Top 10 Ways an Older Visual Learner Can Help Himself

Top 10 Ways Older Visual Learner Help HimselfThese tips will be helpful to visual students in middle school, high school, college, or beyond, who need to motivate themselves and control their own learning environment.

  1. Color-code notes with highlighters, colored pens/pencils, colored notecards, etc [see link below].
  2. Recopy notes and information for tests and re-highlight, using your color code. Repeat at often as needed.
  3. Watch a demo on You Tube (or other social media site) over and over, as often as needed. Pause and replay the most critical parts to gain full understanding.
  4. Color a previously black-and-white map or trace the boundary lines with a highlighter for emphasis. Even drawing a fancy border around a diagram can help you pay attention to the info and remember it.
  5. Draw your own copies of charts, graphs, and diagrams (with lots of colors) to help you understand concepts.
  6. Alphabetize notecards and/or facts; shuffle and re-sort as a study method.
  7. Use light-colored gel pens/markers on dark-colored paper for a whole different look.
  8. Mnemonic devices, such as acronyms or acrostics, can help with memorizing lists and other troublesome information. Example: HOMES for the Great Lakes (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior). Rearrange items to spell out an easier-to-remember word/phrase, or take liberties as needed with spelling or words to create a visual key: I learned the order of Presidents McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson by converting the initials to “MR TV.”
  9. Develop your own formulaic methods for organizing information, writing papers, and studying, but allow your rough drafts to be just that: rough. Welcome imperfection as a sign that you can continue to learn and improve. Rough drafts and outlines can be created in a variety of formats, and visual learners can benefit from using multiple layouts. Experiment to find what works best for you.
  10. Incorporate learning methods from the other 3 styles to improve your overall learning abilities.

For further help, visit these links:
Learning Styles v. It’s a Syndrome
Color-Coding as a Learning Tool
“Visual Learning” topic (including all of this “Visual Learning Week” series)
“Learning Styles” topic

Top 10 Ways to Help Visual Learners

Top 10 Ways to Help Visual LearnerThese tips will be helpful for parents of younger visual students, who need help learning how to learn.

  1. Allow him to watch demonstrations over and over until he is confident in attempting to do it himself. Don’t push him to participate until he is ready, and don’t mistake his learning style for shyness.
  2. Use bright colors in visual aids; break the everything-in-black-and-white pattern.
  3. Allow plenty of pleasure reading time, and count it as reading class. Books, book shelves, bookends, book marks, and more BOOKS – get them (library, eBooks, whatever), and keep them where they can be easily used.
  4. Use posters, charts, diagrams, maps, and graphs. Have him color diagrams of equivalent fractions, patterns of multiples on a 100-grid, or list words with the same spelling pattern (writing those repeated letters in the same color each time).
  5. Let him see it and take time to study it visually, and he’ll soak in more details than you would have pointed out.
  6. Provide colored highlighters, colored pencils (splurge for the erasable ones!), and colored notecards for making printed information more visually memorable. A different colored pencil for each step of complex math problems helps show the changes. Use specific highlighter colors for dates, names, quotes, etc.
  7. Provide pocket folders, file folders, and filing boxes for personal organization of notes and information. Organization is a life-skill, and it can begin with schoolwork.
  8. Let him use a label-maker! The visual learner will thrive on organizing and labeling folders and notebooks, but a label-maker can also be useful in making flashcards, diagrams, and other learning tools.
  9. Take notes, make charts and posters, and keep them everywhere: bathroom mirror, hallway, etc. Seeing = remembering.
  10. Give him experiences in the other 3 styles to improve his overall learning abilities

For further help, visit these links:
Learning Styles v. It’s a Syndrome
“Visual Learning” topic (including all of this “Visual Learning Week” series)
“Learning Styles” topic

Top 10 Ways an Older Auditory Learner Can Help Himself

Top 10 Ways Older Auditory Learner Help HimselfThese tips will be helpful to auditory students in middle school, high school, college, or beyond, who need to motivate themselves and control their own learning environments.

  1. Read difficult material aloud in your own room to help you concentrate, and you’ll know exactly when you get distracted. Read notes aloud and/or recite aloud to study for tests.
  2. Use Mom or a sibling for a student, and explain a concept or principle to them, because the best way to learn something fully yourself is to teach it to someone else. Talk it through – whether organizing thoughts for a major paper, solving a tough math problem, or learning an economics principle, discussing it aloud (even with yourself) can make a huge difference in understanding. Hearing the ideas can make much more sense than just silently reading them. Record yourself explaining the concept, then play it back, if simply talking out loud isn’t enough.
  3. Listen to music (at low volume) while studying. Use music you already know well, so you won’t pay close attention to the lyrics. Change to a different style of music or a different artist when you change subjects, as a memory key. (I was listening to Big Band Swing, while studying my history notes… and I put this date right into that Glenn Miller song, Pennsylvania 6-5-0-0-0… it’s “November 2-2, 1-9-6-3!! Movies or TV shows (on DVD or reruns) can also work as background “white noise,” but make it something you are very familiar with. You don’t want to get distracted by trying to follow a new plot.
  4. Make rhythmic poems or raps out of lists or other info that must be memorized, or sing the information to a simple, familiar tune.
  5. Use an accent. Your ears are attuned to even subtle differences in sounds, so reading aloud or talking to yourself with a fake accent will actually help your brain focus. For even more help, change accents when you change subjects.
  6. Watching the video version of a book first can help hold your interest while you read the book later. You’ll hear the actors’ voices in your head when you read it.
  7. Look up a topic on social media, such as Instagram, Vine, You Tube, etc. as another way to hear it.
  8. Act it out.
  9. Play an instrument while studying, whether as a quick break or as your own “background music.” Rhythmically drumming your fingers counts, as does strumming guitar while watching a video.
  10. Incorporate learning methods from the other 3 styles to improve your overall learning abilities.

