overview and the objective. If they are left-brained, start at the beginning.

[Do you know your teenager’s communication style? It’s part of their Learning Style, available through the Learning Style Analysis (LSA) tool.]

Most teenagers can be moody, rude, impossible to talk to and difficult to live with. Experts agree that if your teen grunts good-morning, leaves the house without breakfast and dirty laundry on the floor, bangs the door on the way back in and slouches in silence through dinner... then he or she is a normal teenager who “will grow out of it”.

So when do you start worrying that your “normal teen” is a “troubled teen”?
· When a sociable teen stops socialising and spends a lot of time alone.
· When a teenager who’s usually happy with hos or her company starts socialising excessively, particularly with friends you consider scary.
· When a quiet teen listens to loud music.
· When a loud teen is too quiet.
· In short, when the teen’s behaviour does not reflect their Learning Style.

Living in violation of your Learning Style can lead to stress, burnout, health problems and depression. Do you know your teen’s Learning Style?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Learning Styles and Home Education

Home education, home schooling, home-based learning - whatever you choose to call it, the definition is the same: a parent opting to teach his or her children at home instead of sending them to school. Such a situation is an ideal opportunity to showcase the full benefits of applying learning systems and of respecting children’s learning diversity, because home schooling provides a naturally nurturing environment.

(To find out more about learning styles, please click here.)

The reasons for home schooling may include:
· Parents wanting to be actively involved in educating their children;
· Parents believing the school system not suitable for their particular situation (health, special needs, values);
· No appropriate school available nearby.

While the advantages of home-based education are many, not everybody’s learning style is suitable to learning at home, just like not every student’s learning style is suitable to the classroom environment.
Learning Style elements that you should consider before you embark on home-based education include the following:
· Your child’s need for variety;
· Your child’s social preferences in a learning situation;
· Your child’s need for teacher authority;
· Your child’s attitude towards parent authority;
· Your child’s need for mobility;
· Your child’s environment needs.
· Your child’s sensory input preferences.

To discover your child’s learning style, please start here.

For example, let’s assume that your child has kinesthetic preferences and non-preferences for visual input. Showing a TV documentary on refining sugar to such a child is pointless. The child’s learning style calls for a field trip to a sugar refinery instead, so that the child can learn by doing.

Is your child tactile? If not, asking him or her to create models of geographic landscapes or water molecules is counter-productive.

Does your child prefer a set framework and guidelines from you, or does he/she need to explore the topic on their own, without an imposed structure?

Do you know your child’s learning style?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Learning Styles and Integrated Learning Therapy

Learning Styles are often a solution in themselves:
1. You do the LSA (Learning Style Analysis) assessment.
2. You discover that your child needs a silent environment, a brightly lit room and lots of hands-on projects in order to understand new things.
3. You provide those learning conditions to your child.
4. Your child thrives and their learning achievement surpasses all expectations.

(To find out more about learning styles, please click here.)
Learning Style elements that may influence your child’s academic success at school may include the following:
· a need for mobility
· a need for background noise
· a need to talk to others in order to understand complex things
· a tactile learning style
· a kinesthetic learning style
· a non-preference for teacher authority,
· a non-preference for auditory input
· a non-preference for visual input (particularly text)
· a non-preference for structure and guidance
· and many others.

To discover your child’s learning style, please start here.

There are times, however, when Learning Styles are only the beginning of the journey. Integrated Learning Therapy is an integrated approach to help children with learning challenges such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, Aspergers Syndrome and Autism to reach their potential. It brings together knowledge and practice from various fields, such as include neurophysiology, cognitive psychology, sensory integration and nutrition.

Because their approach considers everything within the child and his/her environment that may be a factor causing learning or behaviour difficulties, the therapist will usually begin with the child’s Learning Style Assessment.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Handwriting and Learning Styles

In the old days, if a child’s handwriting was messy or hard to decipher, the problem was seen as the child's sloppiness or lack of attention to detail. Today, we know that the cause could be one or more of the following:
· undeveloped fine or super-fine motor skills
· vision problems
· behavioural issues
· dysgraphia (inappropriately sized and spaced letters, illegible writing when copying text or when creating their own text, mixture of upper/lower case letters)
· dyspraxia
· non-visual non-tactile learning style.

(Follow this link to find out more about learning styles.)

While most schools teach handwriting in the first few years of primary education, it is often not considered a priority, particularly in today’s world of computers, mobile phones, palm tops, etc. However, there are some who beg to differ. Says a teacher: “Sloppy handwriting is just another symptom of a pervasive disregard in our educational system for matters of form.” Says another: “A doctor’s sloppy handwriting can kill a patient.”

What is your view? Is handwriting important? Please take a few moments of your time to write a comment on this post.

For tips on how to improve your child’s handwriting, have a look here:
· Basic handwriting for kids

For tips how to set up the optimal environment in which to teach your child handwriting or other skills, analyse their learning style here:
· Analyse your child’s learning style

Friday, August 22, 2008

Homework, homework, homework

“Responsibility for Homework: Children's Ideas about Self-Regulation” is a fascinating study into children’s attitudes towards self-motivation and homework. Pamela M. Warton’s research confirms what Learning Styles have known all along: some children are more responsible about doing their homework than others.

In Learning Styles, we look at the following elements of the Learning Style Pyramid to determine the child’s attitude to homework:
· internal versus external motivation (also known as self-starter versus awards-driven)
· responsibility
· persistence
· conformity
· teacher authority (the child’s need to please the teacher)
· parental authority (the child’s need to please the parent).

What Pamela M. Warton discovered, however, was an age-related shift in ideas: from others-regulated in 7-year-old students to self- regulated in 11-year-old students, irrespective of the students’ gender. This confirms that learning style elements such as motivation, responsibility, persistence, conformity and attitude to authority are learnt rather than biological, and that they can change over time.

Do you know your child’s learning style preferences for motivation, responsibility, persistence, conformity and authority? Click here to find out.

Of course, Learning Styles also give you the blueprint for your child’s optimal learning environment and helps you set up the homework area, taking the following needs into consideration:
· the amount of light
· temperature
· background noise
· furniture
· study groups
· structure
· routine
· and others.

