Local students discover learning styles in preparation for new school year

MICHAEL J. BROOKS / For the Reporter

HELENA–Students from the Shelby County area gathered for two days of study skills training in the final weeks before school begins for the fall.

Gwen Hood served as chief facilitator of the skills training sessions held at the Lamb of God Church in Helena.

“We do this as a service for the children,” Hood said. “The church is kind to let us use their facilities, and we offer two days of help for the young people as they prepare for a new year.”

Debbie Reeves assisted Hood and offered algebra tutoring. Both Hood and Reeves are affiliated with the Cornerstone Cooperative, a local network of home schools. Both Reeves and Hood are educators as Reeves teaches math and Hood teaches history. Reeves said Cornerstone had used the Lamb of God Church in the past for group instructional meetings.

On Monday, July 16, Hood led a section on identifying one’s primary learning style. Participants completed a learning inventory and then discussed the results.

“Visual learners like pictures and words,” Hood said. “They should sit in the front of the classroom, if possible, and take good notes. They should use flashcards to study. Words are important for retention.”

Hood said auditory learners should likewise find a seat in the classroom where they can hear well, and record lectures if possible. They should discuss concepts with others and can even use rhymes and songs to memorize materials.

“Kinesthetic learners should hold items as often as possible,” Hood said. “They need to get up and stretch frequently and to learn breathing and relaxation techniques. Charts, graphs and maps help them learn and retain information.”

Hood explained the difference in styles with a unique illustration.

“If you bought a Millennium Falcon at the Lego Store, the visual learner would prop the box, view the picture on the cover and follow instructions,” Hood said. “The auditory learner would seek a friend to talk with as they worked together constructing. But the kinesthetic learner would dump out all the parts and start working and might not even worry with the instructions!”

Hood recommended two websites that offer free study aids: Quizlet.com and Kahoot.com.

Hood also offered advice for back-to-school supply lists, including colored markers and white boards.

“Visual learners especially find different colors helpful in learning,” she said.

Hood will offer the training event again on July 30-31 and Aug. 1-2.

Tuition for the two-day event is $60. Siblings may attend for $50 and repeaters attend as a refresher for half price.

Hood may be contacted at 5hoods1416@bellsouth.net.