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How do you learn best?
by Brooke Reedlunn

"But I CAN'T learn this stuff, it's impossible!" Have you ever said this to yourself, to your parents, to your teacher? Most of us feel this way at some point or another. If you are stuck with school work, the problem might be HOW you are learning not just what you are working on. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Knowing your learning style can help you get the most out of school and maybe leave a little more time for fun! This article will help you figure out how you learn best so that you can use your strengths at school.

Visual Learner - If you SEE it you are more likely to remember it.

Most of school is geared toward visual learning, so if this is how you learn you are lucky. If you are a visual learner you: remember pictures in your head, seeing words helps you to spell them, taking notes helps you to remember new information, you remember what you have read, and you are drawn to visual art over music. If this sounds like you, then you can use traditional learning techniques like note-taking, flashcards, outlining, and reading.

Aural Learner - If you HEAR it you are more likely to remember it.

Learning by listening is in the aural learning style. Good thing for aural learners that much of school learning is done through listening to a teacher or to other students. You are an aural learner if you learn by: listening to lectures, you remember what people say more than what you see, you remember song lyrics and are drawn to music. If this sounds like you then you should use these techniques to help you learn: listen to music as you work, make up rhymes and songs to remember new facts, or listen to taped recordings or videos of new information.

Kinesthetic Learner - If you DO it you are more likely to remember it.

Kinesthetic learners learn best when they are in motion. This can be tricky in a traditional classroom but there are ways to make it work! You are a kinesthetic learner if you: learn best when you are active, fidget while you are listening, or are drawn to sports or dance. You can use your kinesthetic talent to learn by using manipulatives to learn (flashcards, objects, models), take a walk and think about what you are stuck on, chew gum while you work (if you are allowed), act out new concepts or role play, take notes and focus on the process as much as the written words. It can be challenging to use your kinesthetic skills in school but using them can also make you a much better learner.

Social Learner - If you TALK about it you are more likely to remember it.

Everyone is a social learner but some people really need to talk over new ideas in order to learn them. You are a social learner if you: learn from study groups with friends, remember conversations word for word, excel in group projects, or learn by explaining your thinking to other people. If this sounds like you, you should try: studying in a group, role playing new ideas, talk it out (even if it's just to yourself!), and use social media to connect with others. In the working world social learners are rewarded for working on teams but in school you might have to make a little more effort to harness this learning style.

Make a Plan

Every person fits into several of these types (these are just a few) but you might have found one that feels more like you than the others. Knowing how you learn can give you the tools you need to work smarter instead of harder. You wouldn't beat yourself up for not fitting into your friend's shoes (you would just get new shoes!), so don't get down on yourself for learning differently than them. Remember your learning style next time you are studying for a test that feels impossible. Stop and make a plan that fits the way YOU learn best, then move on to pizza, everyone's preferred eating style!



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