Have you ever spent hours trying to learn a new skill or concept, only to have it suddenly click the minute it’s explained in a new way, or through a new medium? These a-ha moments might seem miraculous, but often they are simply evidence of the power of knowing and catering to an individual’s learning style. You may have heard of a few of these; often people describe being a visual learner, or a tactile one. There are actually seven different learning styles: Visual, auditory, verbal, physical, logical, social, and solitary. Each individual learner has a dominant or preferred mix of styles that best suits them.

Visual learners do best with photos, infographics, and videos. Seeing a task being done, rather than having it explained to them, will be far more helpful for someone with this learning style. Auditory learners are those who use sounds or rhythm to help them retain information, while a verbal learner will prefer to learn through speech and writing. Physical learners are also known as tactile learners, and they prefer being able to use movement in their learning environments, sometimes even acting things out. Often students who fit into this style struggle in traditional classroom settings, where they are not able to move around. Logical learners prefer reasoning and systems, such as if-then scenarios.

Social and solitary styles refer to how a student learns in relation to others. Social learners do best in groups, where they might be able to talk things through with peers or instructors. Solitary learners, on the other hand, prefer to work alone, in their own time and with their own methods.

None of these methods can be considered superior to or more normal than the others, they are simply different. Understanding these styles and how to mold learning materials to them can transform a learning experience and ensure that each student is given the opportunity to be successful. If a child is having a hard time grasping a concept, it may be that their particular learning style is not being catered to, and a shift in the approach may be needed. Tests and evaluations can be given to determine what learning style may be best. At School Psychology and Educational Solutions, Inc., Dr. Elisa Yoho offers evaluations and resources that to determine which learning style suits your student. Contact at elisa@spaesi.com, or by phone at 321-749-2549.