Discover Your Child's Learning Style

Author(s): 
Mariaemma Willis, M.S.
Victoria Kindle Hodson, M. A.
Copyright: 
1999
Publisher: 
Prima Lifestyles
Binding: 
Softcover
Number of pages: 
325 pages
Resource Type: 
Review: 

If you have been wondering what is the key to getting your reluctant learner excited about math, science, or any other academic subject, Discover Your Child's Learning Style may be what you have been looking for. Written to the parents of public, private, or homeschooled students, the authors' goals are for the parents to get on their child's "team", have the child take the learning profile (learning assessment test), and coach him to learning success. Not just a book for students from an institutionalized setting, the authors make references throughout the text to various types of school settings.

With a combined experience of 45 years, these authors are dedicated to helping children succeed in their love of learning. They believe that by tapping into the child's learning style, the child will naturally love to learn. The child's learning style includes the child's talents, interests, modality, environment, and disposition. One of the best things about this book is that the authors recognize that you, the parent, are your child's primary teacher. They hope to have a positive effect on children's attitudes toward learning through the parents' powerful influence and involvement.

The authors begin by encouraging parents to develop a proper attitude. For example, parents need to take an active role in the child's education. They should also learn to "celebrate" the child for who he is and not criticize the child for who he is not. They encourage parents to model good behavior for their children. They encourage strengthening the bonds between children and their parents in additional ways as well.

After you have your child take the learning style profile, you will learn about the five different aspects covered in the test: disposition, talents, interests, modality, and environment. The various categories for disposition include someone who performs, produces, invents, relates/inspires or thinks/creates. The areas of talent include music, math-logic, mechanical reasoning, spatial, word-language reasoning, and seven more. In assessing the child's interests, the authors note that the child's interests may differ at home than from those at school. Modality refers to the type of learner your child is. This is what we most often associate with learning style. Is the child an auditory, visual, or kinesthetic learner? These can help assess the child's learning environment for improvements. Some factors to consier include: does the child prefer quiet or noise, laying down or sitting at a desk, a bright or dim light? You can see that the authors' definition of learning style is broader and more variable than most.

Because of the lengthy and detailed descriptions of the various dispositions (perform, produce, invent, relate/inspire or think/create), the child or parent should easily be able to identify which disposition is closest to the child. Since they are presenting material associated with the child's learning style, their perspective is from an educational standpoint. They begin by describing a person who fits that disposition. For example, a performer is a person who is "bright, witty, and outspoken." As adults, they are entertainers, actors, athletes, trial lawyers, etc. They then go on to discuss the learning characteristics, the preferred setting for learning, what that child contributes to a situation, the areas of growth, the relationship conflicts between a child of one disposition and a teacher of an opposing disposition, the ideal curriculum, homework helps, and motivators. At the end of each chapter, they also offer a quick reference chart with the program emphasis, preferred activities, helpful materials with exact titles for specific subjects, and teaching techniques. As parents, we need to also keep in mind that sometimes we can adapt the materials we already own by employing different teaching techniques.

If you are beginning to be overwhelmed with all the terminology or aspects of a child's learning style, don't be. There are lots of charts and graphs that clearly explain what should work best for your child. There is an incredible amount of information in this book, including putting the plan to work, dealing with special needs children, pages of recommended resources, and much more. Whether you are having difficulty with teaching your child or not, Discover Your Child's Learning Style has much to offer and much to digest. Since one of our goals as parents is to have our children reach their full potential, this book may help you to see your child in a totally new light.

Review Date: 
10-29-05
Reviewed by: