This is part 3 of 4 in a series about learning styles. You can read part 1 here.
"My child never stops talking"
"I can't watch a movie with her because she asks so many questions"
"He interrupts me constantly"
If any of these statements have been said by you, it is likely you have an auditory learner on your hands! A child's learning style is his or her approach to learning, or how he/she best assimilates, processes, and retains information. Auditory learners learn best by hearing information out loud. Homeschoolers are in the perfect position to incorporate elements into their teaching that support their child's learning style, because all aspects of education can be tailored to the child's individual needs. The following are characteristics of auditory learners:
- Talk constantly, to themselves and others
- Have a knack for foreign language
- Read slowly, often with reading aloud to themselves
- Talk through what they are thinking
- Hum or sing frequently
- Interrupt often
- Say the sound of the word as they write it
- Enjoy the performing arts
- Blurt out answers as soon as they think of them
- Ask lots of questions
- Enjoy music and display musical talent
- Repeat what someone says so they can remember it
- Have strong language skills with large vocabularies
- Remember names, but forget faces
- Use hearing words, like "Tell me what you want me to do", "Listen", and "Could I talk with you for a minute?"
Auditory learners comprise around 20% of the population, according to Wikipedia. Click here to take a simple learning styles inventory. Parents can help increase their auditory learner's chance of success by incorporating some simple steps into their teaching that complement how this child best learns. Also, by teaching according to their child's learning style, parents make learning more enjoyable, and the goal for most homeschoolers is to not just educate, but develop a love for learning in their children. The following are ways homeschoolers can support auditory learners.
- Use phonics to teach reading
- Use auditory CDs and books on CD to teach lessons
- Give oral reports and have students answer questions orally
- Have the child "narrate" a story or concept - repeat back what he heard and understood
- Read books aloud to the child, even those children old enough to read on their own
- Have the child explain a new concept to someone else
- Use tape recorders to play back lessons
- Use music, poetry or rhythm to convey new concepts
- After teaching for 10 minutes, use an egg timer to allow the student 3 minutes to talk to a peer or sibling about what he just heard
- Encourage discussion, brainstorming, and questions
- Use emphasis and emotion when teaching
- Use rhymes, mneumonic devices, and other auditory devices
- Repeat what you say to facilitate memorization
- Provide regular intervals throughout teaching for child to ask questions and speak orally
- Make up songs to teach new concepts
- Use study groups with other students
To find out more about learning styles, check out How to Maximize Your Child's Learning Ability by Dr. Lauren Bradway and Barbara Albers Hill. This title can be found at your local library.
©2010 Rebecca Capuano
Rebecca Capuano is a stay-at-home Mom who homeschools her two children. She earned her Master of Social Work degree from East Carolina University, and has worked in a variety of capacities (including group homes, day treatment centers, and public schools) with at-risk children and staff, including developing a therapeutic and educational day treatment center for delinquent youth in Wilmington, North Carolina. Currently, she writes for Examiner.com as the Roanoke Homeschooling Examiner, and serves as a Copy Writer for Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV). She also does periodic training and consulting with school systems to help staff work effectively with at-risk youth. Rebecca believes that family is created by God as the most fundamental institution in society, and she is dedicated to helping families nurture their children to become responsible persons of character and integrity.