What is your child’s optimal study environment? The answer is just a few clicks away.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Learning Styles and Discipline in Class and at Home

Some children seem naturally better behaved than others, and it’s easy to put it down to personality or upbringing. However, research has shown that learning styles have a big impact on a student’s discipline in the classroom as well as in the home environment.

To find out more about learning styles, please click here.

Auditory Learning Style: If the child is not auditory, he will find it hard to listen, be it to the lesson or to the rules. You can help him by having plenty of visual and tactile reminders of the rules or of the study material (lists, models, photos, etc.)

Internally Motivated Learning Style: If the child is internally motivated, she will not be interested in star charts, good grades, chocolates. Withdrawal of privileges as a consequence would not have a positive effect, either. The only way to motivate an internally motivated child is by getting her interested in learning or in obeying the rules.

Nonconformity: Children who have a nonconforming learning style will often challenge rules “because they can” or “to see what happens” or “on principle”. You will have a much better chance of getting them to obey if you ask instead of command and call your rules “suggestions”.

Other learning style elements that will influence discipline include: mobility, parental authority, teacher authority, background noise, external auditory style (the need to talk in order to understand complex things), tactile learning style, kinesthetic learning style.
To discover your learning style, please start here.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Learning Styles and Hearing Loss

I-pods are tiny miracles of modern technology. Teenagers, tweenagers and even younger children use them every day. Recent studies, however, have detected an alarming trend among Generation Y and generation Z: temporary or even permanent damage to their hearing.

If your children have a learning style preference for background noise while they concentrate, or if their learning style is auditory external, they may use their I-pods for longer periods of time than their peers.

Do you know your child’s learning style preferences?

Dr. Patti Huang, an otolaryngologist at The Austin Diagnostic Clinic has this to say about I-pods: “the earbuds preferred by today’s music listeners are even more likely to cause hearing loss than the older muff-type headphones. Since earbuds are placed directly into the ear, they can boost the sound signal by as much as six to nine decibels.”

As soon as they remove the earbuds, music listeners need to re-adjust their hearing to normal conversation levels or to the volume at which a classroom teacher speaks. Typically such an readjustment takes several minutes, provided no damage, temporary or permanent, has taken place.

During the re-adjustment phase, the child will typically not be able to hear very well and may miss your requests or new information. But the news is even worse in case of ear damage.

''When you have temporary damage for a few days such as muffled hearing, that can influence the child's ability to learn in the classroom,'' said Amanda Niskar, a nurse-epidemiologist at the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Particularly if the child’s learning style is auditory, which is an unfortunate irony.

The experts’ advice is simple: lower the volume. It’s not about the generation gap, it’s not about the traditional war between parents and children on the issue of noise: it’s about your children’s health and their learning success.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Concentration Problems and Learning Styles: why we struggle

Many factors may make it hard for us to concentrate:
· Stress,
· Anxiety,
· Fatigue (mental or physical),
· Boredom,
· Depression,
· Unsuitable diet resulting in yo-yo blood sugar levels.

However, the good news is, our unique learning style can actually help us concentrate, provided we know what our learning style preferences are.

(To analyse your learning style, please click here.)

Many elements make up our learning style:
· Our optimal environment (including lighting, temperature, the amount of chaos, etc.);
· Our preference for the size of team in which we work;
· Our need for detail;
· Our need for variety;
· The senses through which we best absorb information;
· ...

Do you concentrate better when under pressure with a deadline looming? Do you think most productively when sitting on the sofa? Can you solve problems best when you’re listening to the hum of the world outside your window? Find out.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Learning Styles and Brain Gender

How does a Learning Style influence the gender of your brain? Or is it the other way round, and the gender influences your Learning Style?

Situation 1
You ask a man for directions. He’s likely to draw you a map. His directions will have the exact number of streets you cross before you turn (“second to the left then third to the right”). His Learning Style is probably analytic and he is good at special orientation.

In contrast, if you ask a woman for directions, she’s more likely to orient you according to landmarks such as the bookstore, the bank and “the big blue canopy”. Her Learning Style is most likely visual and holistic.

(What is your Learning Style? Click here to begin your adventure.)

Situation 2
Imagine a group of three boys of school-going age. One of the boys has a cool toy, much-coveted by them all. What do you think will happen? You’re right: the other two boys will ask for the toy, grab at it, or even chase the boy who has it.

Now imagine the same group, only with three girls, one of whom is holding the toy. Can you guess what the other two girls are going to do? Research reveals that the two girls will punish the holder of the toy by excluding her from their clique, whispering behind her back or even hiding from her.

Both groups are competitive, both groups are hierarchical. Boys, however, rely on physical advantages (for evolution reasons, many males have a kinesthetic Learning Style), while girls form social groups of power (for evolution reasons, many females have a peers-oriented Learning Style).

For more information on Learning Styles, please take a look here.

We all know that males and females often think very differently. The commonly accepted scientific explanation is a mixture of sociological conditioning and the action of adult sex hormones. But in a recent article, New Scientist challenged the assumption that the basic architecture of the brain and its fundamental workings are the same for both sexes:
“Research is revealing that male and female brains are built from markedly different genetic blueprints, which create numerous anatomical differences. There are also differences in the circuitry that wires them up and the chemicals that transmit messages between neurons. All this is pointing towards the conclusion that there is not just one kind of human brain, but two.”

(What is your brain’s gender? Click here to find out.)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Your Child’s Spelling Problems and Learning Styles

If your child is struggling with spelling (particularly in English which is notoriously complex to spell, but also in other languages), it does not mean that they are lazy or a slow learner.

The most likely cause of your child’s lack of progress is their mismatched learning style.

Think about the way your child’s spelling is tested: are they expected to write the word down, or recite it letter by letter? Think about the way your child’s spelling is taught: visually from a book, or by listening to the teacher spell it letter by letter? (Click here for the article “Help, my teacher doesn’t know my learning style”.)

If your child has a non-preference for learning visually, learning spelling by reading words in a book is no good. Similarly, if your child is not auditory, learning letter by letter will not produce results.

