Your teen is unique, and so is how they learn. Kids learn in loads of different ways but classroom teaching can only offer a ‘one-size-fits-all’ overview of the syllabus. That’s why independent study – in the form of homework, revision and any extra learning – is a really valuable chance for them to personalise their education. If a teen knows how their own mind works, and the best ways that they can understand and remember new things, they’re much more likely to enjoy learning and fulfil their potential in the long term. So what are the different learning styles, and what should your teen do once they’ve recognised the particular ways they take in knowledge?
We’ve put together a guide to some of the ways kids learn. Try having a look at it with your teen – can they see themselves in any of the learning styles outlined? Most people are a combination of a few styles, and some teens switch easily from one to another. Others though may have a particular learning style that needs to be supported outside of the classroom. Whatever ways your child learns best, having a think about how they understand things best, and what they can do to make the most of that will put them in a really strong position to do their best at school and beyond.
For mathematicians, physicists, architects and even the musicians out there, everything makes sense if it’s in a logical system. For these sorts of learners, categorising and sequencing different pools of information can help them break things down into systems they can remember.
Some kids learn best by discussing what they’re learning with others. This could be in the classroom, in small groups after school or in a pair with a friend. If they find topics tricky or need some extra help, lessons with a one-to-one tutor can be perfect for these sorts of learners.
Visual learners understand things best by looking. If they can translate information into diagrams, illustrations or mind maps then it can help them remember what can seem like the trickiest topics. That could mean drawing quick illustrations next to words when language learning, or creating a visual timeline to remember historical dates and events.
“Individualised learning allows all children to reach their full potential- at their own speed, utilising their own learning styles”,
Dr Kate Jenkins, Psychology Consultant
If your child learns best by saying things out loud, they might be a verbal (also known as a linguistic) learner. This means that when it comes to tests and revision, they can memorise things by using rhymes, acronyms, and other word games to remember numbers, sums, languages, dates and anything else they need to learn.
These guys remember things best when their bodies are engaged – not just their minds. Sitting still can be particularly hard for physical (also known as kinaesthetic) learners, and often they’ll have a sporty side too. To optimise their learning, weaving in activities such as practical experiments for subjects like Biology and Chemistry is a great way to make new knowledge soak in. For written subjects such as English, History, Politics or languages, highlighting, note-taking and making flashcards can help them engage better and remember.
Some kids study best on their own where they have the space to fully focus and think deeply about what they’re learning. If this sounds like your teen, it’s extra helpful for them to have a desk in a quiet corner of their house (if possible!) where they can knuckle down. Their school library or the public library can also be a really useful place for them if they want to get out of the house too.
If your teen takes in knowledge best by listening, they could be an auditory learner. This learning style lends itself well to classroom learning, as well as audiobooks and podcasts in their own time. They could try recording lists of quotations for English Lit and vocabulary for French and Spanish before listening back to soak in the knowledge.
With MyTutor, your teen can have one-to-one lessons personalised exactly to their learning style. So they can ask as many questions as they like, and learn in the way that suits them best. Click here to find a tutor or call 0203 773 6024 to speak to one of our Tutor Experts.