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LEARNING STYLES: struggling with retaining information..?

Updated on February 25, 2016

What's your learning style?

For years, many students as well as myself have struggled with school. Learning environments and distractions are a main cause for failure in the classroom. Teachers are more focused on teaching as a group rather than focusing on those individuals who do not do well and have difficulties in certain areas that other students seem to do fairly well in. I dealt with that for years growing up. It wasn't until I got older and in college that my learning habits got worse until just recently when I figured out what my learning style truly was. In high school, I could never understand why I was able to tell you all the different things I learned after memorizing it but on tests I couldn't tell you a thing. I could memorize for hours and then sit there and tell you everything I just learned. I memorized math equations for hours also. It wasn't until a few weeks ago I had realized that my math tutor put the equations in the color orange on the dry erase board and for some reason those numbers and mathematical signs just popped out at me and I understood it. Reading book material wasn't so bad except all I saw were words and those words meant nothing to me. I started to settle with the fact that school just wasn't for me until I did more research on this subject.

Doctors had suggested it was anxiety but how when I am usually calm during tests. I looked further online and suddenly stumbled on three different learning styles for student's and this applies to all ages. The three big styles are; Visual, Auditory, and Tactile/Kinesthetic. For the most part I am all three. For others it may be just one, two, or even all three just like me. Let's take a further more in depth look at these styles.

Visual learning is a learning style for those that like to see what they are learning. Visual learns should learn to draw symbols in place of words that stand out in the text or subject they are writing about. The writer does not have to be a great artist because these notes are personal and only for their use. Remember not to over draw on your notes because over drawing would be like highlighting every single word in the book. You don't need to do that. Level it out. I found a video explaining that its called " the 50/50 Rule of Visual note taking" I posted it down below. Another thing I want to mention within this subject or example is that I used to have a terrible time saying numbers, and saying the amount of what something costs or saying how much someone owes outloud. Saying the number's out loud as if they were written in words really helps me SEE the words rather than just seeing them as difficult numbers.

Auditory learning is more for students that enjoy listening or those that like to talk. Auditory learners might like to record the lecture if it is approved by the teacher. This way they can go back and hear the lecture as many times as they need to and pick out key words or key points to help them study and they can also rewrite their notes this way if the teacher spoke to fast. The classroom is the auditory learner's best friend. they love listening to lectures and learn best from this. You may always see them learning with different people such as studying in groups at the library or studying with a friend. Putting notes in song's if they like music might work best for them to retain more information. Reading out loud makes this easier for the auditory learner because they can HEAR the words being said to them.

Tactile/Kinesthetic learners love doing things hands on. These are the people that love doing projects and putting things together such as puzzles. Tracing their fingers against words to help them learn to spell or read better or more clearly work for them as well. Make use to have them participate in activities such as touching, building, moving, drawing or other like activities.

There's a few good example's I'd like to share with you guy's to give you an idea on how all three helped me succeed in school and life. I had already explained how visual learning helps me on exams. I was never much of a reader growing up but I always wanted to be just like my mother. However, I could not concentrate a day in my life with reading silently to myself. I was always thinking of different things and my mind was going a million miles a minuet and I just couldn't settle down for the life of me. I knew that reading out loud was best for me but I stutter and I stuttered so bad that everything was hard for me. I refused to read out loud in school as kids made fun of me like I was something strange like the plague.

After this last job, where even the managers made fun of me I had had about enough of people laughing at me day in and day out because of my issues and wanted to fix them or treat them. So I decided to take speech class. It had to be approved by my doctor and I took it through the same place where I see my primary doctor which was comforting. The lady was really nice. She told me that there was nothing to fear in the room when I was with her. I had to be evaluated because she actually thought I was dyslexic when I described my issues over the phone.

Fast forward, she explained that connecting the words was best for me which at first was a bit weird reading them all with no spaces but with practice and confidence it helped me to succeed with reading out loud to myself. Light contact and tracing my finger against something helps to release tension. My point with this is that all of this helped my learning styles. I now use these daily and read out loud much better than I ever have in my entire life. When I do mess up it doesn't bother me because no one is perfect and as Eleanor Roosevelt said " no one can make you inferior without your consent" I have currently advanced to reading the Davinci code out loud to myself and really found that auditory and Tactile learning skills help me when comprehending while reading out loud. I can now tell you exactly what happened thoroughly in the 22 chapters I have finished reading.

Another great example, I found out that not only using tactile skills while learning a new job is best but I found out that I do best away from jobs that use the phone. I need to do things hands on and that allow me to use my hands for the most part. It really helps me succeed and hone more skills.

Anyone can use these skills they just have to tap into what their interests are. I kept a book from a class that is called Becoming A Master Student. I have posted videos about this subject that gives further detail on the different learning styles for your information and to help you figure out what your learning style is. Hope this helps.

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