(What is your child’s preferred learning style?)

Other potential causes of poor spelling include:

· Dysgraphia (a difficulty writing coherently, if at all, regardless of ability to read, unusual pencil grip),
· Dyslexia (especially if the child has good ideas for writing but a poor ability to write them down).

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Your Creative Child (and her Learning Style)

Jessica is a lovely girl with an active imagination. Her drawings are superb and she has a gift of story telling. However, she needs to work on paying attention in class and keeping to the task at hand, as she’s easily distracted and hardly ever finishes her work.

Does your son or daughter’s school report card read something like that? Then you have a creative child on your hands.

Creative children typically have a highly holistic learning style, characterised by the following:
· thinking outside the box
· daydreaming
· ability to do several things at once
· lack of concern for details in favour of the big idea
· trouble with time limits and deadlines.

(To analyse your child’s learning style, please have a look at

Because most schools are geared towards children whose learning style is analytic (and thus quite the reverse of a holistic style), your creative child might struggle to flourish in the traditional education system. If not properly stimulated and rewarded, a creative child might lose interest in schoolwork and, in time, become withdrawn or rebellious.

Does your child’s learning style stand in the way of academic success? Here’s how you can help.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Stress, Burnout and Multitasking

Stress, Burnout and Multitasking

“There is time enough for everything in the course of the day, if you do but one thing at once, but there is not time enough in the year, if you will do two things at a time.”

That’s what Lord Chesterfield thought about multitasking almost 300 years ago. Do his words contain age-old wisdom, or are they hopelessly outdated in our world of uber-technology?

In 2005, a research study conducted by the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London, reported that, “Workers distracted by e-mail and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers.”

I only have one question: did the designers of the research study check the participants’ working style (in particular, whether their preference for information processing was simultaneous or sequential)? At a guess, they did not, or the result would have looked totally different.

(To find out whether you are a simultaneous information processor who thrives on multitasking, or a sequential information processor who does not, please have a look at

So why is that important? In simple terms, we cannot measure all people with the same yardstick, nor should you compare apples and pears. To say that multitasking is bad for a person’s productivity is like saying that everybody should wear shoe size 11 because that’s the most comfortable shoe size around.

Yes, it’s true that, for some people, multitasking leads to stress and burnout.

It’s equally true that, for some people, concentrating on a single task results in boredom, creativity block and poor productivity.

Our Working Style Analysis tools can help you determine your optimal working conditions. Do you know whether multitasking is good for you? Do you know whether the light at your office makes you lethargic or irritable? Do you know your working style? If not, here’s how to find out.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Reading problems: why children struggle

Many factors may make the task of learning to read difficult for children:
· Learning to read a language that’s not phonetic (e.g., English).
· Learning to read in a second language.
· Home culture not seeing books or stories as a priority.
· Child not interested in the books they have access to (most boys prefer non-fiction, while most girls prefer fiction - especially if it involves ponies and fairies).
· Parents unaware of the importance of playing word games with their children.
· Dyslexia.
· Dyspraxia.
· Your child’s learning style not being compatible with the teaching methods at their school.

(To analyse your child’s learning style, please have a look at

When you find out that your child’s reading progress is below expectation, the first step is to find out which area seems to be the challenge:
· Letter recognition.
· Word recognition.
· Reading out loud.
· Reading comprehension.
· Dictation (writing a word you hear).

If your child is highly visual, for example, chances are, their letter recognition may be good. But if they are tactile, they may need to learn the shape of letters by tracing them in the sand.

Children who are auditory may prefer to spell words out loud rather than write them down.

Children who have difficulty following a story line may be dyslexic, but they may also be highly holistic.

Do you know your child’s learning style? If not, here’s how to find out.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Learning Styles and the Art of Listening

· Understanding
· Affirmation
· Validation
· Appreciation
· Job well done
are only some of the benefits of listening effectively.

In addition, listening - when done right - creates an atmosphere of love, trust and respect.

Although the traditional image of a good listener is somebody who looks at you and sits still except for nodding encouragingly, it is not an image of somebody who is necessarily taking in information.

Everybody has their own unique listening style. You yourself may listen best while playing with your pen, or staring at the floor, or bustling around the room, or even lying back in the chair with your eyes closed (try to explain that one to your boss without a printout of your Working Style Analysis report). You may prefer to know the conclusion before you want to hear the details of the process. Even the amount of light in the room may affect the success of your listening endeavours.

(Does your listening style have a preference for fiddling or pacing? Click here to find out.)

When listening, it’s often best to utilise as many senses as possible: use the ears to hear the message, the eyes to read body language, imagination to visualise the message, intuition to determine what the speaker is actually saying and the mouth to repeat it all back to make sure you’ve understood correctly.

Happy listening!

To analyse your communications style, have a look here.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Learning Styles in “Fight or Flight” Mode

Fact 1:
Some Learning Style elements are biological, others are shaped throughout our lives.

Fact 2:
Sometimes circumstances force us to bend our natural Learning Style to suit our situation, particularly in an area where we have a natural flexibility or adaptability. (If you haven’t had your Learning Style professionally assessed, you may assume that you are analytic, for example, whereas your real style is more holistic by nature.)

Fact 3:
When we are under severe stress, or exhausted, or unwell, or under the influence of even moderate amounts of alcohol - in other words, when we are in a “fight or flight” situation - our Learning Style tends to revert back to our inherent mode of information-intake.

What can cause such levels of stress?
· Driving in traffic.
· Working night shifts when you are not a night person.
· Changing jobs.
· Moving to another city or country.
· Becoming a parent.
· Having a permanently stressful job (CEO, fire fighter, policeman).

Can you remember the last time you had your learning or working style assessed? Were you in a stressful or a relaxing phase of your life? Was it different to your situation today?

It may be worth your while to do the assessment again.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Do Your Homework in Style

Why does my child refuse to do homework?
Most parents battle with the issue of homework. Children, especially holistic children, need to know why they have to do homework. What’s the benefit of repeating something at home that you’ve just done in class? How does homework fit into the overall scheme things?

