Taking the Mystery Out of Learning Styles
Auditory comes from a Latin word that means to hear, applying here to things that can be learned through hearing or speaking. Auditory learners learn best through hearing. They prefer being told how to do a lesson and understand verbal directions better than written directions. An auditory learner who is confused about a lesson may benefit from asking questions and hearing a further explanation. He will benefit from the repetition of hearing things repeated over and over, even if he is simply repeating it out loud himself, and this is how he will memorize most easily. He may not understand lessons as quickly through hands-on experiments or reading the material himself. Auditory learners have a built-in sense of rhythm which will keep their fingers and toes tapping and drumming most of the time.
Try these learning aids with your auditory learners:
- Educational songs & poems
- Recordings: MP3’s, CD’s, cassettes
- Music (in the background or as lessons)
- Giving him opportunities to read aloud to himself without others around
If you, the teacher, are an auditory learner, you probably spend a great deal of your time explaining and discussing the material, asking questions of your students, and answering their questions in return. Since my son and I are both strongly auditory, it seemed that we were talking all the time and never got enough actual bookwork done!
To reinforce and strengthen auditory skills in your students, try these methods:
- Discussing concepts in-depth, using analogies and word-picture illustrations
- Allowing your student to read or recite aloud to himself, letting him hear his own voice
- Verbal-memory games (“I went to the store and bought Apples, Butter, Cantaloupe…”)
- Rhymes & songs
- Board & table games, especially verbal games such as Mad GabTM, BlurtTM, OutburstTM, TabooTM, or PasswordTM [Games can cover all learning styles: you see it, you hear it, you handle it.]
- CraniumTM games come in several varieties and exercise all learning styles
Diagnostic Tools to Help the Homeschooling Parent also includes information on learning styles!