The biggest thing that we as parents are anxious about at this time of year is how our kids are going to get on in school.
Moving on from this- today I’m talking about school.
Sensing children are typically the ones who get their timetable facts easily, and also find spelling words easy to navigate. They build on knowledge that they already know and add new information to it. Intuitives can also do this, and I have two Intuitives in my children who also know their spelling words and enjoy maths – and yet sometimes an intuitive is the one in the class that may have been thinking of other things when multiplication was the topic, and they tend to move quickly through instructions and are more likely to make careless mistakes.
On the other hand it is the Intuitives that naturally shine during open-ended writing assignments, or projects, where they can use their strengths and shine. A Sensing child finds these kinds of assignments difficult, because they just want to know what the ‘right’ answer is so they can add it to their repertoire.
These examples can indicate that a Sensing child is more likely to succeed early on in school, whereas an Intuitive child will enjoy the looser, more theoretical environment in school as they get older.
Classroom environments can vary also, and a Sensing child will enjoy the structure and order of a traditional classroom, whereas the new, modern, open classroom environments, or media centres, will appeal to the Intuitive child.
How does this information help?
Knowing what your child’s learning preferences are is just the first step in knowing where their learning strengths and weaknesses are. Once we know the strengths and weaknesses of their learning styles that gives us signposts to allow us to help and support them.
For example, if your child is an Intuitive, but working in a classroom with a strongly traditional structure, which is not catering obviously to her/his strengths, you can have a conversation with the teacher asking where in the curriculum and learning there will be opportunities for your child to stretch their imaginations, and come up with ‘new’ ideas.
On the other side of this could be your highly preferenced Sensing child, struggling in the loose environment of a modern classroom, and you can have open conversations with the teacher about where the routine is in the classroom, and discuss your concerns, coming up with solutions that can work for everyone.
There are no right or wrong answers here – I recommend keeping open communication with your child’s teacher, and listening to them as well. The better you are able to communicate, the better the teacher will understand your child, your family, and your preferences, then the better your child will find and succeed in school.
Our children will benefit from building strengths on their non-preferred side as well, and both sides will benefit from learning to respect the opposite preference and learn to work with others that learn differently to them.