Learning Styles: We are How We Learn

As a pediatric OT, my students call me teacher.  As a teacher, I, first, became interested about learning styles for the benefit of my students.  It was very useful for me to identify just how my kids learn.  Matching my “lesson plans” for them gave me the ease of teaching and I, sure, saw that it also resulted to their ease of learning. 

I thought I have an idea so I gave little thought about my own learning style, until recently, when I had my son take a learning style test in preparation for home schooling.  Just to make sure that I use his and not mine, I had to take it too, before we begin with the school year.  The results blew me away! So, I will go ahead and put this under the Self-Improvement category of this blog.  If you would like to take the test yourself, or for your little one, click here.

I always thought, I am a visual learner.

I have always thought that I am a visual learner.  When listening to somebody, and I encounter an unfamiliar word, the first thing that comes to mind is how to spell it.  I would also tinker with it in my mind, if it was a proper or common noun, or maybe it was a verb or any other part of speech.  If it sounded bizarre to me, I would, sometimes be led to believe that it was from a foreign language.  The thought goes on and on, until I finally ask about it.

In college, I was also fond of drawing diagrams to help me remember things.  I took Human Anatomy and Physiology and when my more artistic classmates drew a realistic heart and labeled its parts, I was happy with my very own diagram which looked like it was Spongebob Squarepant’s, if you know what I mean.  Those things worked for me fairly well.

My test result yielded only a 6 out of 20 for the Visual Style.  Imagine my astonishment!

I got 16 out of 20 in the Aural Style, which did not surprise me since I have always been into music.  I was a church choir member from grade school until after college.  Before realizing I am more of a backgrounder than lead, I have joined a couple of singing contests.  But I have always enjoyed singing.  I can even play a little piano and ukulele. 

radio, volume, vintage

The husband and I were, once, discussing how he can memorize songs he just hears on the radio and I cannot.  Yes, I easily pick up the tune, but not the lyrics.  I need to look it up.  Then, I also have this fondness to analyze it.  What was it that the composer is going through when he wrote this song?  What did he mean by it?  I guess, the test got my Logic Style right since I scored 14 out of 20.

The Memletics Learning Styles

This test we just took used the 7 Memletics Learning Styles.  The term Memletics is a contraction of two words: Memory and Athletics, which aims for mental fitness.  It was created by Sean Whiteley in 2003, combining the two brain models, Multiple Intelligences (Howard Gardner) and Visual-Auditory-Kinesthetic Model (from Neurolinguistic Program). 

The test presented 70 simple statements and a Likert scale of 0 to 2, 2 being the one that very much describes you. There were seven pages with 10 statements each.  It took me around 10 minutes to take the test, mostly in waiting for the next page to load.

It would then glean your score, out of 20, for each learning style and a heptagonal chart that shows how much of the 7 Learning Styles you are using.  I am posting my chart-results here:

Now, let’s look at the 7 Memletics Learning Styles. 

For an easy reference, I am plotting information under categories of preferred learning materials, proficient skills and possible careers or ideal endeavors.  For parents and teachers, I am also adding teaching ideas for the little ones.

Visual or Spatial

Preferred Learning MaterialsProficient SkillsCareers or Endeavors
Images
Pictures
Colors and color coding
Maps
Diagrams
Whiteboards or something like it
Association
Other visual media
Visualize outcomes of plans
Sense of direction
Art
Architecture
Photography
Film
Design
Planning

If your child or student is a visual learner, YouTube is your best friend.  Find a video that harnesses the concept you are teaching.  It will be easier for him to imagine it.  Flashcards containing pictures and diagrams will definitely help, too!

boy, kids, photographer

Aural or Auditory/Musical

Preferred Learning MaterialsProficient SkillsCareers or Endeavors
Sounds
Music
Rhymes
Sound recorders
Mnemonics with rhymes
Singing
Playing a musical instrument
Sense of pitch and rhythm
connecting emotions to music
Musician
Sound Engineer

For Aural kids, make sure to mix study time with music.  Learn which kinds of music they prefer and always give it to them especially when they ask for it.  You have to play composer and write songs about the lessons you are teaching!  I remember, I have a cassette tape before of the multiplication table.  And though, it used the same tune for all the tables (table of 2 such as 2×1 is 2, 2×2 is 4, table of 3 such as 3×1 is 3, 3×2 is 6), I was able to remember it by heart!  I, still know it until this very day!

