8.14.2013

Learning Styles Realization

I've been researching learning styles lately, and the many different theories about them. I've been trying to figure out how Mason learns best, because I've been feeling like he doesn't always get what I teach him. For the longest time, I thought he was equal parts an auditory, kinesthetic, and visual learner, because he fits the descriptions for each of them. It wasn't until I did some deeper research, that I saw how wrong I was. I wanted extra assurance, so I even had us both take a few different learning style assessments, which all told me the same thing I had to come to realize:

Mason is an auditory learner. A hugely auditory learner. The other two categories aren't even on the map with him.

...which is hard, because I am not an auditory learner at all. Tell me something, and I'll forget it two seconds later; no exaggeration. SHOW me something? And I'll always remember it. I am a huge visual learner--a little kinesthetic as well, but mostly visual. Posters, pictures, bright colors, demonstrations--these are my educational food. If I see it, I'll remember it. I'll call that visual back into my mind when I need it (which is why I test really well, even when I haven't studied).

So...I've been teaching Mason the wrong way. So far, I've been teaching him in the way that I learn best: using lots of pictures and displays. This made perfect sense to me...until this week, when I learned that that is NOT how Mason learns. He needs to HEAR the information, and looking back, I should have known this.

Evidence:

  • His asking for clarification on instructions that are clearly shown in pictures
  • His need for textbook definitions of everyday words (instead of the definitions in layman's terms that I prefer to give)
  • His need for every family picture to be expanded upon with voiced descriptions of what went on at the time they were taken
  • His constant need to interrupt a lesson or a book to ask for more SPOKEN detail
  • His ability to recall random conversations he's had with people, word for word
  • His ability to recall what happened in books I read to him ages ago
  • His love of music
  • His ability to remember any information put to music (ask him what my number is, and he'll tell you...in song)

I cannot believe I missed all of that.

As a result, I can feel the change in plans coming along. I haven't solidified anything yet, because I want to do some more research on this baffling thing called auditory learning (you auditory learners can really understand information that is just spoken to you???). But I sense Mason's future will be full of tape recorders, chants, and songs à la Safety Kids.

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