Three Critical Components of Successful Learning
Both children and adults learn better when a certain combination of elements is present. When it comes to shepherding your child’s learning, providing them with high-quality educational content, keeping kids motivated and developing strong processing skills are the most important tasks. Let’s take a closer look at these three components of successful learning.
Successful learning requires excellent educational content
No one would dispute that every child is unique but how often do we consider this when helping our children grasp new concepts? Providing excellent educational content begins with identifying how your child learns best and utilizing that (those) channel(s) when teaching new material.
One model for assessing children’s learning styles is the VARK model. This model divides learning into four primary methods—visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic.
- Visual learners respond best to meaningful symbols such as charts, diagrams, or other representations of information. They do best when information is presented robustly in a visual manner.
- Auditory learners prefer to learn by ear. They do well when teachers or parents speak new information and may choose not to take notes because they find it distracting. They also prefer to discuss new concepts orally in groups.
- Reading/writing learners flourish when material is presented in writing. They learn well from books, slides, and handouts and synthesize information through writing assignments. Reading/writing learners don’t shy away from content-heavy books or online research.
- Kinesthetic learners learn by doing. They want to engage all their senses in the learning experience and often struggle in traditional classroom settings. They shine when they can engage in labs that allow them to be hands-on.
According to a 2013 study of the VARK model of learning styles, 39% of students learn unimodal, or via only one method of learning while 61% of students learn using two or more methods.
Another way to promote quality educational content is by tapping into engaging supplemental resources. Here are a few of the many resources that can help enhance your child’s learning:
- Outschool: Affordable live online classes in a variety of subject areas, led by teachers.
- Khan Academy: Free classes that cover science, math, literature and life skills.
- ABCMouse: A paid site for early learners that includes games, puzzles, digital books and songs.
- Prodigy: A math game for children in 1st-8th grade. Free and paid subscriptions available.
- Skillshare: A paid platform for children and adults that teaches a variety of creative skills.
- Quizlet: A free app that allows students to create study guides, notes, quizzes and flashcards.
Successful learning incorporates fun
When you think back to your childhood education, what memories do you have from classroom learning? Maybe it’s learning the states and capitals in Mrs. Olson’s 4th grade class because they were set to music or teaming up with your junior high best friend to research, create and present your big end-of-the-year project. Either way, learning that is fun is learning that sticks with you. When your child is having fun, they are more engaged with the material and will remember it more easily in the present and down the road.
Successful learning requires strong cognitive skills to process the content
Even with excellent content, learning can still be harder than it needs to be. Strong cognitive skills are the tools your child needs to grasp new material. Cognitive skills include:
- Working memory: Your child’s ability to take in information and manipulate it at the same time.
- Attention: Your child’s ability to stay engaged with the content.
- Processing speed: The speed at which your child takes in content.
- Logic and reasoning: Your child’s ability to apply content to other experiences and solve problems.
- Auditory processing: Your child’s ability to read with fluency.
At LearningRx, if your child is struggling to process information, we can pinpoint weak cognitive skills through testing. Then we can provide your child with customized training to strengthen those
skills and enhance their learning ability.
For more learning information and insights click on this link to take our Free Brain Quiz