If your child retains information well from hearing it spoken, you may have an auditory learner. This is one of three commonly recognized learning styles.
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A primary learning style is often not apparent in younger kids. They are too busy exploring and absorbing information. It’s important to engage young children in ways that cover each learning style. Eventually, one or two styles usually stand out. Knowing how your child learns can be helpful to determine teaching strategies and to create a homeschool lesson plan.
The four learning styles commonly recognized are:
- Visual – A preference for seeing material in order to learn it.
- Auditory – The student better absorbs information by hearing it.
- Reading & Writing – The student prefers written text to read and expresses ideas through writing.
- Kinesthetic – Learns by actively being involved in the process of a lesson.
I did not recognize the dominant learning styles of most of my children until well into elementary school. The only exception is my auditory learner.
Our state homeschooling laws require yearly testing. The first year my son took a test, he was really excited. He sat straight in his chair and carefully read aloud each question and each answer option. He then announced his choice before filling in the bubble on his answer sheet.
Initially, I thought my son was reading it all to me so I could verify the answer. I reminded him I was only his timekeeper and could not confirm answers. He continued to talk his way through each question and answer as I silently attended the timer.
After that test, I suspected my son was an auditory learner. I’m not sure why I didn’t see it sooner. He talked all the time about everything he experienced and encountered. Although I continued to plan lessons that used each learning style, I sought out teaching strategies specifically for him.
An auditory learner has a higher likelihood of retaining information compared to other learning styles. They retain facts through listening and speaking. They often sort through information by repeating what they hear.
Homeschooling is a wonderful choice for an auditory learner. Noise tends to be a distraction, and they need to discuss and repeat information aloud.
Read aloud – Read to your student and let them read aloud. Auditory learners often read more slowly when studying silently by themselves. They need to hear the material for a stronger understanding.
Verbal narration – Have your student explain to you what they have learned. After reading aloud, ask questions and discuss the material.
Minimize background noise – Turn off the television or radio. Life can be noisy sometimes, and these students will take longer to learn how to filter out the distractions.
Work as a group – When homeschooling multiple kids, combine subjects when possible. Auditory learners thrive with conversation.
Let them talk – Young auditory learners chatter all of the time. They will often read a textbook aloud or talk through the steps of an assignment. They will remember what they are learning by hearing it.
Use audiobooks – Breaking up reading between print books and audio will spark a love of literature. As they grow and read more independently, audiobooks will meet their need to hear the material.
It is typical for an individual to utilize all learning styles despite having one or two dominant. We adjust how we take in information based on how it is presented. During the preschool and elementary years, auditory learners will struggle if they are continually told to be quiet. They need to hear and talk to process information. For example, if they are given a visual chart, they may need to talk out the steps it represents.
As my son has moved through middle and high school years, he less frequently needs to verbally repeat information. He’s an introvert by nature, and I sometimes miss the incessant chatter from his early school years. I occasionally hear him quietly read text aloud, and know he’s working through a harder concept. He likes to find textbooks in an audio version for some subjects. He increases the audio speed and follows along in his print copy. When the noise of his kinesthetic sibling creates distractions, he takes his books to his room or another area of the house.
It’s helpful to know a child’s learning style and to develop strategies to teach them. Knowing my auditory learner needs to hear information and talk about it changed how I homeschooled him.
Do you have an auditory learner? Please leave a comment and share your teaching strategies.