Analytic children probably aren’t as interested in the big picture and why they should learn at home. If they refuse to do homework, it’s probably because the task at hand seems too big, they don’t know where to begin and have trouble breaking it into manageable details. Help them organise the work into step-by-step portions and sub-tasks. Create a list of all the things that have to be done that day and let the child tick them off as they go along.

Why is homework important?
Homework reinforces skills that have been taught at school. It also gives teachers a chance to monitor the students’ progress. If set up properly, homework can also be a great way to learn how to work independently.

Where’s the ideal place to do homework?
That depends on the child’s unique learning style. Some children need bright light, others dim light. Some like doing homework at the desk, while others prefer a more informal setting with soft cushions, or lie on the floor, or stretched out on their bed. Some children like studying in a quiet area, but others need background hum for better concentration.

Experts suggest to have a homework routine: a specific time and place set aside each day for doing homework - that way you avoid having arguments, because children know it’s 4.30 pm and therefore time to work. Is that a good idea?
Routine works well for some kids, but not for others. Please check your children’s LSA results before you decide on this blanket approach.

Setting a specific time for doing homework works well if you can tailor it to your children’s “time of day” preference based on their LSA results, but you have to be realistic about what you have available: if your child’s preference is for early morning learning, this will usually clash with the school’s timetable during the week, and you might not want to pile every weekend morning with homework!If your child has a strong preference for morning learning, and a strong non-preference for afternoon and evening learning, you might have to discuss this with the teacher. Show them the child’s LSA report and ask how you can work together to combat the homework blues by matching other important learning needs.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Are you an owl or a lark? It's in your Learning Style...

Sandra is employed by a small marketing company. On weekends, she reads novels until two o'clock every the morning - then sleeps till lunchtime the next day. That is her natural rhythm, something she feels comfortable with. On Mondays, however, she has to get up before seven to attend weekly meetings at the office.
“My boss is so clearly a morning person, it hurts,” she complains. “He arrives at work at eight-thirty every Monday morning, fresh and energetic. My two colleagues await him bight-eyed, bushy-tailed and full of creativity. And all I can do is gulp my coffee, mug after mug, stifle the yawns and think that if the early bird gets the worm, then it’s also the early worm that gets caught.”
It’s not that Sandra is not stimulated by her work. “My job is my passion,” she says. The time of day is well after dinner, so it’s not surprising that her face is glowing when she tells me about her new ideas for this year’s brochures and the new cold marketing approach she’s planning. “But is it my fault that the best ideas come to me around midnight? When the house is dark and quiet, and the children fast asleep, that’s when I really enjoy playing around with colour and layout.”
There are many factors that may influence our concentration. Time of day is only one of the many elements that comprise our learning style and affect our work. Others include:
- noise
- level of details
- structure
- and many others.

What would make you work or learn better? Find out today.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Analytic and Holistic Learning Styles

Analytic students with a left-brain processing style learn very differently from the way students with a right-brain processing style tend to learn. Analytics learn sequentially, building details into the understanding and often prefer a quiet learning environment, bright light, formal seating arrangements and tend to continue their tasks until they have been completed. This makes them generally more successful in traditional school systems which are based on analytical, logical, academic teaching approaches.

Holistic/global students however, have a right-brain dominant, more feeling-based thinking style, learn holistically and compared to analytics often 'backwards'. They need the big picture, an overview first and once they understand the concept then they are able to concentrate on details. They prefer learning with what most teachers would describe as distractions: music, conversation, soft illumination, informal seating, snacks, social interaction and with lots of mobility. In addition, holistics often are not persistent, it is not their way to focus on one thing until they reach understanding - they function much more like a 'scatterbrain'. Only if something makes sense to
them, can they concentrate on details. They also may get easily bored and need frequent breaks. Usually they return to their assignment, work on it for a short period of time and then need another break. In addition, holistics don't like working on one thing at a time; instead, they prefer to work on multiple tasks simultaneously and enjoy them most when permitted to choose their own sequence and the time frame.

The younger children are, the more right-brain dominant they are; therefore they need more holistic, right-brain teaching methods because their analytical brain-processing skills are not yet developed and in many people (research estimates approximately two thirds of the Western population) holistic brain-processing remains the preferred thinking style throughout life. Most people have learned to analyse and can apply analytical thinking processes if they have to, but this makes learning harder and information storage much more difficult for them.

However, if a school system, which is based on analytical teaching methods, forces young people to do all their learning analytically (as this is the preferred teaching style, especially in academic subjects in most of our high schools) the result is that such a system sets up students for failure - especially those whose information-processing style is strongly holistic, as seems to be the case with many teenage boys and native people in many countries.

Another factor which contributes to the mismatch between teaching and learning styles is the well researched fact that teachers are strongly analytical in their approaches, more so in high schools than in primary schools (and even more in tertiary education) and cannot imagine that their specific subject area could be studied and presented holistically, in a more right-brain way. It is just not in their thinking! Such teachers also seem to have great difficulties in accepting that there is more than one way to learn anything, because due to their own sequential thinking processes, analytics believe 'their' way is the best and the only one.

And that false belief causes holistic students to fail, mainly in analytical subjects such as mathematics, science, economics, etc, which causes boredom and frustration, has a negative effect on their overall performance, and seems to be the main reason for behaviour and learning problems, which then lead to the above mentioned social problems among young adolescents.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Do you know a Mother?

This is what mothers say they want for Mother’s Day:
· a sleep-in
· breakfast in bed
· a hand-made card
· a bouquet of flowers from the garden
· a night off from cooking
· lots of kisses and cuddles
· an hour of me-time.

This is what mothers really want for Mother’s Day:
· health for the whole family
· happiness for the children
· success for the children
· ability to communicate with the children (in a language other than Grunt).

We have amazing news for you here at Prashnig Style Solutions: with Learning Style Analysis (LSA), a mother can begin the journey towards her child’s success at school and communication at home.

So here is our Special Offer for Mother’s Day: contact our office to tell us what you want to buy, mention this offer and receive 30% discount on an LSA product of your choice.

(You will also go into a draw for a complimentary box of chocolates.)

