How to Wage a War with Your Kinesthetic Learner

How to Wage a War with Your Kinesthetic Learner

Want to wage war with your Kinesthetic Learner? Probably not. However, one sign in an early childhood family class that you have a mover, or Kinesthetic Learner, is the child who quite literally behaves as if being in your lap is a prison cell and does all that he can to break free. If you are physically holding this child down, you may soon find your toddler waging a full war against the oppressor. You!

Recognizing the The Mover can Work Miracles

I once heard the story of a little girl who couldn’t stop fidgeting and moving all the time in school. It brought to mind the child who is in constant “wiggle” during all kinds of subjects. Wiggling in math, scooching in science, shuffling in social studies, swaying in art…. You get the picture.

Her mother began to take her to doctors because this inability to SIT STILL appeared to be a real problem. Doctor after doctor prescribed this or that. I will never know the details but suffice to say the initial intent was to get this child stilled by whatever pill possible. But Mom wasn’t satisfied.

Then the day came when this mom who must have been hanging on to her last thread of hope took her daughter to what would be the final physician. After listening to this daughter’s horrible plight of movement and perhaps expecting another prescription the doctor looked at his precious patient, (who, no doubt, was swinging her legs back and forth on the bench, banging the metal with her heels,) then up over his readers at her mother. 

“Put her in a dance class,” he prescribed.

Mom did. The “problem” went away. The girl’s grades rose. And she had found purpose in her life. 

She ended up an award-winning choreographer.

How to Spot the Kinesthetic Learner

In some cases, perhaps the easiest style of learning to spot in a child is the kinesthetic or tactile learner. This is our “little mover” and they, well, move!

Unlike our visual learner, who is perfectly happy sitting in Mom’s lap or chillin’ at her desk perfectly serene watching, as a movie, all that is being presented before her, the mover is less likely to have that kind of patience or stillness.

Unlike our auditory learners who may stare at the wall to engage the ear or wander somewhat aimlessly while “sponging” in the topic at hand, the mover has a motive: to embody, to explore physically the groove, the beat, the sound, or the idea.

How to Support the Mover

How do we support these active participants in class? The best way to answer this question is by telling you what not to do. The most surefire way to suppress and stall this learner is to make them sit and “behave” while teacher is presenting the lesson. If you have a toddler, you’ll have a real battle on your hands.

Let the kid run free! Let her swirl, hop, tot, and “go”! Keep her safe – these are the kids that are in most danger of head on collisions with other movers. But for whatever reason, they gotta feel it in their body and they will fight for that right.

Our little movers can be fun and help us burn calories, get our blood circulating and teach us about the free spirit!

What Kind of Learner are You?

Some are listeners, some are watchers, some are movers. As we grow older, we can become a combo pack. What about you? Which are you today? How are you nourishing your own God-given ability to see, hear or move?

You don’t have to be award-winning at anything. Start with those nearest you. They need your strength – in your strengths. I am deeply grateful for those who show up in their strengths so that hope is rekindled in me – that I may pass it on.

What kind of learner is your child? What kind of learner are you? Ever thought about it? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Tatiana Syrikova

Check out the Look Up! Blog for education, support and encouragement in teaching children Music & Theatre Arts Integration. Follow on Instagram and YouTube for educational reels and teacher tips.

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