What Makes A Child Successful? A Look at Multiple Learning Styles

Have you ever struggled with the idea of teaching success to multiple learning styles? Every parent wants to raise successful children. But what defines success? What makes a child successful?

The answer may vary from family to family.

Teaching Success to Multiple Learning Styles While Homeschooling

Some parents want to raise kids who stay out of trouble, get good grades, and get into a good college.

Other parents want kids who, above all else, are kind and gentle and loving.

Still others have the end goal of making sure each child has mastered an appropriate number (and level) of life skills.

The definition of success can be very fluid. And that’s okay! We’re not here to debate the definition of success. We’re here to learn how to raise successful kids and about teaching success to multiple learning styles.

We Must Teach Our Children How To Be Successful

Success is not an accident. Nobody wakes up one day and magically decides to be successful. Success is a goal that must be learned about, worked at, and fought for each and every day of our lives.

Those of us who practice intentional parenting know this to be true. We know that in order to raise successful kids, we must be intentional about that goal. We must teach and guide our children so that when they are ready to branch out on their own, they soar and do not flounder

Many people get older but wisdom is only gained if they are intentional about gaining it.

So at what age does someone need to start to gain wisdom?  Should you wait until your children ask to learn about success before you start teaching it to them?

Teaching Success to Multiple Learning Styles

When it comes to children, sometimes they need someone to be intentional for them until they are intentional for themselves. If you’re reading this, then chances are you already know this. You know you need to be intentional about your child’s success.

But what happens when you are trying to teach multiple children? How do we teach multiple children, each with a different learning style, all about successful habits?

In short – how do we teach success to multiple learning styles?

Multiple Intelligences = Multiple Learning Styles

While there are many styles and ways of learning (and teaching!) experts agree on 8 main learning styles.

While everybody learns using a variety of these learning styles, most people tend to gravitate towards one or two primary learning styles.

When we understand how our children learn best (whether we teach kids inside or outside our homes), we can plan our lessons in ways that will be absorbed and understood.

The 8 Multiple Intelligences Learning Styles Are:

  • Linguistic Intelligence
  • Musical Intelligence
  • Spatial Intelligence
  • Logical/Mathematical Intelligence
  • Kinesthetic Intelligence
  • Interpersonal Intelligence
  • Intrapersonal Intelligence
  • Naturalist Intelligence

Every child will best understand one or two of these methods. Those of us with multiple children will need to get good at either cycling through each learning style with our lessons, or we will need to get good at balancing multiple learning styles within our lessons at the same time.

Whether we are teaching math, science, or character-building success principles for kids, the goal should be the same – to help teach kids in the method that they best understand.

How To Teach The Linguistic Learner

Students with linguistic intelligence are great at language. They can hear the sounds and rhythms of words. They love language, whether it’s reading, writing, or speaking.

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Children with this learning style will thrive when introduced to stories, poems, audiobooks, and podcasts. You might have a linguistic learner if your child loves reading, listening to, or coming up with stories of her own!

Children of many learning styles love and learn well from stories. Stories are relatable and easy to understand. But if you’ve got a linguistic learner, you might want to put an extra emphasis on learning success principles through language.

This could include reading your child books and stories that teach success principles for kids, such as this Victorious Kids book series. For the Christian child, this could also include child-friendly scripture stories.

Stories can inspire children to see what can be and teach them to overcome the problems they face. 

In spite of all the tech changes we have seen throughout the centuries, the general base of problems has remained the same. The great thing about stories is that you can reread them throughout your life and pick up new insights that you may have missed or never thought of from the last time you read/heard the story. 

One of my favorite stories is the parable of the good Samaritan found in The New Testament. This story illustrates the success principle of caring for and about others.

Another story that illustrates a success principle is Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” with Scrooge learning that his neglect of his neighbors is making him unsuccessful, in spite of all the money he has accumulated.

There are many good books and stories out there that can teach your children many good principles if you just take the time to have them read, or read the books to them.

Whatever success principles you plan to teach your children, there is probably a plethora of good books that will support your goals. Find them, buy them, and read them with your children.

How To Teach The Musical Learner

Music is very powerful and can penetrate areas of ourselves that words alone can not.  God has said that a hymn is like a prayer unto Him. So clearly music can teach people all kinds of useful things. 

The musical learner knows and recognizes this principle better than anybody else.

[Musical learners] are the ones who drum on the desk or are always humming a tune. They hear music in everything and love to produce music in whatever way they can.

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While music can be used to help reinforce learning in all children, the musical learner will especially benefit by adding music to the education process.

Music can be used as a tool to learn, like with a song about skip counting, or can just set a mood to bring in a full effect. 

Have you ever noticed how the music you listen to affects not only your mood but the mood of everybody around you? Music has such power over our lives – and this is even more true for the musical learner.

If you are raising a musical learner, invite music into your education process. This can be as detailed as putting a principle or idea to a tune or jingle, or as simple as popping on some quiet background music while learning or studying something (anything)!

Music is a great way to learn new languages and remember things that you have a hard time remembering. 

How To Teach The Spatial Learner

Does your child like arts and crafts? Is your child into hands-on projects and activities? Then your child might be a spatial learner!

Students with spatial intelligence…understand how things are put together and have amazing memory for them. These are the future sculptors, tour guides, and navigators of the world.

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There are so many ways in which to invite arts, crafts, and hands-on learning into your success principle lessons!

For example, let’s take the success principle, Dreaming Big. Teaching your children to become big dreamers is an important step on the road to success. Have your child construct a mini model/example of one of his big dreams.

Goal setting is also an important success principle that can be connected to some hands-on projects. Instead of just talking about goals and then writing them down, have your child build and decorate a goal-setting calendar of some kind. Let your child really get creative and watch his imagination soar!

For the spatial learner, hands-on projects are definitely where it’s at.

How To Teach The Kinesthetic Learner

That kid that can’t sit still? You can’t manage to get him to learn math but when you see him on the soccer field, he’s a champ and a leader for his team. This is the kinesthetic learner – a future athlete, dancer, or choreographer.

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Have you ever watched The Magic School Bus?  In this TV series, the magic bus takes the class on adventures to essentially act out or live the science of what they are learning. 

This idea of ‘living education’ can be applied to all kinds of subjects, not just science. You can pull historical figures from the past to learn historical events and locations.  You can follow the example of the Magic School Bus and live the science of baking or sound or water or anything else.

Teaching the kinesthetic learner success principles can not only be easy: it can also be a lot of fun!

When teaching your kinesthetic child about service, don’t just talk about it, do it!

Find somebody to serve and show your child how easy and fun it can be. Act out a play where somebody learns an important character-building lesson. Don’t just talk about the importance of being patient! Play some fun games that teach patience while you discuss patience with your child.

How To Teach The Logical/Mathematical Learner

These are the number whiz kids. They can easily pick up the patterns and long chains of reasoning necessary to succeed in mathematics or logic puzzles. They are the world’s future scientists, engineers, and mathematicians.

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When it comes to teaching subjects like math or science, the logical/mathematical learner might be our favorite one to teach. They just seem to pick up on subjects like this naturally!

On the other hand, teaching a child with this learning style something as abstract as a success principle may seem a bit overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be!

Instead of trying to get all fancy with your success lessons, make things simple and, well, logical! Talk to your child about the long-term benefits of mastering a particular trait. Discuss the pros and cons of focusing vs not focusing on a particular success principle.

You might even make an effort to bring numbers or equations into your lessons. For example, when talking about developing self-control, pull up statistics of people who have problems with addictions. Or when talking about how little habits can affect our lives, give examples of studies that have been conducted regarding the habits of success gurus.

With the advent of the internet, including logic, numbers, and equations in our lessons can be easy even for parents and teachers who don’t share this learning style.

How to Teach the Interpersonal (Social) Learner

Students with interpersonal intelligence understand other people. They can pick up on your mood before you’ve even noticed it yourself. They understand why people act the way they do.

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One of the best ways to make sure a concept has truly sunk in is to teach it to somebody else – particularly, a younger somebody else.

It is always great to see older children teaching younger ones things they have learned already but what about learning by teaching what they are learning today?  

Many people are social learners and actually need to talk about what they are learning to learn effectively. This idea of having kids teach each other while learning a new concept is particularly useful to people with this interpersonal learning style. 

Next time you try to teach your interpersonal learner a new success principle, ask them to teach it to somebody else – using whatever method they choose! As your child works through the concept in her mind and tries to decide the best way to teach it, the concept will be absorbed in a way little else could have done.

Never underestimate the creativity and communication abilities of your children to their peers. Children are much smarter than many people give them credit for.

When a child can relate an idea to their fellow students (or younger siblings) using everyday life, there can be a level of understanding that may not be achieved with any other method.

How To Teach The Intrapersonal (Introvert) Learner

If you’re an interpersonal learner like me, you might find the thought of trying to teach an intrapersonal (introvert) learner very intimidating.

[Intrapersonal learners] have a deep understanding of who they are and who they want to be. They recognize their feelings and motivations at a level much more advanced than your other students.

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Do not be afraid, my social friend! Teaching an intrapersonal learner is almost the easiest learning style of all to teach! My husband is an introvert, and a few of our children have heavy leanings in this style.

The best way to teach an intrapersonal learner any character-building success principle is by asking deep, thought-provoking questions.

Pick a success lesson you want to focus on. Talk a little about it and share your thoughts and view on it. Then ask your child what she thinks and what her perspective is. It’s as simple as that!

Get your introverted child thinking and mulling things over in her mind. She can write their thoughts in a journal, share them with you or a sibling, or just quietly internalize her thoughts – whatever works best for her!

How To Teach The Naturalist Learner

Naturalists have an innate relationship with plants and animals and understand the balance of nature.

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Teaching a naturalist learner can be as simple as taking your discussions to the back yard, the park, or to a local hiking trail.

Alternatively, you can also get creative and adventurous with your naturalist learner and bring nature into your lessons and projects.

Are you planning on teaching your child about the Law of Sowing and Reaping? What better way to teach this principle than by letting your child plant his own seedling or garden? Talk about how when you plant a carrot seed, you are not going to grow a banana tree. Just like when planting a garden, your actions and habits will become what you plant/sow.

Or if you are planning on teaching your naturalist learner about managing money, you could help your child set up a small chicken and egg business. Help your child set up a coop and get a few chicks. Let your child care for the chickens until they are ready to lay eggs, and then let your child sell those eggs for profit!

Teach your child about managing money by helping him decide how much money needs to be invested back into his chicken business for feed and how much money he gets to pocket for himself!

A Little Tip On Teaching Success To Multiple Learning Styles

Keep in mind no child is exclusively one learning style. Your child might resonate with two or three or perhaps more.

When you are teaching a child who resonates with multiple learning styles, or when you are teaching many children with different learning styles, you might have to include multiple methods in each lesson.

This may sound like it’s easier said than done, but as you go through each method, you’ll find it’s not as hard as it might seem.

But for the most part, children (people) tend to lean heavily on one dominant learning style.

About Charlene Hess

Charlene Hess spent many years teaching kids before she had her own kids. She now has 7 kids of her own, whom she has been homeschooling for the last 10 years. Charlene still teaches other children outside of her home but finds great joy in exploring the world with her family. Charlene has participated in many leadership trainings with John C. Maxwell. Charlene and her husband blog about their homeschooling and parenting adventures over at https://hessunacademy.com.

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