Friday, May 02, 2008

Multiple Intelligences, Lateral Thinking, Learning Styles

· How do multiple intelligences relate to Learning Styles?
· Is one Learning Style ‘nature smart’ while another may be ‘music smart’?
· What information processing style finds lateral thinking natural?

To answer these questions, we’d best define the concepts of multiple intelligences and lateral thinking.

(For a definition of a learning style, please click here.)

Intelligence is our ability to understand the world around us. Some of us are better at understanding numbers, some know how to win friends (and influence people), others learn cartwheels by simply watching people do cartwheels. Following this reasoning, Howard Gardner identified 8 types of intelligences:
· Linguistic
· Mathematical
· Spatial (pictures)
· Kinesthetic
· Musical
· Interpersonal
· Intrapersonal (about oneself)
· Naturalist

There is a strong statistical correlation between having a kinesthetic component of your learning style and having a kinesthetic intelligence. A similar correlation exists between an externally visual learning style and a special intelligence. A musical intelligence, however, relies on a number of factors, and no single element of your learning style can predict it.

(What is your Learning Style? Click here to find out.)

It is tempting to attempt a similar correlation between a thinker with simultaneous information processing and lateral thinking. However, it is not as simple as that.
Edward de Bono’s definition of lateral thinking makes it clear that it’s all about changing the direction of your thinking: “With logic you start out with certain ingredients just as in playing chess you start out with given pieces. Lateral thinking is concerned not with playing with the existing pieces but with seeking to change them.”
So, while there is a component of thinking outside the box, there is also a component of wanting a change, as well as a degree of nonconformity to rules.
Can your Learning Style predict whether you’d make a good lateral thinker? Email us to find out (quote your user name so that we can find your learning style report).

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Is your learning style afraid of success?

Are you afraid of success? What a silly question. Everybody wants to succeed - or do they?

Most of us fail a lot more often than we succeed, so we are used to failure. It may be disappointing, it may even hurt, but it’s something we’ve got to know over the years.

Success, on the other hand, plucks us right out of our comfort zone. If one of our dreams materialises, we venture into the unknown. If we get that promotion we crave, we will get a new office and have to learn a new set of skills. If we buy a bigger house, we’ll have to move to a new neighbourhood. If we become successful, we may lose a few friends along the way. Change, change, change.

(Does your learning style have a preference for change or for routine? Click here to find out.)

Failure feels familiar. Success sounds scary.

And that’s not only on a psychological level. The latest research reveals that - on a physic level - we also crave what we know. Our brain gets addicted to the chemicals produced by the known, so if we are used to trying and failing, our brain will get hooked on the cocktail of failure.

This is especially true of people whose learning style needs stability and a low level of variety in order to function best. If such a person is thrown into the changes associated with even the happiest change (success, realisation of dreams), they will experience nervousness, stress and discomfort.

Part of the solution is to understand the problem. If you realise that fear is just part of the journey towards success for you, you will be able to deal with it better.

To analyse your learning style in the work environment, particularly your attitude to changes, have a look at this free online demo.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Public Speaking in Style

Does the thought of speaking in public make your heart sink into your stomach? If so, you're not alone. Many people are petrified of presenting their ideas in front of an audience, no matter what their learning style.

To discover your learning style, click here.

Fortunately, many public speaking techniques are available for you:
· use props,
· make eye contact with the audience,
· speak slowly,
· articulate well,
· move about with purpose (not nervously),
· use your hands to emphasise your point,
· breathe with the diaphragm,
· focus on someone in the back of the room (the audience won’t know),
· pretend you're a professional on TV to feel extra confident,
· write the way you talk, in other words, write your speech to be heard, not as text to be read with the eyes: use shorter, less formal sentences,
· have a great opening and closing.

However, it also pays to keep your own learning style in mind when making a presentation:
· If you are tactile, include props that you can touch during your speech.
· If you are kinesthetic, act out what you’re saying and gesticulate.
· If you need mobility, walk or move your body without distracting the audience.
· If you need intake, have a glass of water ready and take small sips between the major points of your presentation.
· If you are visual, by all means include lots of visual material to act as a prompt and a confidence booster to you, but bear in mind that not everybody in your audience is visual and therefore may not benefit from your visuals much, so plan the content of your presentation to be as multi-sensory as possible – it will truly reach your audience.
· If you like learning in a group, the local Toastmasters club may be for you.

To discover your learning style, click here.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Classroom Management - Make Your Classroom Perfect

Imagine if you could turn your classroom into a place of order, fun and learning....

Sounds too good to be true? How about achieving it all in just 4 easy steps?

Step 1: Light
· Did you know that some students’ brains thrive in bright light, while others get over-stimulated, hyperactive and stressed? Create “dim” areas in your classroom to calm down those students who find bright light too distracting. Using naturally darker corners, block light with filing cabinets or bookshelves, make a “cave” under one of the tables, or allow pupils to wear sunglasses indoors.
· Did you know that some brains switch off and go to sleep in darker rooms? Create an area full of light close to the window or another source of light, using desk lamps if necessary during the darker seasons.

Step 2: Noise
· Most children love making a noise, but some of them really need a background hum in order to concentrate. It could be as simple as a noisy computer fan, or quiet classical music, or the drone of voices reading out loud. Let the children investigate which areas of the classroom are noisier than others and brainstorm how to increase the hum without increasing the decibels.
· There will always be children in your class who need silence in order to concentrate best. Let them sit in the quiet areas, possibly with earplugs or silent earphones. (Resist the temptation to use the earplugs yourself!)

To find out more about how your students learn, please have a look here.

Step 3: Work structure
· There are those who like to work alone and get all the credit, and those who learn better with their friends around. While it’s important in life to be able to work independently as well as know how to belong to a team, if you cater to your students’ preferences half of the time, you will end up with happy children who understand the material.
· Some students like to work within a framework, others prefer a free hand. Humour them and they’ll behave... they will also achieve better results.

Step 4: Motivation
· Offering a reward (a good grade, a field trip, a sticker) or a consequence of non-complying works for most children...
· ... however, some individuals are not externally motivated and get annoyed by the carrot-stick approach.

