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Embracing all the learning styles

Embracing all the learning styles

"Mom", says Sam.  "I'm an auditory learner and I learn kinesthetically too". 

"Sam.  How cool!", I say.  "Talk about it".

"Well", says Sam.  "An auditory learner is someone who when they read information Just. Don't. Get. It".  

"But", he continues, "If you tell me information, then my memory is amazing".  

"And kinesthetic?  That's like when I don't really get it, when someone's explaining how to play a game or something, but if they talk to me while I'm doing it, I totally get it so fast".

"Wow", I say.  "That's so powerful to understand how you learn".

"And useful too", say Sam.  "My teacher says that now that I know, I just need to make sure that I'm receiving information in the way that works best for me".

No kidding that's useful, I thought to myself.

And I tried to imagine what it must have been like for Sam in school and for every child who learns the way that Sam does, to be in an education system that is textbook and lecture based.

Can you imagine when the gateway to your learning and education is through reading textbooks and your brain doesn't take in information by reading it and then to go to a lecture when your brain doesn't learn by being told how to do something.  

And the heart breaking part, is that all it would take to change it, is some understanding of and advocacy for the type of learner that you are.

This point was further driven home last night when I was making dinner and Sam's older brother said, "Mom, can you help me with this math question?" and then read it out loud.  

"I need to read it", I said. 

And as I was walking over to the homework table, Sam shouted "X = 3.5" from across the room - completing a math problem for three grades above his own.

Maybe I'm not as strong in math as I was lead to believe.  Maybe it was just delivered to me consistently in the way that works for my learning style.  Lucky me.