According to the VARK learning model, aural learners thrive on hearing information and retelling it or teaching it to others. We all learn differently. Everyone benefits from developing multiple habits to retain information.
But if your child learns well with aural methods, here are five ways he or she can study and succeed.
1. Encourage your child to record himself rehearsing facts and important information. Using a phone to record himself while reviewing classroom notes is a great way for him to stay focused. His rate of retention only increases as he both sees the notes, says them out loud, and then later, he can play back the recording to listen to them.
2. Let her teach YOU. When was the last time you had to convert a fraction into a decimal point and then add it? Or work with exponents in pre-algebra? It probably wasn’t yesterday. If your daughter is learning math concepts, for example, let her try to teach them to you. The act of retelling some concepts aloud helps her retain the information. It also helps her see where her gaps in learning might be.
3. Set up a Zoom call with a friend to share material in creative ways. Make it clear that the Zoom call is for your child to explain a topic to his friend. He can recite a speech, perform a song, or share a drawing and explain it. It can end as a friend-catchup, but it should begin with your aural learner presenting orally what he learned.
4. Read homework questions aloud. This is a tool that helps everyone. But it’s especially important for someone who understands better when he or she hears it aloud. Word problems in math are a great example. If your son has a two- or three-step word problem, reading each part of the question out loud will serve him once he starts calculating the answer.
5. Encourage her to read her writing to someone. Awkward phrases, forgotten commas, and misspellings will jump off the page to an aural learner when she reads her essay out loud. It’s much easier to “hear” a mistake than it is to see it. Even editors who read all day long — and have preferences for the Read/Write method of learning — tend to use the read-aloud method when trying to correct a poorly constructed sentence. This method is also helpful for discovering a lack of transitions in between paragraphs and sentences. Your child may realize he or she needs an occasional “however” or “therefore” to make the essay clearer.
How a person learns varies widely. We all process information in more than one way, but understanding preferences is important. Matching your child’s learning preference to his study methods is one more way to help him reach his full potential.