Learning Styles – Understanding How We Learn.

Learning Styles

It is well recognised that each of us has a dominant learning style. Learning styles are grouped in common ways people learn. We can also have a mix from other learning styles which will be part of our unique learning make up. Understanding your child’s learning style will allow you as a parent, or if you are a home educator, to recognise where and why challenges in learning occur.


We all fit into these two categories of learning styles or share a combination of both for different activities. Your child will sometimes want to be left alone for some learning or will need input from you or a group for other activities.


Social/interpersonal learners like to learn within a group or spend one on one time with a teacher. They have a strong social awareness and communicate well both verbally and nonverbally. They are good listeners and like to ask questions and learn from others opinions.  


Solitary/intrapersonal learners are private and independent learners. They concentrate and focus well on their work. They are aware of their own thinking and take time to ponder solutions to challenges. They would rather work things out for themselves than ask someone else.  They like to make plans and set goals and often choose their life plan in childhood.



Auditory / musical learners learn best through sounds and music. They need to speak to hear to learn. You will notice they can remember what they hear or say without writing it down. They like to talk through problems and listen to what others have to say. They love to have their opinions heard. They are often easily distracted by noise.  They may vocalise and move their lips while reading and find it difficult to work quietly for extended periods of time.  They are musical and have good sense of pitch, rhyme and rhythm. You can ask an auditory learner to speak quietly but never tell them to be quiet or you will interfere with their learning process of needing to hear what they are learning.


Visual /spatial learners learn best when they work with pictures, images, colours and maps. They prefer words to be written down and like to copy from the board. They like to deal with real objects, or pictures of objects, being described. Being very observant of their physical environment they are able to attend to detail and can be quite artistic. They like to decorate their work space and use lots of colour. You will find them using illustrations and diagrams to help them remember information. They can easily visualise objects, plans and outcomes and have a great sense of direction.


Physical / kinaesthetic learners learn best when they can use their body, hands and sense of touch. They are among the most active learners. They would rather pull things apart and reassemble them than follow a plan that is written down.  They will be active, vocal and thoughtful, throughout the learning experience. They find it difficult to be still for long periods and use large hand gestures and other body language to communicate. Preferring to be shown what to do rather than be told, they may seem to need your constant attention.  They are sensitive to their surroundings and appreciate textures. You will find them tireless, questioning, inquisitive, energetic, sensitive and tactile.


Verbal/linguistic learners learn best with written and spoken word. They find it easy to express themselves both verbally and in writing.  They are ‘in love’ with words and know the meaning of difficult words and use them in conversation. They love to play with word sounds and enjoy poetry and limericks. They articulate, spell and write well. They have excellent reading skills and a comprehensive general knowledge.  They can learn and recite from books they have read.


Logical and mathematical learners use thought processes for processing and reasoning. They recognise patterns easily and connections between content in their work. They classify and group information to understand what they are learning.  Being proficient at maths they can work well with all forms, as well as applying themselves to mental problems. They are organised and logical in their thinking and work through problems in a systematic way. They write lists, like games such as brain teasers and chess and excel at PC games.


Knowing your child’s learning style, and your own, will change the way you view their ability to learn in certain situations. Presenting learning opportunities will become easier if you understand the important role learning styles play in the ability of a child to reach their full potential. If you are curious about your own learning style and that of your children visit www.hiphomeschoolingblog.com and www.homeschool.com/printables to gain access to simple tests for recognising learning styles.

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Heather Collins

Heather Collins is an Early Childhood and Special Education Teacher who makes developmentally appropriate resources for teachers and parents to use with their children. She is author and co-author of poetry books and children’s books. She is a passionate collagist and has crafted beautiful finger puppets and story aprons suitable for early childhood education.

Her resources can be purchased on this website or she can be contacted at Create-Ed by emailing heathercreated@gmail.com. You can order an original apron for any favourite storybook.

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