Here are some tips you can use at home to help you efficiently learn new information. Homework and studying can be completed with more efficiency. Parents may receive less resistance from their student as their student builds confidence completing their work quicker and with more accuracy. You may also want to try to broaden your learning styles. For example, if your predominant learning style is Visual, it never hurts to try to improve one's auditory comprehension skills. Taking a multi-sensory approach to learning will help your overall comprehension, retention, and application of the knowledge.

Characteristics of a Visual Learner

Characteristics of a Visual Learner
Tends to sit in the front of the class. Likes to be able to see the information.
Typically neat and clean. Artistically talented in the visual arts.
Often closes their eyes to visualize or remember something. Has difficulty following spoken directions.
Finds something to watch if they are bored. Experiences misunderstanding or misinterpretation of spoken material.
Likes to see what they are learning. Tends to be sensitive to sounds.
Benefits from illustrations and presentations that use color. Often attracted to written or spoken language rich in imagery.
Takes numerous detailed notes. Prefers visual learning material to be isolated from auditory and kinesthetic distraction.
20 Tips for Visual Learners
1. Circle words and underline while reading. 11. Compare your class notes to others'.
2. Watch videos on the subject matter when available. 12. Make sure you can take any visual materials away with you--from class, tutoring and study group sessions, etc., so you can go back and look at them.
3. Draw illustrations out. Put information in a graphic organizer. 13. Use a variety of colors-in pens, pencils, markers, highlighters, paper, etc. for different categories or concepts.
4. Draw a timeline or map of the events. 14. Take detailed lecture notes.
5. Create graphic organizers such as diagrams and concept maps that use visual symbols to represent ideas and information. 15. Type your written notes from class using different fonts, bold print, and underlining to make the most important concepts and facts visually apparent.
6. When trying to remember information, close your eyes and visualize the information. 16. When solving math problems that involve a sequence of steps, draw a series of boxes, each containing the appropriate piece of information in sequence.
7. Include illustrations, pictures, graphs, charts, and diagrams as you take notes in class. 17. When using flashcards, limit the amount of information on a card so that you can form a mental picture of the information.
8. Use highlighter pens of contrasting colors to color code different aspects of the information in your textbooks. 18. Sit in the front of the class so that you can clearly see the teacher. This will allow you to pick up facial expressions and body language that provide cues for importance.
9. Study in a place that is free from visual distractions. 19. When taking notes, replace words with symbols wherever possible.
10. When hearing a new word you want to remember, visualize its spelling. 20. When reviewing information, rewrite or draw the information from memory.

Strategies for Tutors and Educators

It's important for a tutor and educator to be aware of all learning styles and use multi-sensory instructional materials to most effectively teach their students. Tutors are encouraged to look for clues as to how their students think and learn. Characteristics of a student's learning style can be seen in the way they take notes, talk about their teachers, react to their assignments, and respond to questions. Each student learns differently and at a different rate for each learning style. Everyone has a learning style. Our style of learning, if accommodated, can result in improved attitudes toward learning, as well as increased self-esteem and academic achievement. By identifying your learning style and becoming familiar with other styles, you will become a more effective and creative tutor.