For further help, visit these links:
Learning Styles v. It’s a Syndrome
“Auditory Learning” topic (including all of this “Auditory Learning Week” series)
“Learning Styles” topic

Top 10 Ways to Help Auditory Learners

Top 10 Ways to Help Auditory LearnerThese tips will be helpful for parents of younger auditory students, who need help learning how to learn.

  1. Read instructions aloud together. He’s not being lazy and obstinate; he really needs to hear it.
  2. Do question and answer sessions orally, and use oral discussions to determine if students understand lesson concepts, plot twists, character traits, etc.
  3. Allow the student to hum, drum, beat-box, and make other noises, because stifling those sounds also stifles his brain. This can also include loud and rhythmic typing on a computer keyboard.
  4. Put this child in a room by himself or allow other students to leave the room for the sake of peace, harmony, and clear thinking.
  5. Allow the student to read and review notes aloud. Let him hear it and say it.
  6. Use oral explanations of difficult concepts, lesson directions, etc. This can go beyond basic lesson instructions to allowing the child to talk it through to the point of understanding.
  7. Stop taking away his iPod. Allow the student to use background music as “white noise” (headphones at low volume work well to avoid disturbing others). Ask if there are other distracting sounds that could be turned off to help him concentrate.
  8. Allow him to answer for himself, especially when relatives or friends ask how school is going.
  9. Give him time to think all the deep thoughts going on in his head. Allowing his “off-topic” comments and questions enables him to “erase the blackboard of his mind,” providing a clean slate for the next lesson.
  10. Give him experiences in the other 3 styles to improve his overall learning abilities.

For further help, visit these links:
Learning Styles v. It’s a Syndrome
“Auditory Learning” topic (including all of this “Auditory Learning Week” series)
“Learning Styles” topic

Top 10 Ways an Older Kinesthetic Learner Can Help Himself

Top 10 Ways Older Kinesthetic Learner Help HimselfThese tips will be helpful to active students in middle school, high school, college, or beyond, who need to motivate themselves and control their own learning environment. Some lessons are inherently kinesthetic; if the lesson has a kinesthetic component, do that first (don’t sit on an exercise ball while watching a video about running, when you can just go run). If you are struggling to find a kinesthetic application, try some of the following suggestions.

  1. Run, bike, rollerblade, etc. before attempting lessons, so your brain will be running full-throttle and ready to handle information. Take a break during lessons or studying and get some physical exercise to wake up your brain. Repeat as often (and as hard) as necessary.
  2. Stand, walk, pace, etc. to help you think through a tough problem. The exercise will keep your brain functioning fully and will provide another memory key.
  3. Do push-ups over your book, dumbbell curls, toss and catch a baseball, shoot a basket, etc. for every point or fact you review. The exercise will keep your brain functioning fully and will provide another memory key.
  4. Vary your body position and/or “seating” arrangement while reviewing material for a test. Lie back on pillows on your bed, lie on your stomach on the floor, sit cross-legged in the grass, climb up to the treehouse, etc. Use a swivel barstool or rocking chair or balance on an exercise ball or skateboard. The movements will keep your brain functioning fully and will provide another memory key.
  5. Make *BIG* flashcards (“TV-game-show” size) that require arm movements to hold and shuffle, not just hands; they can also use print large enough to be seen from a distance while using a stationary bike, treadmill, etc. Use heavy-weight cardstock, poster board, cereal-box cardboard, etc.
  6. Floorcloths! Use permanent markers to turn a discarded bed sheet or tablecloth into a very large, reusable diagram for graphing rectangular coordinates, plotting graphs, periodic table, skeletal anatomy, etc. Poker-chips or Post-It notes work well for marking points or labeling the diagram. Fold it up and store it away between uses!
  7. Use a white shower curtain liner and wet-erase markers as a large, reusable, floorcloth-style whiteboard. In some situations, this could also be attached to a large wall for a vertical writing surface.
  8. Consider alternative methods to written papers: video presentations, dramatic re-enactments, personal performances, etc.
  9. Stand at an easel with easel pad or paper roll to draw out graphs, diagrams, etc. for review or to re-write notes. The larger size and vertical orientation are both beneficial kinesthetic learning methods.
  10. Incorporate learning methods from the other 3 styles to improve your overall learning abilities.

