Every child is unique, and this uniqueness extends to how they learn. As parents, understanding different preferred learning styles could make a difference in their maths education. Whilst students may have preferences on the way they learn, it is important to always use a combination of all media for the most effective learning. In this editorial, we’ll explore the various possible learning styles and provide a mixture of strategies to help them reach their full maths potential. Read more about available GCSE Maths support.
Understanding Preferred Learning Styles
Before we delve into strategies, let’s explore the four primary preferred learning styles.
- Visual Learners: Visual learners grasp information best through images, charts, and graphs. They benefit from seeing maths problems represented visually.
- Auditory Learners: Auditory learners absorb information through spoken words and explanations. They may benefit from listening to maths explanations or discussing problems aloud.
- Kinesthetic Learners: Kinesthetic learners learn by doing. They need hands-on experiences and may struggle with purely theoretical maths concepts.
- Reading/Writing Learners: These learners prefer reading and writing to absorb information. They may excel when they can read maths textbooks and write out problem-solving steps.
- Use Visual Aids: Incorporate visual aids like diagrams, graphs, and charts to explain maths concepts.
- Colour Coding: Utilise coloured pens or markers to highlight key points in maths problems.
- Educational Videos: Encourage your child to watch educational maths videos or animations.
- Verbal Discussions: Engage your child in discussions about maths problems, encouraging them to explain their thought process aloud.
- Maths Talks: Listen to maths podcasts or audiobooks together, discussing the content afterward.
- Rhymes and Songs: Find maths songs or rhymes that can make learning maths facts more enjoyable.
- Hands-On Activities: Use physical objects like blocks, coins, or measuring tools to demonstrate maths concepts.
- Real-Life Applications: Show how maths is used in everyday tasks like cooking, gardening, or home improvement.
- Interactive Apps and Games: Encourage the use of maths apps and games that require physical interaction.
- Textbook Learning: Provide textbooks or printed materials for reading and writing maths problems.
- Journaling: Encourage your child to keep a maths journal where they write out problems and solutions.
- Flashcards and Note-Taking: Utilise flashcards for maths facts and encourage note-taking during maths lessons.
Flexibility and Experimentation
It’s essential to remember that most children do not fit into one learning style exclusively. They may have a dominant style, but they can benefit from a combination of strategies. Flexibility is key. Be open to experimenting with different approaches and observing which ones resonate most with your child.
Promoting a Positive Attitude Towards Maths
Regardless of their learning style, fostering a positive attitude towards maths is crucial. Encourage your child to embrace challenges, celebrate their successes, and emphasise that making mistakes is a part of learning. By nurturing a growth mindset and showing that maths can be enjoyable, you’ll further enhance your child’s maths education. If you are still struggling to motivate them to develop a curiosity for maths, why not trial out an online interactive group GCSE Maths course?