Language Arts Tutoring Strategies for Visual Learners
Grades K-5 Grades 6-12
Have students write sight words three to five times each. Break words into prefixes, roots, and suffixes by highlighting in different colors.
Before reading, show the students pictures relating to the passage or story. Give students a written rule for forming each type of plural.
Ask students to look at a group of words and indicate which one does not belong. Allow students to begin writing sentences, then paragraphs, and then essays.
Have students make letter dictionaries, writing a key word per letter. When students are reading independently, ask them to stop and write three facts about the reading material.
Have the students draw and color their mental pictures after reading. Have the students respond to literature with graphic organizers.
Have them write a summary of what they have read. Use color on individual whiteboard when explaining a concept.
Ask students to create specific mental images as they read. Teach students to spell by position, determining whether a vowel team would be placed inside or at the end of a word.
Ask students to match lowercase and uppercase forms of the same letters. Have students mark significant information for recall with stars, hearts, etc.
Instruct students to create a movie in their heads as they read, and if they have trouble, let them go back to the movie and restart the scene. Have students use mnemonics, acronyms, visual chains, and mind maps.
Encourage students to use photographs and illustrations even when the homework doesn't call for it. It will help with comprehension. Introduce students to visual analogies and metaphors.
Ask students to make flashcards, then use them during the tutoring sessions. The act of writing (the cards) and viewing them doubles their comprehension. Refer them to the LAC computer programs.
Employ manipulatives and games. Help students organize the material before attempting the work.
Math Tutoring Strategies for Visual Learners
Grades K-5 Grades 6-12
Have students use graphs, charts, and tables.
Use Graph paper to demonstrate key points.
Tell students to jot down questions as they work on their math.
Use flashcards for practicing basic facts. Have students color code flashcards for different math concepts.
Have students write the facts that were not mastered. Give math equations with symbols replacing some of the numbers.
Have students match a list of math terms to their meanings. Teach an area model concept for multiplying larger numbers.
Provide an example for each type of problem. Teach the lattice strategy for multiplying.
Use worksheets with visual space. Teach students how to make arrays.
Have students highlight key words in directions. Allow students to use a math dictionary (or internet printout) to see terms and examples.
Tell students to highlight math terms in word problems. Provide a written example of each type of math problem to be solved.
Provide connect-the-dots activities. Provide written instructions.
Use worksheets with color if possible. Tell students to take notes as a math concept is being explained.
Employ manipulatives and games. When you ask them to explain something, suggest they do so by writing the explanation down. This is especially helpful for complex math concepts.
Use a whiteboard or notepaper for both of you to write questions and answers. Use a whiteboard or notepaper for both of you to write questions and answers.
Encourage them to visualize the scene, formula, words, charts, etc. in their head. Advise students to use the computer to organize materials, to create graphs, tables, charts, and spreadsheets.

Study Skills Strategies for ALL Learning Styles

Organization and Communication are KEY factors for building the study skills needed for a lifetime of academic success! It all begins with creating and cultivating a structured homework regimen. Keep backpacks and folders organized, as well as your personal work space. Communication is needed between the parent, student, and the classroom teacher(s).

Designate a "School Home Zone" place in your home, where your student can place important papers that parents will check DAILY. Place a basket by the front door, use a drawer in the kitchen, or hang a bulletin board to stay organized. Parents need to check the "School Home Zone" DAILY, sign any needed paperwork, then place back in School/Home Folder OR have student pick up from "School Home Zone." It's very important to do this consistently so it becomes a habit. Your goal is to create habits and accountability.

Homework Space: What is your child's current "homework space" like? Is it the same spot each night? Consistency is key to make sure they work in the same area each night, during the same time of day (if schedules permits). Make sure all necessary supplies are in the work space. The less the student needs to get up, the better!

Time Management: Time is limited with busy schedules, so efficiency is a key factor. Make the most efficient use of your homework time by using an Agenda or calendar that you refer to daily for homework and week-to-week for larger projects and assignments.

  • Create an agenda/planner.
  • Use a large calendar to write down ALL activities and due dates. Post this calendar at the students' "Homework Space" work area.

Procrastination: Procrastination may be triggered by anxiety, dislike of a particular subject, or countless other reasons. But how do you deal with it?

  • Recognize procrastination.
  • Do something small. Break down your work into manageable pieces.
  • Create little goals for yourself that are reachable.
  • Reward yourself as you make your way through your work. Enjoy these times of freedom and pleasure without guilt, knowing that you will return to your work.
Study Skills Tips
Before you study, know about the upcoming test or quiz: content being covered, types of questions (multiple choice, fill in blanks, etc.), and timeframe for test/quiz. With your child, determine how long each assignment will take before starting. Setting expectation is essential.
Turn everything OFF!! Cell phones, TV, Ipod, computer. Know when tests and quizzes are scheduled.
Have all necessary supplies in the designated work area - snack and drink included! Make a mock test for your child to will help with nerves, and provide you the opportunity to see what information they need help with.
Review notes on days with little assigned homework. Do the least favorite/hardest assignment first.
Have break times outlined at the start. If homework takes 30 minutes, you will get a 5 minute break." Have break time boundaries set so time limits aren't exceeded. Make sure your child reads the directions carefully before beginning assignments.
Encourage your child to work through an assignment first then ask for help when needed.
Get homework done at the same time every day or have set "homework time." Keep subjects organized by color coding binders and folders.
Encourage your child to think positively! Get consistent sleep before quizzes and tests.