Analyse your students today, create a free group profile and find out how to transform the classroom - here is that link again.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Know your working style - know yourself

If you’ve watched or read “The Secret”, you will remember that one of the insights it imparts is the importance of loving yourself and treating yourself as number one from time to time. There is nothing selfish about paying attention to your own wellbeing. Feeling good about yourself enables you to give love to others.

Getting to know your working style will help you achieve the following:
· success at work
· harmony at home
· personal health

Getting to know your working style will make you appreciate yourself on a new level.

Getting to know your working style will change your life.

Says one of the Creative Learning clients: “I've been studying myself for decades and I still want to learn more.”

You are a fascinating individual. Find out how fascinating by clicking here.

*** Know yourself *** Love yourself ***
***Fill the well so that you can give to others***

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Your Learning Tools for Life

What would you do if you could learn anything in the world?

· Would you learn a new language?
· Would you go back to school to get a qualification?
· Would you learn how to program computers?

Checking your own unique Working Style Analysis (WSA), available from Creative Learning Systems and Prashnig Style Solutions, will give you the power to change. It will give you the confidence in your ability and all the practical tricks you need to turn you into a successful learner.

Your report will discuss:
· The 4 aspects of your environment that you can change to improve your brainpower.
· The 3 physical requirements you need to satisfy for your mind to function optimally.
· The 6 attitudes that can help you or hold you back.
· The best composition of your study group or project team.
· The best way for you to receive instructions and information.

Learning is 50% frame of mind and 50% technique. Everybody can learn if they have the right mindset and know a few simple guidelines suitable to their unique style of obtaining knowledge.

Let us walk you through your recipe for success.

LSA and WSA: your learning tools for life.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Learning Styles and Homework Myths

(To analyse your child’s learning style, have a look at this free online demo.)

Myth 1: Don't agree to having the TV or music playing while your child is doing his or her homework. It's nothing but distracting and teaches a habit that will be hard to break.

Truth 1: Research shows that many students think and remember best when studying with background music. Furthermore, 20% of an elementary population in a research study scored significantly higher when reading in a noisy environment.

Myth 2: Use folders, small boxes, manila folders or other types of stationery for storing school work, both past and present. This will teach a life long habit that makes achieving set goals so much easier.

Truth 2: Yes, being organised is a wonderful habit to have. However, a child whose information processing is global, will feel distressed or even threatened by a neat work area. Such children draw comfort from a less tidy and less structured homework environment and will find it impossible to function at an organised desk. And, speaking of desks....

Myth 3: Children learn best when sitting upright at a desk.

Truth 3: Sitting upright on a firm chair puts most of your weight on a very small part of your body. Many children (and adults) find it distracting to maintain such a body position for any length of time. Speaking from a learning style point of view, many learners need to sit in a less formal environment (floor, bed, sofa) in order to concentrate better, or concentrate at all. Which leads us to sitting....

Myth 4: Students who do not sit still are not ready to learn.
Truth 4: Many students need mobility when they learn because of their learning style requirements. An American study revealed that half of one school’s seven grade students needed extensive mobility while learning. When they were allowed to move from one instructional area to another while learning new information, they achieved statistically better than when they had to remain seated. Most students who are actively involved are likely to learn more, pay closer attention, and achieve higher test marks.

Myth 5: Students learn best in well-lit areas and damage their eyes when they read and work in low light.

Truth 5: Research shows that many students perform significantly better in low light environments, because bright light makes them restless, fidgety and hyperactive. Low light calms these youngsters down and helps them relax and think clearly. The younger children are, the less light they seem to need! They only need that amount of light for reading in which they feel comfortable, but their need for light seems to increase every five years.

(Does your child need bright light to do her homework? Find out here.)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Magic of Learning Styles

Maggie is a wonderful 10-year old girl. She is bright, good at sports (athletics and basketball), plays the trumpet in the school band and has a talent for creating little animals from play dough. Sadly, Maggie is unable to study in traditional academic ways.

No, there is nothing wrong with her: she’s not physically handicapped in any way. She is not dyslexic and she doesn’t have ADHD.

So what is it that’s preventing Maggie from achieving academic progress at school? In a word (make that two words) it’s her Learning Style. Her learning style is not compatible with the way her school (and most schools world-wide) teaches academic subjects.

In traditional schools, teachers make use of the blackboard (or the whiteboard). They talk and the children are supposed to sit up straight and listen. Which is a perfectly valid method of teaching and it works for all those who absorb information through their eyes and ears, and who concentrate best when sitting up straight.

But what about those who, like Maggie, absorb information through their hands and body actions, and who concentrate best in an informal setting? Well, such students become bored and frustrated. Although academically intelligent, they don’t perform well in academic subjects. Left without help, they get used to failure. Their confidence plummets and they start believing that they are “not good” at school work, or “not clever”.

Fortunately for Maggie, he teachers are aware of her learning style and they customise their lessons to accommodate her... as well as the 16 other pupils in Maggie’s class whose learning styles diverge from the traditional.

Do you know a child like Maggie?

(To analyse your child’s learning style, have a look at this free online demo.)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Learning Styles and Creative Learning Tools

The learning tools your child needs will depend on their individual Learning Style. If they are highly auditory, their favourite learning tool will probably be a tape recorder or iPod. A visual learner, on the other hand, will like to have lots of colourful pens, pictures and educational videos.

The learning tool described below is an invaluable aid for tactile learners in particular. It makes difficult content easy to remember. It is fun and easy to make, and we encourage you to try it out in order to enhance your child’s blended learning experience… unless your child a non-preference for visual/tactile learning.

Making a Wrap-Around
1. Using thick cardboard (about A4 size), cut out a rectangular shape and then cut an equal number of notches down the long sides. Pierce a hole on the top right side of the cardboard and cut a slit in the centre of the bottom side.
2. On the left side of the cardboard sheet, write down the questions. On the right, write the answers in random order. (See Fig.1)
3. Take a length of string. Thread it through the top hole and secure it with a knot.
4. Starting at the top left hand question, wrap the string to the correct answer on the right. Then wrap the string behind the cardboard to the second question on the left and continue until all the questions have been answered.
5. Secure the string in the slit at the bottom of the board. While the string is in place, mark its path on the reverse of the cardboard (see Fig.2).
6. Your tool is now ready to use.

