Determining Your Child’s Learning Style

Determining Your Child’s Learning Style

Because every child learns differently, it is important to identify your child’s learning style.  Can he recall facts or conversations overhead months or years ago? Maybe he remembers every detail of a book he read. Is your child the one who takes things apart to see how they work? Knowing how your child learns is a major asset as it will allow you to tailor his curriculum to his learning style and give you the opportunity to shore up his potential weaknesses.

Read through the questions with your child and choose the first answer that comes to mind that best describes how your child responds.  Do not spend too much time thinking about any one question.

Question 1

When you study for a test, would you rather

a)  Read notes, read headings in a book, and look at diagrams and illustrations.

b)  Have someone ask you questions, or repeat facts silently to yourself.

c)  Write things out on index cards and make models or diagrams.

Question 2

Which of these do you do when you listen to music?

a)  Daydream (see things that go with the music)

b)  Hum along

c)  Move with the music, tap your foot etc.

Question 3

When you work at solving a problem do you

a)  Make a list, organize the steps, and check them off as they are done

b)  Make a few phone calls and talk to friends or experts

c)  Make a model of the problem or walk through all the steps in your mind

Question 4

When you read for fun, do you prefer

a)  A book with lots of pictures in it

b)  A book with lots of conversation in it

c)  A book where you answer questions and solve problems

Question 5

To learn how a computer works, would you rather

a)  Watch a movie or television program about it

b)  Listen to someone explain it

c)  Take the computer apart and try to figure it out for yourself

Question 6

You have just entered a science museum, what will you do first?

a)  Look around and find a map showing the locations of the various exhibits

b)  Talk to a museum guide and ask about exhibits

c)  Go into the first exhibit that looks interesting, and read directions later

Question 7

What kind of restaurant would you rather not go to?

a)  One with the lights too bright

b)  One with the music too loud

c)  One with uncomfortable chairs

Question 8

Would you rather go to

a)  An art class

b)  A music class

c)  An exercise class

Question 9

Which are you most likely to do when you are happy?

a) Grin

b) Shout with joy

c) Jump for joy

Question 10

If you were at a party, what would you be most likely to remember the next day?

a)  The faces of the people there, but not the names

b)  The names but not the faces

c)  The things you did and said while you were there

Question 11

When you see the word “ d – o – g,” what do you do first?

a)  Think of a picture of a particular dog

b)  Say the word “dog” to yourself silently

c)  Sense the feeling of being with a dog (petting it, running with it, etc.)

Question 12

When you tell a story, would you rather

a)  Write it

b)  Tell it out loud

c)  Act it out

Question 13

What is most distracting for you when you are trying to concentrate?

a)  Visual distractions

b)  Noises

c)  Other sensations like, hunger, tight shoes, or worry

Question 14

What are you most likely to do when you are angry?

a)  Scowl

b)  Shout or “blow up”

c)  Stomp off and slam doors

Question 15

When you aren’t sure how to spell a word, which of these are you most likely to do?

a)  Write it out to see if it looks right

b)  Sound it out

c)  Write it out to see if feels right

Question 16

Which are you most likely to do when standing in line at the movies?

a)  Look at posters advertising other movies

b)  Talk to the person next to you

c)  Tap your foot or move around in some other way



The Different Learning Styles

 Look at the numbers

more A’s means Visual
more B’s means Auditory
more C’s means Kinesthetic

Visual Learners – If you scored mostly a’s you have a visual learning style.  You learn by seeing and looking.

  • take numerous detailed notes
  • tend to sit in the front
  • are usually neat and clean
  • often close their eyes to visualize or remember something
  • find something to watch if they are bored
  • like to see what they are learning
  • benefit from illustrations and presentations that use color
  • are attracted to written or spoken language rich in imagery
  • prefer stimuli to be isolated from auditory and kinesthetic distraction
  • find passive surroundings ideal


Auditory Learners – If you scored mostly b’s, you may have an auditory learning style. You learn by hearing and listening.

  • sit where they can hear but needn’t pay attention to what is happening in front
  • may not coordinate colors or clothes, but can explain why they are wearing what they are wearing and why
  • hum or talk to themselves or others when bored
  • acquire knowledge by reading aloud
  • remember by verbalizing lessons to themselves (if they don’t they have difficulty reading maps or diagrams or handling conceptual assignments like mathematics).


Kinesthetic Learners – If you had mostly c’s,  you have a kinesthetic learning style. You learn by touching and doing.

  • need to be active and take frequent breaks
  • speak with their hands and with gestures
  • remember what was done, but have difficulty recalling what was said or seen
  • find reasons to tinker or move when bored
  • rely on what they can directly experience or perform
  • activities such as cooking, construction, engineering and art help them perceive and learn
  • enjoy field trips and tasks that involve manipulating materials
  • sit near the door or someplace else where they can easily get up and move around
  • are uncomfortable in classrooms where they lack opportunities for hands-on experience
  • communicate by touching and appreciate physically expressed encouragement, such as a pat on the back
Adapted from Instructor Magazine, 8-89




About Marcy Guyer


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