Social, verbal, physical? How to spot what kind of learner your child really is

What kind of learner is your child?

Encouraging your child to care about schoolwork, homework, or exams is a fight hard fought, and (if we're being honest) one that all parents unite in.

And, while it’s frustrating, no amount of empty parent threats will work (you know the kind; no internet, you’re grounded, no devices etc) but if you can identify HOW your child or teen learns and work with them on that level, then you're winning half the battle, especially if you're attempting to home school for the first time.

We speak to the experts at MyTutor (opens in new tab) to reveal the different learning styles and how to get the best from them.

1. The logical learner

If your child has a natural aptitude for maths, harbours a secret love of science, and has always excelled in the architectural delights of Lego, then everything makes sense if it’s in a logical order.

If you find your kid uttering phrases like, ‘lets make a list’, ‘we can work this out’ or ‘there’s no logic’ then they may be a logical learner.

For these sorts of learners, they like to understand the reasons behind the content and skill, they like categorising and sequencing different pools of information can help them break things down into systems they can remember.

2. The social learner

What kind of learner is your child?

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If your child is always the last one to leave school or social gathering because they’ve hung back chatting, or if they love taking part in team sports then they could be a social learner.

Some kids can go into themselves when they struggle with a problem, but social learners do the opposite, they’re vocal and love to discuss what they’re learning.

These discussions could be with peers or adults. They learn best by chatting it all through, whether in the classroom, small ‘study groups’ after school or in a pair with a friend.

If they find topics tricky or needs some extra help, one-to-one tutoring can be perfect for social learners as it give them the undivided attention they crave for open discussion.

3. The visual learner

If your son or daughter is great with a map and has an amazing sense of direction, as well as a love (and skill) of doodling then they may be a natural visual learner.

Visual learners understand things best simply by looking, if they can translate information into diagrams, illustrations or mind maps then it can help them remember what can seem like the trickiest topics.

That could mean drawing quick illustrations next to words when language learning, or creating a visual timeline to remember historical dates and events.

4. The verbal learner

Reading aloud and writing is a passion with these types of learners, as well as a natural fascination with languages. If you see these characteristics in your teen then they may be a verbal learner.

This means that when it comes to tests and revision, they can memorise things by using rhymes, acronyms, and other word games to remember numbers, sums, languages, dates and anything else they need to learn.

Read more: Tips on how to deal with exam stress

5. The physical (or kinaesthetic) learner

These guys can not sit still. If your teen can’t make it through a film without fidgeting moving or just blatantly losing interest and walking away, then they may be a physical learner.

These learners remember things best when their bodies are engaged – not just their minds. Sitting still can be particularly hard for physical learners, and often they’ll have a sporty side too.

For optimised learning weave in activities such as practical experiments for subjects like Biology and Chemistry, great for knowledge to really sink in.

When it comes to written subjects such as English, History, Politics or languages, highlighting, note-taking and making flashcards can help them engage better and remember.

6. The solitary learner

What kind of learner is my child?

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If your teen keeps a diary, prefers to spend time alone has a strong sense of self and are highly dependent they may be a solitary learners.

Solitary learners study best on their own where they have the space to fully focus and think deeply about what they’re learning.

If this sounds like your teen, it’s extra helpful for them to have a desk in a quiet corner of their house where they can knuckle down.

The school library or public library a really useful place for them can also be if they want to get out of the house.
READ MORE: The best FREE educational resources online and tips for homeschooling (opens in new tab)

7. The auditory learner

What kind of learner is your child?

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Auditor learners like to talk about what to do, about the pros and cons of a situation. They enjoy listening but cannot wait to get a chance to talk, they like to hear themselves and others talk.

They tend to remember names but forget faces and are easily distracted by sounds.

This learning style lends itself well to classroom learning, as well as audiobooks and podcasts in their own time.

They could try recording lists of quotations for English Lit and vocabulary for French and Spanish before listening back to soak in the knowledge.

Stephanie Lowe
Family Editor

Stephanie Lowe is Family Editor at GoodTo covering all things parenting, pregnancy and more. She has over 13 years' experience as a digital journalist with a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to all things family and lifestyle. Stephanie lives in Kent with her husband and son, Ted. With his love of choo-choos, Hey Duggee and finger painting he keeps her on her toes.