Test-taking Strategies for ALL Learning Styles

A classroom is filled with all types of learners and yet all students have to conform to a preferred method of assessment on test day. Whether you are an auditory, visual, or tactile learner, at some point most people have difficulty with certain forms that tests. Here are some helpful hints, though you should also ask your teachers about their expectations on a given test.

Tips for Sentence Completion Items Tips for Short Answer Essay
Use grammar cues from the presented portion of the question. Answers can be in brief sentences or lists that show you understand the main points.
Try to highlight terms and concepts.
The presented portion of the question places restrictions on what can logically follow or precede it. Be logical. Answers can be in brief sentences or lists that show you understand the main points.
Try to highlight terms and concepts.
Consider the number and length of the blanks to be filled in. There is never a penalty for guessing so always write in some answer. Write something for every essay question, even if you are not completely certain of the content. It is rare that a question about which you know absolutely nothing will be asked. Try to get partial credit this way.
Make sure your answer is as specific as possible. Make your answer clear and legible.
Tips for Multiple Choice Questions Tips for Long Answer Essay
If the answer is not readily apparent, reread the question and answer it independently of the choices. Then, look back at the options to see if one is more readily apparent. If you are still stumped, read the question and then the first answer. Read the question again followed by each of the other answers. See which one sounds best. Read the question carefully to make sure you include what is wanted in the answer. It is easy to get off track.
Show caution around the following words: every, always, and never. Outline your answer before writing it.
Be careful with "all of the above" and "none of the above" answers. Write an introduction that lays out the important questions or the main ideas in your answer.
Pick out the one that is most nearly true.
Sometimes, no answer seems perfect.
Define the terms used in your answer.
Time can go quickly in multiple choice sections. Be sure to budget your time. Use examples and facts to support your main points. Be sure to summarize and draw conclusions.
Consider all options. Don't select the first one that sounds good. Use subheadings to break down and organize the information. Write in outline form if time does not permit a complete answer.
Eliminate incorrect answers first. Allow time to polish your answers. Write legibly!
Tips for Matching Questions Tips for True-False Questions
Read the directions carefully. Some instructors ask to match those that are different and some ask to match those that are the same. Most people spend too much time on these questions. If an answer isn't readily apparent, guess and move on. The answer may be triggered in later questions.
Answer easy questions first to reduce the chance of guessing incorrectly on more difficult matches. Mark statements true only if they are true without exception.
Keep a close eye on the grammar. A single word can make all of the difference. Beware of words like all, most, some, few, none, no, always, usually, sometimes, rarely, and never.

Test-taking Anxiety

Anxiety is a real and natural interference to studying and learning. The bright side of anxiety is that, at a particular level, it can motivate us. At other levels, it is a roadblock. Test anxiety is a learned behavior. There are ways to cope with anxiety however. Watch what you think! Sometimes our own thoughts can defeat us. Try and monitor your thoughts, so they stay in a positive direction. Replace negative thoughts and feelings with more hopeful positive ones, as discussed above.

Causes of Test Anxiety Steps to Manage Test Anxiety
The association of grades and personal worth. Before starting a test, look at the number of sections and budget time for each section.
From a feeling of a lack of control. Get 8 hours of sleep the night before a test.
From fear of alienation from parents, family, and friends due to poor grades. Develop a study plan as soon as possible.
Timed tests and the fear of not finishing the test, even if one can do all the problems. Don't rush! Have a calm morning before the test with a good breakfast.
Fear of not having studied enough. Think positively! Your thoughts can have a dramatic impact on your performance.
Fear of having studied the wrong material. Before you turn in your test, review your answers one last time.

Learn about each learning style:

Auditory Visual Tactile

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