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

Thursday, February 28, 2008

How to deal with an exam that does not suit your learning style?

If your child has strong analytic preferences, how do you help her prepare for essay-type questions? Analytic children like facts and find it difficult to answer open-ended questions, particularly those that seek opinions and generalisations. Here are a few tips to help them cope:
· Read each question and identify which part or parts of the syllabus it can possibly refer to. For example, if they encounter a question like: “Do you think that a virus has good survival skills?”, teach them to ignore the potentially nonsensical notion of a virus having skills. Instead, ask them to concentrate on what the teacher actually wanted to know: something about rapid mutation, perhaps, or a hardy shell protecting the virus interior?
· When writing an essay-type answer, take a scrap sheet and jot down as many facts as you can remember. Now write a sentence for every one of those facts - that is your essay.
· If the question asks for your opinion, for example, was Hamlet really insane or was he just acting, again write down all the facts “for” and “against” the theory that he was insane. Can you make a decision? If you can, write your essay with that decision in mind. If you cannot, present a balanced argument and then end with something non-committal, like: “The jury is still out on that one”.

If your child has strong holistic preferences, she will not enjoy concentrating on details. Holistic children don’t like exam questions that ask to list facts, tabulate differences or fill in missing words. Some tips to help them cope:
· Learn the material by focussing on the big picture first, that way the facts will slot in more easily.
· Practice for the exam by identifying the facts and highlighting the important words (dates, names). Then cut out bits of cardboard to cover up the important words (you can stick them on with Prestik) and try to fill in the blanks.
· Remember that the purpose of the exam is to help you gain the knowledge you need.

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

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Learning Styles and Tests

If you are familiar with the concept of learning styles, you will realise that your child’s learning style will have an impact on the type of classroom test that your child prefers.

· Analytic children generally prefer questions that require factual detailed answers, typically in the form of “True/False” or Fill-the-missing-word or List 5 differences between a snail and a frog.
· Holistic children may do better in essay-type tests and more open-ended questions.
· Impulsive children will like multiple-choice type tests.
· Visual children will enjoy tests with lots of pictures: label this diagram, draw a cross-section of a plant cell, etc.

Of course, your child’s very attitude to tests will also depend on her unique learning style. If she is a holistic learner, she will need to understand the purpose of the test. Tell her tests are important to monitor learning progress and to show how well the teacher is doing his job.

Holistic children may also get more stressed in test situations. Try to remove as much of the stress as possible: ask the teacher to let them take the test in their preferred environment (based on their LSA results). Give your child a test at home every day for a month and then the test it won’t feel “special”, so the stress factor will be reduced. Removing the time factor (i.e., not letting them feel that there is a strict deadline for finishing the test) may make them perform better as well.

What motivates your child: external recognition (i.e., doing well in the test) or the internal knowledge that she understands and knows the material?

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


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Beware of unverified personality tests on the Internet

Personality tests are fun. Who can resist discovering your perfect career match, or what your colour preference says about your temperament, or why your current Mr Right is really right for you?

Open (almost) any magazine or run an Internet search, and there you have them:
· Are you a workaholic?
· How do you handle stress?
· Are you a good boss?
· The bear and your attitude to everyday problems.
· What the contents of your fridge says about you...

The tests range from learning styles and handwriting to analysing the shape of your lipstick. They are fun. But are they accurate and should you follow their advice when it comes to choosing the right job or the right life partner?

Over the last week, I’ve taken thirteen free online personality tests, each time giving honest answers. This is what I discovered:
· I am a gregarious person who loves people.
· I’m a loner.
· I’m emotional.
· I think analytically.
· I am practical.
· I’m a dreamer.
· I am a happy settled person who knows what she wants.
· I should be a novelist, a graphic designer, a historian and a university professor.
· My Mr Right is a faceless somebody on Facebook. If I’m to believe his online profile, he lives on another continent, and is married with children.

Most of it was as amusing as it was entertaining. But the pedantic side of me flared up when I specifically said in one online quiz that I prefer working in a group and that I like to be in the centre of the action, and yet the results said: "You like to avoid attention at all costs. You tend to keep to yourself, and not interact much with the people around you."

That quiz was supposed to help me choose the career most suited to my personality, and yet it contained a glaring error. I sincerely hope that nobody makes a wrong choice based on advice received from that specific test.

(For a list of questions to consider before you choose a learning style analysis or a career guidance test, please click here.)

Friday, February 08, 2008

Learning Styles and Information Processing

"Impatience in search and navigation, and zero tolerance for any delay in satisfying their information needs" - does that sound like anybody you know?

University College London recently conducted a study into how people process information. The study focussed on those born after the arrival of the Internet, and it concluded that “the Google generation”, although skilled at finding information on the Internet, doesn’t know how to process the results.

On the plus side, they seem to be able to handle more inputs of information at once than the older generation. They can type an email while watching a movie and conducting three online chats. But is that true multitasking, or has the Google generation learnt how to tune out?

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

If your learning style is that of a simultaneous multi-processor of information, you will have no trouble multitasking in our highly multitask-oriented society. If you think sequentially, however, today’s multitasking work environment will most likely make you stressed and ultimately burnt out.

Whether the Internet will make you more productive, or whether you will lose your focus and simply surf for hours without a goal, also depends on your learning style.

(To analyse your learning style, have a look at this free online demo.)

One thing is certain, however: today’s regular availability of information will have an impact on the amount of information people get exposed to and ultimately retain. And at least using the Internet is less passive than watching TV.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Teaching Styles, Learning Styles and Staff Retention

Think back to the most memorable teacher you’ve ever had, be it your favourite, your least favourite, or the quirkiest one.
· Did they require absolute order and silence in class, or did they stand in the doorway and shout “Hello world!” at the top of their voice? (One of mine did.)
· Did they stick to the textbook or act like the teacher from “Dead poet society”?
· Did they give you the details or the overview?
· Did they march around the room with you pretending to start the French revolution?
· Did they encourage projects such as mini-plays, craft or group work to help put the new concepts across?
· Were the tests that they set up traditional or eccentric?
· Were their classrooms decorated with learning tools and visual prompts?

