Your child has a study style

Throughout your child’s school career, they have been tasked with growing amounts of homework, assignments and tests. However, as they proceed from grade to grade, the work pressure increases, potentially leaving your child feeling flustered.

Creating a schedule together with your child, will help your child prioritise their time and create a sense of control. But what happens when it’s time to buckle down to study, and the information doesn’t stick? Conventional parrot style studying may leave your child feeling anxious and irritated to a point where they feel despondent.

Each child is unique in their abilities, and study techniques don’t generally form part of the school curriculum. A great way for parents to offer assistance is to go through a process of elimination to establish the most successful method.

A study has been completed to categories 4 learning styles/preferences which could help your child absorb and interpret information. This is called the VARK modalities, which has been split to have a specific focus on visual, aural, read & write or kinaesthetic stimulation.

Visual: Visually predominant study techniques require the study areas be void of any visual distractions as the only visually appealing material should be the study notes. Information is best consumed through pictures, diagrams and graphs. Utilise brightly colour stationery to accentuate key information. In a booming technological society, the use of online videos and flash cards are great tools too.

Aural: Another sensory dominant study technique is aural learning. Once again a study space should be available clear of auditory distractions. These learners consume information best though spoken word format. Study groups work great here, if you are able to find students with similar learning trends. Recorded discussions and lectures can be repeated in a conducive environment and your child will create recitations and jingles of key information. Further tools are available online in terms of audio books.

Read and Write: The read and write study technique is probably the most traditional of all study modes. From the classroom to home, your child will constantly need to take notes, re-read lecture notes and hand outs along with accessing additional information through various mediums. The regurgitation of the information will be interpreted and noted in a manner which is easier to consume.

Kinaesthetic: Finally the kinaesthetic study approach may be seen as the most controversial. Throughout your child’s life, they are taught to sit still, be quiet, and face the front. However, young active minds are housed in young active bodies, which thrive on physical activity. If your child chooses to lay on the floor flicking their legs, or pace when studying let them be. The movement pacifies the body’s instinct to be active, freeing the mind up to absorb.

This category of student, is usually only able to study in short blocks of time, with an accompanying distraction of squeezing a stress ball or listening to music. It’s not a study method encouraged, but it has proven to be a successful method for some children. A kinaesthetic learners likes to make use of examples and associations rather than plain facts and is further complimented through Aural study techniques with other scholars.

For more information, visit Vark Learn to help you decipher a study mode and tools to best suit your child.

This column was contributed by False Bay TVET College. Look out for more study success strategies in People’s Post in the last week of every month or go to www.falsebaycollege.co.za to find out more.