Verbal or Linguistic

Preferred Learning MaterialsProficient SkillsCareers or Endeavors
Reading
Writing
Rhymes and limericks
Mnemonics
Scripting and associations
Vocabulary
Written communication
Spoken communication
Public speaking
Journalism
Politics and debating
Theater

I am thinking Linguistic children are the easiest to teach, as long as you have trained them to have long attention span and independent working skills.  All you have to do is make them read the lesson and test them later.  To help them, make use of keywords to memorize and feel by having them write in addition to reading.

The Memletic Styles Model
Credits to https://learningstylescesarbazo.weebly.com/memletics.html for this image.

Physical or Kinesthetic

Preferred Learning MaterialsProficient SkillsCareers or Endeavors
Movement
Textures
Exercise
Hands on:
pulling apart and
putting it back together
Sports
Exercise
Gardening
Woodworking
Acting
Dancing
Physical work
Mechanics
Construction and repair
Sports and athletics
Actor
Dancer

For those with Kinesthetic learning style, incorporate study time with movement games or movement breaks.  Set up a life-size board game and let her advance squares after answering questions from lessons.  You may also use preferred movement tasks as rewards.  Hands-on learning, I believe, is a must!  Provide counters for Math and simple experiments for Science.

Logical or Mathematical

Preferred Learning MaterialsProficient SkillsCareers or Endeavors
Brain games
Computer games
Lists
Numbers
Calculations
Patterns
Budgeting
Planning and listing
Math
Accounting
Computer programming
Law
Sciences
Detective Work

My son is great at Math.  I have seen him break patterns early on.  He is, however, quite puny at languages:  English and Filipino.  So, I present lessons from these subjects by patterns or by equations and he seems to get it.  I am guessing that like my son, these are the children who asked the most questions when they were 3 to 5 years old.  Try to spend time to answer and explain it them each time.  They just need reason to close and complete brain connections.

Social or Interpersonal

Preferred Learning MaterialsProficient SkillsCareers or Endeavors
In groups or one-on-one
Group games such as
board and card games
Role playing
Verbal communication
Non-verbal communication
Listening
Giving advice
Team sports
Counselling
Teaching
Coaching
Sales
Politics
Human resources

For very social kids, add games to lesson presentations in the form of board games or game shows involving “trivias.”  You can also do role playing and re-enact the discovery of an element or portray characters in a literary piece.  I am guessing competitive games among siblings can also be helpful, as long as you try to make the a healthy competition each time.

girl, father, portrait

Solitary or Intrapersonal

Preferred Learning MaterialsProficient SkillsCareers or Endeavors
Independently or self study
Journal or diary
In quiet
Visualization
Self-analysis
Independence
Planning
Author
Researcher
Security guard

Solitary kids will be responsive with one-on-one teaching the most.  Follow her lead with how she wants to go about her lessons, then give her time to do it or figure it out herself.  She might look lonely since she is alone but if this is her learning style, she will thrive.

I think it is an important aspect of teaching.

According to learning-styles-online.com, each one of us may have a mix of learning styles.  These are the ways by which we look or respond to our environment. It has not been a common practice to find out about these things in the past. 

Especially for those who grew up in a traditional approach school, we felt it was the only way to go and we coped, nonetheless.  I realize, this maybe the reason why we like some of our teachers more than the others. We may have had a match of learning styles with them that is why we understand them better than the other.

Nowadays, we are lucky that these strategies are accessible to us and for our children.  I feel it is an important aspect of teaching our kids so they reach their full potential in learning. Let’s use these and reap the benefits. Sure it just sounds fun today, but who knows? The benefits of tomorrow might even surpass the benefits we get today!

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