Every teacher has their unique teaching style: the way in which they explain new and difficult problems. But chances are, the teachers that you love and remember best are the ones who can expand their teaching style beyond the traditional and the expected.

(To analyse your own teaching style and improve your job satisfaction, have a look at this free online demo.)

Many schools find it difficult to employ or retain good teachers. Could it be that teachers find their teaching style mismatched to the school’s expectations? Or are teachers simply disillusioned by the lack of discipline and the hate of learning displayed by the new generation of students?

Most discipline issues can be solved by reaching the students through understanding and appreciation of their unique learning needs. To find out more about the topic, please email info @

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Learning Styles and School Discipline

Many otherwise successful countries (USA, Great Britain, New Zealand) are struggling with educating their children. That’s despite access to fabulous resources such as free schooling, the latest computer technologies, free libraries, learning tools and experienced teachers.


According to teachers who worked both in developing and in developed countries, it’s all a matter of the environment’s attitude to education. People in Korea or Thailand, just to name a few, have a lot of respect for the school system, and teachers are respected as “the other set of parents away from home”. Education is expensive there, with at least a third of the family’s income being swallowed by schooling costs, and children are appropriately mindful not to waste the hard-earned opportunity they are given.

In contrast, children in developed countries often assume it’s their right not only to have a wonderful free school nearby, but also to get educated by osmosis and without the least bit of effort on their part. If they fail, it’s the teachers’ fault for not teaching well, or the parents’ fault for not choosing the right school, or the school’s fault for... the excuses just get more creative. The result is lack of academic progress and slack discipline at school (see the news box about new measures schools are forced to adopt).

It's time we stopped passing the blame. We are blessed and privileged to have brilliant education assets at our disposal, and all we need to do is change our attitude to learning.

Learning should not be a chore.

Learning should be fun!

The human brain wants to learn: it evolved (or was designed, whichever theory you wish to follow) that way. All you need to do, is get the children’s attitude right, their learning environment optimal to their unique learning style needs and learning tools suitable to multi-sensory stimulation. If you look at the elements in the Learning Style Pyramid, you will see that Motivation, Responsibility, Conformity and Persistence are some of the Attitudes that determine a child’s success at school and their individual learning style.

Your child’s learning style is the way
in which they understand
and remember new concepts.

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

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Learning Styles and Raising Smart Children

Your child’s learning style is the way in which they understand and remember new concepts.

In November 2007, an article in the Scientific American claimed they’d cracked the secret of raising smart children (

All you need, it seems, is to NOT praise your children’s intelligence.

Praise their diligence and hard work instead.

The reasoning is simple: there is very little a child can do to improve their inborn intelligence, however, there is something they can do about the amount of effort and enthusiasm they put into their learning.

Furthermore, if a child believes their lack of success at school is due to their lack of brainpower, they will get de-motivated. On the other hand, if a child believes their lack of success at school is due to their lack of conscientiousness, they will probably try harder next time.

So how does that tie in with Learning Styles?

If you look at the various elements in the Learning Style Pyramid, you will see that Motivation and Persistence are two of the Attitudes that determine a child’s individual learning style.

If you child has a need for being externally motivated, they will thrive on praise and external rewards.

If your child’s persistence is fluctuating or low, you will need to address the reasons: do they believe schoolwork is too hard, do they think they are not intelligent enough, or is it that they don’t see the point of seeing a task through?

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

Thursday, January 10, 2008

WHAT TEACHERS MAKE - A learning story

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, "What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher? Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach."

To stress his point, he said to another guest: "You're a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest. What do you make?"

Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied,
"You want to know what I make?
· Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
· I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honour.
· I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can't make them sit for 5 without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental.
You want to know what I make?
· I make kids wonder.
· I make them question.
· I make them apologize and mean it.
· I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.
· I teach them to write and then I make them write. Keyboarding isn't everything.
· I make them read, read, read.
· I make them show all their work in math. They use their God given brain, not the man-made calculator.
· I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know in English while preserving their unique cultural identity.
· I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.
· I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life.
· Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing money isn't everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant...

You want to know what I make? I MAKE A DIFFERENCE. What do you make Mr. CEO?"

Here, at Prashnig Style Solutions, we believe we also make a difference with our learning style analysis. We make a difference:
· to teachers
· to parents
· to the students of today
· who will become the world tomorrow.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Learning Style Analysis - Spotlight on the MINI

Learning Style Analysis Junior MINI (or LSA MINI) is one of our products designed to assess the learning styles of children as young as 5 years of age.

Of course, in many countries children don’t learn to read until they are 6 or 7 (even later if they follow the Rudolf Steiner schooling system). So how can they do the LSA MINI questionnaire?

· The most obvious solution is for the parent to read it out to their child, or for the teacher to read it out to the class one question at a time, and taking a break after every three to five questions.
· An idea that might appeal to a child’s sense of wonder is for the computer to read the questionnaire out loud (using the free speech functionality of Windows XP or Vista).
· The parent may elect to answer the questionnaire themselves, putting themselves in their child’s shoes and using the knowledge they have of their child’s behaviour patters and interests.

The LSA MINI is also a great tool for older children whose concentration span is short, children who are learning-different, and people of all ages whose command of English is more suitable to shorter, simpler phrases (please check our website to find out whether we’ve already translated our products into your home language).

What happens once all the questions have been answered? The results of the questionnaire are processed algorithmically into three comprehensive reports (one for the student, one for the parent, one for the teacher), with summaries, graphs, pictures and detailed text, including information about the child’s predisposition towards computer technology, Internet safety, giftedness and underachieving. Take a look at this free online demo of LSA MINI.

What’s to come in 2008: all our LSA Parent reports will include important facts about learning styles and ADHD, learning styles and obesity, learning styles and smoking, learning styles and computer misdemeanours, learning styles and bullying. We are committed to a better learning future for all and we believe that early knowledge equals prevention.

Happy New Year, everybody!