Educators and scientists have identified four common types of learners: kinesthetic, visual, auditory, and read-write. You could fall into one category, two categories, or even all four!
What is a kinesthetic learner and are you one?
A kinesthetic learner is one who better understands, learns and remembers new information when the learning process involves physical movement or tactile experiences. Study tips for kinesthetic learners often involve motion, hands-on activities and interaction with others.
You might be a kinesthetic learner if you:
- Find it hard to sit still for long periods of time
- Struggle to understand information presented in lecture form
- Like to take notes with pen and paper
- Enjoy hands-on activities
- Better at remembering things you’ve done before (not read about or listened to)
Here are 3 study tips for kinesthetic learners
1. Use your hands while studying.
To engage your hands while studying you could make and use flashcards (actually write out the flashcards — don’t use an online tool like Quizlet). You could also draw out information on a white board, make a physical timeline on cards and arrange them in order, etc. Just make sure you engage your hands as you study — other than holding a book! When you involve your hands, you are engaging your muscle memory. Your muscle memory is way stronger than your short-term brain memory. As a result, you’ll better remember what you study.
2. Combine studying with low-key movement.
This is one of the best study tips for kinesthetic learners. You could walk while listening to an audio book. Prop your ipad up on the treadmill and watch a video (related to what you’re studying of course!) as you walk slowly (between 2 and 3 miles per hour). Pace around the house as you talk aloud to yourself (or to someone else) during a study session. Your movement doesn’t have to be hardcore exercise (in fact, it shouldn’t be hardcore at all), but rather it should just simply involve you moving. Whatever you do, don’t sit! After all, the very word kinesthetic means movement.
3. Study in groups.
Not everyone benefits from group study sessions, but kinesthetic learners do tend to retain more information when studying with others. The reason this is an awesome study tip for kinesthetic learners is that group study sessions will naturally involve more movement, conversation and activity than solo study sessions. And of course, it’s the movement and activity that kinesthetic learners crave. Here’s some advice about how to plan a group study session the right way.
Whether you know for certain that you’re a kinesthetic learner, or if you don’t have any clue what type of learner you are (or even if you’re a combination of the 4 common types of learners!), try out these three study tips. (Here are 6 study techniques for visual learners!) Sometimes just mixing up your study routine is enough to get you more interested in what you’re learning!
A final note about kinesthetic learners
Teachers are going to teach according to their own teaching style. Fact. Sure, some good teachers will consider their students’ learning preferences, but it’s impossible for a general education teacher to deliver every student their content exactly as they need it. (Special education? Different story.) Therefore, it’s on YOU to take the material your teacher gives you and present it to YOURSELF according to your own learning style. This skill, my friend, is the key.