Parents need to be good observers themselves to identify the learning strengths of their children, but it also doesn't hurt to tune into our own learning styles. Cynthia Ullrich Tobias, author of Every Child Can Succeed: Making the Most of Your Child's Learning Style, and The Way They Learn" says, "We, as parents, must first recognize our own natural learning styles. As we recognize how we learn new information, we can better understand what comes naturally to us and to our children, and can identify the differences between parents and children that cause frustration and misunderstanding."
In his book, Learning All the Time, John Holt, a noted educator and home school advocate, echoes that belief. "Children have their own styles of learning, every one unique," he writes. "They also have their own timetables, according to which they are ready to do things, speeds at which they want to do them, and time they want to wait before doing a new thing. When we try to direct, or interfere with, or change these learning styles and timetables, we almost always slow or stop them."
Understanding your child's learning style and preferences is certainly an ongoing process, one that evolves with each new skill and stage of development. For children that enjoy visual challenges offer puzzles, hidden picture books and a selection of art materials. Provide opportunities for sorting objects by color, shape and size. What about binoculars or a magnifying glass for some scientific studies? Maybe you can devise your own simple board game together or play a matching game, like Concentration. Clear your schedule and be on the lookout for fun!