SchoolFamily Voices

Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.

Observe Your Child to Learn More About His/Her Learning Style

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HeadphonesMost children use a combination of senses to learn. The three most common are visual, auditory (hearing,) and touch or "hands-on." Yet, it’s also true that most children tend to be stronger in one of those areas. A simple way to spot your child’s dominant style is by observing him or her in different settings, for example, car trips, going to the library, and home activities.

Your child is probably more of a visual learner if:

  • On car trips he likes to look out the window and play "find" games
  • At the library she goes for the books that are boldly and colorfully illustrated
  • At home he likes looking at photo albums or curling up on the couch with books

Your child is probably more of an auditory learner if:

  • On car trips she likes listening to stories or music with headphones
  • At the library he enjoys the "storytelling" hour, or audio books
  • At home she hears and follows oral directions, likes computer games with songs or sound matching activities.

Your child is probably more of a "hands-on" learner if:

  • On car trips he likes to color in coloring books or draw
  • At the library she goes right for the computer or block/design area, or books that have a tactile component like "Pat the Bunny"
  • At home he likes to take things apart and put them back together, enjoys puzzles or likes doing cooking projects

Knowing your child’s style of learning helps you align activities to that strength.

In the next few weeks I’ll share some easy reading and math activities that will benefit these three different learning styles.

School Family note: For more info on learning styles check out this article:
or take the learning style quiz:


#1 carol williams 2010-10-24 13:02
It would be interesting to learn what determines a child's dominant style of learning, whether environmental or hereditary, and if these patterns continue through adulthood.
I look forward to future information about this, if possible, as well as the activities so that I can observe this with my grandchildren, as I already know what my children were and appear to be to this day!

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Do you allow your children to watch TV or play on the computer before doing their homework?