Different children approach learning in different ways: some learn best by reading or listening, some by reasoning, some by seeing or creating images, and others by manipulating. By discovering more about your child’s learning profile, you can help your child approach a more difficult topic by building off her areas of strength. For example, if your child does best when she can “see” what is being asked of her, she can leverage mind maps or other visuals to learn. Similarly, you can foster less utilized ways of learning by approaching an area of mastery through a less favored aspect of her learning profile. Thus, you can encourage this same visual child to look for mathematical patterns, or ask her to write a story by way of a graphic novel. Now that you have completed the survey, take a look at your child’s dominant way of approaching learning.
Your Athlete/Actor/Surgeon may seem to always be on the move. She is skilled at controlling her body movements and can utilize objects with skill and precision. She has a strong sense of timing, rhythm, balance, and coordination. She tends to learn best by doing, such as building or constructing projects, and she develop muscle memory to aid recall. For the Athlete/Actor/Surgeon, touching and manipulating objects facilitates understanding, and she tends to express emotions through body movement as well.
The transition to middle school can rejuvenate academic interest in the Athlete/Actor/Surgeon, as the passing period between classes gives your child formal brain breaks in learning. In addition, most Athlete/Actor/Surgeons take PE as an elective and are able to get structured physical activity more often than they typically got in elementary school. Your child likely loves to tinker and to physically take things apart or put them back together. Projects and explorations in middle school can be much more accommodating for your child’s style of learning, if pursued in the right way.
While some of these learners can feel locked out of what they see as the typical way to learn, you can help them bring their individual skill set to the middle school classroom. For example, Athlete/Actor/Surgeons are usually skilled model makers, enjoy role plays, mock interviews, or other types of presentations. Your child’s preference for hands-on learning makes her a wonderful candidate for both science class and science club. For long class periods, see if your child’s teacher will allow her to stand, or take “brain breaks” with a quick stop at the water fountains. Changes in focus can often accomplish the same goal, and having your child do her work on a computer adds a physical component to learning throughout the day.
For some activities and resources that will benefit your Athlete/Actor/Surgeon, click here.