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How do you learn? - Special Needs Australia

How do you learn?

Have you ever asked yourself that question?


  • Do you know your preferred way to learn?
  • Are you a morning person or more alert by midday?
  • Do you like to tap or bounce your feet while sitting?
  • What has been going on emotionally for you this week?                         

All of these factors and more should be taken into account with our approach to learning and retaining information as they do have an effect on us.

Would you like to think about those questions and now apply them to your children.                                                                                                               

Do you know your child's preferred learning style? 

The reality is not all children learn the same way.

When we learn how our child learns, we can then apply the best strategies to support their learning and development.

This knowledge is so powerful as it is key to building their emotional wellbeing and when those needs are being met everything else flourishes. 

I once had a child drawing a picture as a teacher was explaining rules, I asked are you listening? she responded yes and I asked what did the teacher say? she was able to say exactly what the teacher had just said.

Did she comprehend what was said? yes as she was able to give me an example of how the rule was followed when I asked her two times throughout the teachers' talk.

We may think that if someone isn't looking at us when we are talking, then they are not listening/learning. We can jump to conclusions and say "put down the pen your not listening" when in actual fact she was listening and learning.

Students are individuals who learn at different speeds and in different ways. 

These individual differences may influence how students respond to instruction and how they demonstrate what they know, understand and can do.

Individual differences may include:

  • Cognitive abilities, including students current level of understanding and ability in relation to a particular topic or skill
  • Prior learning experiences 
  • Learning styles and preferences
  • Motivation and engagement with learning
  • Interests and talents

Ref: NSW Government Education Standards Authority    


Auditory Learner


Are you an Auditory Learner?

As an auditory learner, you may prefer to learn by hearing and listening. You may follow instructions better if you hear them, rather than read them and you may like listening to the teacher, speaker, podcasts and audio recordings.

Are you a Visual Learner?

Are you a visual learner As a visual learner, you like to see things and can have a better understanding of a topic by reading books, looking at photos or images over listening to the information. You may also like to take notes while listening to the teacher.


Are you a Kinesthetic/Tactile Learner?

Kinesthetic learning happens when we have a hands-on experience such as when a child learns to cycle a bike, they may read or listen to the instructions but deep learning is actually occurring by the process of doing it.


Click on this link below, its a short video by Lenny Dutton explaining different learning styles.

I personally struggled so much at mathematics in school because I was taught with verbal instructions and I did not know back then that what I needed in order to support my learning in maths was so much more than just verbal instruction.

What I did know and feel was dread for the subject. I was aware that I was not good at it and I was also aware of the teachers' frustration towards me because I had fallen so far behind that I just gave up.

Later in life, I came to understand how I learned through my employment and when I began studying Education & Care/ Early Childhood Education/Special Needs.

Your first day on the job you may

  • take notes
  • have verbal & visual instructions
  • read the procedure and physically carry out the task
  • listen and ask questions as you are being inducted to your new role and responsibilities.                                                                                            

    You might resonate with one or more of these approaches that suit how you learn and retain information.

    We also know that it’s easier to learn when you're interested in the topic but when your not interested, what can we do and apply to motivate and inspire learning? 

    Wow teachers have a big task on their hands, don’t they? 

    Homework time!! It’s no secret homework time can be stressful for both parent and child. You have finished work and collected your child/children from after-school care, dinner must be cooked, breakfast dishes put away, make lunches, bring the clothes in from the line, oh my goodness the list goes on……. 

    AARGH Homework needs doing!!!!!                                                                      It’s Maths and I know this is going to be a mission, I don’t like maths he doesn’t like maths, boom goes the stress levels and here comes the migraine.

    7 ideas for a holistic approach to homework

    1. Talk with your child’s teacher about how they feel your child learns best.
    2. What learning aids can I use if my child prefers to learn by doing (kinesthetic learner) or hearing  (Auditory learner) or seeing ( Visual learner) or a combination of these.
    3. Mindfulness about your home routine and your child’s day before you begin homework e.g when did they last eat, do they need a rest first or a play.
    4. Do you need to eat or rest first?
    5. Your enthusiasm is very important too and you can get so creative with how you can teach. 
    6. Do you feel confident about the subject you are assisting with, if not talk with your child’s teacher for advice, you and your child’s teacher working together gives your child the best start in life.
    7. Listening to your child and help them understand themselves.

    Remember as we grow and learn, so will our learning styles and preferences.

    Keep learning fun & exciting!!!



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