Is your child a little comedian, always up on the latest knock-knock joke? Do you hear her humming throughout the day, especially when there’s no music playing? Does it frustrate you when you’re talking directly to her and she doesn’t even glance your way? If you’ve answered yes to all, or even two out of three of these questions, chances are that your child is an auditory learner.
What does that mean exactly? According to Gloria Moskowitz-Sweet, licensed clinical social worker and coordinator of Parents Place Express, an auditory learner is best described as “someone who has to hear it to hold it.” There are three basic types of learning styles: visual, kinesthetic (physical), and auditory.
According to Moskowitz-Sweet, your child is most likely an auditory learner if he:
- Likes to tell stories and jokes
- Often talks to himself as he is tackling a new task
- Has difficulty following written directions
- Has trouble with writing
- Does not read body language or facial expressions well
- Studies best in groups with other students
- Is very social
- Asks lots of questions
- Hums quite a bit
- Is noisier or louder than most children
- Likes to narrate his own actions
If your child is an auditory learner, she will probably benefit from traditional learning techniques, as most classrooms revolve around a teacher verbally giving lessons to a group of students. There are many ways to work with an auditory learner’s strengths. Moskowitz-Sweet suggests the following:
- When your child is little, read aloud to her. When she’s able to read alone, encourage her to read aloud – either to another person or quietly to herself. Encourage her to follow the text with her index finger while she is reading.
- Your child may need to hear directions to process and learn them. Clearly explain new concepts and tasks to your child.
- Help your child form a study group with kids from her class. Hearing her peers’ ideas bouncing around will allow her to come up with her own.
- Purchase a small handheld tape or digital recorder for your child to record test questions. Having a parent or friend read questions aloud will also help.
“As parents, we need to understand the ways they learn, that no one style is better than the other,” says Moskowitz-Sweet. “Kids are empowered by having their learning style appreciated.” Perhaps you’re talking to your computer right now, saying, “That’s her! She’s an auditory learner!” If you are, maybe she’s a chip off the old block.