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Parenting Press: Why Don’t You Understand?

Make Home a Learning Place

Tip—Our thinking style impacts how we learn.

Link to book description

Parent educator and professor Susie Weller explores the four dominant thinking styles in her book, Why Don’t You Understand? Improve Family Communication with the 4 Thinking Styles. Weller points out that research shows we all have innate preferences for how our brains gather and process information. (A brief outline of the four dominant thinking styles, Logical, Practical, Relational and Creative, can be found here.)

In other tips, we’ve looked at how thinking styles characterize the way a child learns (see article here). This week,  take these thoughts a little farther and look at how we can structure our homes to support different thinking styles to enhance learning.

Once you know your child’s preferred thinking style, you can evaluate your home for how well you support his or her learning. “Parents can provide a wide variety of simple resources to make their home a learning place,” says Weller. “Notice that the suggestions I make are not fancy or expensive gadgets. You can get these supplies at discount or thrift stores.”

Tools—The following chart lists learning preferences of each thinking style and resources that are good for reaching a particular child.

Thinking StyleLikes toLearns best whenResources that teach
Logical–Work with numbers
–See how things work
–Asking questions
–Able to do own experiments
–Building projects or taking things apart
–Rulers, tape measures, puzzles, strategy games
–Construction tools
–Discarded objects that can be safely dismantled
Practical–Read, write, tell stories, memorize facts
–Collect and organize things
–Given enough details and step-by-step directions, seeing and hearing words (such as stories about family history)
–Arranging data or special belongings in an orderly manner
–Dictionary, word games like Scrabble, audio books, paper, writing supplies
–Stacking baskets, shelves to display things, binders and scrapbooking materials
Relational–Talk, express ideas with others
–Help others and share feelings
–Placed in small discussion groups, invited to compare/contrast, invited to interview others
–Given time to vent & express feelings verbally or through poetry/music
–Board games, group projects, books (especially biographies)
–Opportunities to volunteer, write in journals, play instruments, play CDs, read
Creative–Design, build, draw, and create things
–Wonder about things
–Encouraged to make/create, daydream, and use imagination
–Supported to observe and experiment with ideas & objects
–Building blocks, Lego sets, craft supplies, buckets for water/rice/macaroni, dress-up props
–Magnifying glasses, microscopes, fantasy books

You’ll find more practical tips you can use right now in Why Don’t You Understand? Improve Family Communication with the 4 Thinking Styles by Susie Leonard Weller.

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