Please stop talking. That’s what your child who is a kinesthetic learner is thinking – more often than you realize. Please just stop saying words, and let me do something. Let me please get up out of my chair. I’m going crazy here! Some teachers or parents may think a child is being stubborn, impatient, or a know-it-all, when really they just want you to get the message: they learn by doing, instead of listening.
If you have a little boy who would rather tear his truck apart than drive it around the living room carpet, he’s probably a kinesthetic learner. Does your daughter’s teacher complain that she’s always getting up to sharpen her pencil or ask to go to the bathroom? Don’t worry – it’s not ADHD, she’s a kinesthetic leaner. Does your high school student fall asleep on the couch with his textbook on his face? Kinesthetic learner.
And it doesn’t change when we become adults and enter the workforce – as a kinesthetic learner myself, I know. While my co-worker explains a process in minute detail, I’m tuning out. It’s not that we kinesthetic types don’t care, we just don’t know how to learn that way. Think your car mechanic has read much about the way cars work? Probably not, because he’s most likely a kinesthetic learner. We just can’t learn when somebody else is at the wheel. While you’re telling us the steps, or handing us a manual, we’re thinking, “I’ll just figure it out for myself when I get my hands on it.”
The problem is, some things can’t be “figured out” very easily. Very often we need to know facts and data and formulas in order to pass classes, navigate databases and function well in life. So, what to do? Here’s one option, for parents, that may help: since many children who learn kinesthetically get frustrated with data and formulas, one way you can stimulate the brain, reduce boredom, and make these necessary lessons easier, is by integrating physical activities into the lesson. Though it’s not a perfect fix, integrating physical activity into lessons does help the kinesthetic learner to more easily process needed facts and figures. Here are some great ideas from dyslexiaparents.blogspot.com.
You can shout out an adjective to your child while throwing a ball to them. Your child will then give the correct synonym or antonym and throw back the ball . You could adapt this game to practice all sorts of grammar points eg different tenses, It could also be used to test maths skills eg multiplication , addition etc. The options are endless.
Pavement Chalk Maths
Get your child to solve problems on the pavement instead of on paper to make it more fun.
Put numbers into hopscotch squares. Call out a problem in addition, subtraction, multiplication, division etc. and have your child hop to the two numbers in the problem and then the answer. (Note: make sure numbers are accessible to each other).
Times Table Aerobics
Choose a times table you want to practice with your son or daughter. Decide with your child on some aerobics movements to do, like jogging on the spot, touching toes, twisting from side to side etc. Afterward, your child can chant their tables while completing the aerobics moves.
Adapt your twister game by putting numbers on your Twister board. Afterward, you can make up problems for your child to solve, like 5 x 8, 5 + 8, etc. Make it harder or easier depending on the age or skill level of your child. If you don’t have Twister you could make your own from 20 blank pieces of paper joined together with the numbers 1-20 clearly written on them (place them in 4 rows of 5). The children are then told instructions such as “Put your left foot on the answer of 3 add 5” and so on. Repeat until the child has 2 feet and hands on the numbers.
Flash Card Games
Make up two different sets of colored flash cards to make a matching card game with opposites, fractions and decimals etc. Tie some string strategically around your garden. Afterward, use clothes pegs to attach the flash cards to the string. Have your child find the matching cards.
Make up a Treasure Hunt
Write some problems on cards for your child to solve and also explain where the next clue can be found. If your child gets the right answers give a small reward or treat in the end.
Using some of these techniques with your child can help them learn important facts and figures without stressing (or tuning) out.