Many teachers or even doctors might confuse a kinesthetic learner with having ADHD or being hyperactive (or even difficult). More times than not, kinesthetic learners are extremely bright, active and simply learn best through movement.
Does your child learn best through touch and motion? Does he enjoy putting things together and taking them apart? Does your child find it difficult to sit still for long periods of time? Does he fidget, tap or doodle while working and listening?
If you answered yes to most of the above questions, you might have a kinesthetic learner. Hands-on activities, read-alouds, manipulatives and role-play will yield the best results with tactile learners.
LDPride explains how a kinesthetic person learns best. “Tactile/kinesthetic persons learn best through a hands-on approach, actively exploring the physical world around them. They may find it hard to sit still for long periods and may become distracted by their need for activity and exploration.”
Kinesthetic learning success
If you’re struggling to teach your child, you might want to think outside the box and try some unconventional ways of teaching.
- Instead of sitting with pencil and paper, why not try sidewalk chalk lessons or standing and writing on a chalkboard.
- Keep lessons short and take frequent breaks.
- Do hands-on activities with magnetic letters, molding clay, puzzles, drawing supplies and Post-it notes.
- Use ball games to learn facts — bouncing or throwing balls in time to memorize math facts is helpful for all children.
- Kinesthetic learners are visual learners, so use images and colors to teach and to decorate your learning areas.
- When reading aloud or reading instructions, allow your child to move around, try the walk and talk method.
- Play games with flash cards, board games and alphabet games.
- Allow your child to chew gum to help with concentration.
Resources for kinesthetic learners
- The Felt Source: Provides flannel boards, finger-play sets, educational games and more
- The Private Eye: Hands-on learning process and professional development program that rivets the eye and rockets the mind
- Math-U-See: Popular math curriculum in which students use manipulatives to “build” their math problems
- Snap Words: Beginning reading curriculum for visual learners
- Moving Beyond the Page: Hands-on, creative homeschool curriculum
- Delta Education: Hands-on science curriculum and activities
- Cram Flashcard Exchange: Use pre-made flashcards or make your own to study online
- Learning Resources: Hands-on learning through gears and other creative resources
- Mindware: Great hands-on educational toys, science kits and puzzles
- LEGO Education: The use of LEGO for multiple homeschool subjects
You might be wondering if homeschooling your kinesthetic learner means allowing them to do whatever they want. You should try to cater to your child’s needs within your behavior limits. Kinesthetic learners learn differently, so embrace the differences and just keep moving!