For further help, visit these links:
Learning Styles v. It’s a Syndrome
“Kinesthetic Learning” topic (including all of this “Kinesthetic Learning Week” series)
“Learning Styles” topic

Top 10 Ways to Help Kinesthetic Learners

Top 10 Ways to Help Kinesthetic LearnerThese tips will be helpful for parents of younger kinesthetic students, who need help learning how to learn.

  1. Exercise first, before attempting lessons. Kinesthetic learners need to warm up their muscles to engage their brains.
  2. Forget about sitting still. Letting him use a swivel chair, rocking chair, video-rocker, or knee-chair (remember those?) can allow movement and use of muscles while sitting. Standing at a table or counter will work better for written assignments than trying to keep an energetic child seated. Use the floor as a work surface, instead of a table. Let the child sit or kneel on the floor or lie on his tummy to read, write, or do any lesson. Mom can still use a chair, but a child on the floor will be constantly in motion: reaching, stretching, balancing, and otherwise keeping those big muscles in use and warmed up, and by extension keeping his brain fully alert.
  3. Act out lessons, from buzzing like bees during a simple science lesson to role-playing Paul Revere by shouting “The British are coming!” to walking through a math word problem by pretending to be a train going 30 mph. Sometimes he needs to physically put himself into the lesson to mentally understand it. Precision and accuracy are not as important as improvisation and movement.
  4. An exercise ball, balance board, trampoline (mini- or full-size), jumprope, or any other activity can be used while the child answers questions or practices oral facts, such as math or spelling. A simple discussion while standing at the chalkboard/whiteboard can be completely transformed with the addition of roller-skates to the child’s feet.
  5. Extend your classroom to outdoors. Do lessons on the deck, practice spelling or math facts in the pool, use the treehouse for reading time or worksheets (or any lesson that won’t require Mom’s immediate help), or draw hopscotch grids on the sidewalk or driveway for a variation on facts practice.
  6. Run relays as “thinking time” before answering questions. Use balls, jumpropes, and other sports equipment as relay checkpoints: answer a question, spell a word, or recite a math fact at each checkpoint. Let him do it and make time for active movement. Place separate groups of flashcards or manipulatives in different rooms and let the child run back and forth to find pieces as they are needed in the lesson.
  7. Take a break to get the wiggles out. A kinesthetic learner starts to wiggle and move when his brain is beginning to shut down. Exercising and moving will wake it up again. To prevent him from wiggling or moving is to let his brain run out of gas.
  8. Make manipulatives BIG. Using flashcards made from full-size sheets of cardstock (or cereal box cardboard) will make them “TV-game show” size and require whole arm movements instead of just finger movements. Using an assortment of sports balls to represent a math problem in the grass involves arm and leg muscles, instead of using just fingers for small manipulatives on the table.
  9. Use chalk on the sidewalk/driveway or crayons/markers on large sheets of paper to encourage large muscle movements for writing, drawing, or problem-solving.
  10. Give him experiences in the other 3 styles to improve his overall learning abilities.

For further help, visit these links:
Learning Styles v. It’s a Syndrome
“Kinesthetic Learning” topic (including all of this “Kinesthetic Learning Week” series)
“Learning Styles” topic

Top 10 Ways an Older Tactile Learner Can Help Himself

Top 10 Ways Older Tactile Learner Help HimselfThese tips will be helpful to tactile students in middle school, high school, college, or beyond, who need to motivate themselves and control their own learning environment.

  1. Use a chalkboard, whiteboard, etc. to draw out graphs, flow-charts, etc. as a study aid.
  2. Make your own posters, diagrams, and charts with various materials because it is the act of creating that helps tactile learners learn and understand. A bulletin board, notecards or Post-Its, yarn, and push-pins can transform confusing information into a dynamic chart that you’ll never forget!
  3. Doodles in the margins are actually a helpful memory key when studying notes for tests. (I remember this… it was on the page with the White Rabbit in the corner…)
  4. Paint your nails (or paint your sister’s nails) or doodle to help you think through a tough problem or organize your ideas for a project. Do woodworking, crocheting, knitting, etc. while mentally reviewing facts.
  5. “Executive desk toys” are great for keeping your hands and fingers busy while your brain chews on tough information or reviews test material: stacking magnets, miniature sand gardens, etc.
  6. Grab a lot of somethings to illustrate a ratio or growth-percentage problem. Manipulatives aren’t just for learning addition.
  7. Use cardboard and duct tape (or modeling clay, K’nex, Legos, or whatever you have on hand) to build a model of the concept that has left you stumped.
  8. The act of taking notes (whether or not they are ever used again) helps a tactile learner remember information. Using markers or crayons for taking or recopying notes can give a whole different feel to the writing process, as yet another memory key.
  9. Use notecards or flashcards with flashcard holders [links below]. Simplest card holder of all: 3×5” sandpaper or textured paper with photo corners on back to hold notecard (textured side faces away from notecard).
  10. Incorporate learning methods from the other 3 styles to improve your overall learning abilities.

For further help, visit these links:
Learning Styles v. It’s a Syndrome
Tactile Card Holders, Version 1
Tactile Card Holders, Version 2
“Tactile Learning” topic (including all of this “Tactile Learning Week” series)
“Learning Styles” topic