Type ‘student’ into clipart and you have fifty-one pages of cartoon pupils sitting quietly at their desk diligently working away. DREAM ON. We know all students are not alike because all children are not alike. In a (teacher’s) perfect world all students would be just so, but …
Approximately 15% of the population are kinaesthetic learners and that means there will be no such thing as a quiet classroom. Kinaesthetic learners just want to touch and feel everything. Their friends are bruised because these learners just have to thump their mates. Their homes are a mess because they have to pull everything apart, just to see how it works. Does that sound like someone you married?
You can picture this in your husband, but how about your little one? How do you know you have a kinaesthetic learner on your hands? Well for starters their teacher will probably be calling you in to complain about how disruptive they are in class. This student finds it difficult to learn through reading and writing. They need the hands on approach so they do better in chemistry experiments, sports and acting. They may not even be aware of their own movement and are easily distracted by the movements of others.
By the age of 6½ they are generally classed as under-achievers or worse still hyperactive.
What can you do with this learner? For starters accept them for who they are. There is nothing wrong with them rather it is our education system that is not geared to accept 15% of the population. As a parent, give them down time after an active session, and reward them for the tasks they perform. These guys may be reward driven. Kinaesthetics learn best with images so paint them a picture of what you want from them. (For more information visit www.educ.uvic.ca )