Ayurveda & Children’s Learning Styles

What Kind of Learner is Your Child?
Every child is unique, with a unique learning style. By understanding how your child learns best, you can support him or her to excel – and have compassion if he or she struggles!
In America today, most classroom teaching is through verbal communication, which is different from traditional cultures which usually taught by example, by doing. Many children struggle in school, and often it is because their learning style is not being utilized. By knowing your child’s dosha, you can better understand what style of learning will give them the greatest chance of excelling in school. There are three primary ways to learn, aurally (through sound), visually, and kinesthetically (through touch). All kids benefit to some degree from all three styles, but are most able to retain information if their primary learning style is addressed. Here’s how it breaks down by dosha:
Vata (air and ether elements): Vata kids learn best aurally (through sound). Vata kids can be restless and easily over-stimulated, making it difficult for them to settle down, focus, and learn. Their minds naturally move quickly, and they learn best by listening because this is the fastest delivery system for transferring knowledge. When in balance, they learn quickly and easily, but don’t always retain what they learn. No matter how hard they try, vata kids just may not be able to sit still for very long, so frequent breaks may be necessary to allow them to run around and play for a few minutes, then return to their studies.
Pitta (fire and water elements):  Pitta kids learn best visually. They are not likely to have learning difficulties (unless other doshas are involved). They are fiery, focused, driven, and competitive, and tend to excel in our fast and furious society. Since they learn best visually, they need to be able to read a book or see the blackboard to take advantage of their visual tendency. Pitta kids can get quite intense, and may need to be reminded to take breaks to cool down/calm down to keep them from becoming edgy, irritable or fatigued from overwork (otherwise they may keep on working and not take time to just be a kid).
Kapha (earth and water elements): Kapha kids learn best kinesthetically (through touch/movement). These kids are easy going, slow moving, and methodical, which carries over to their learning style. They often cannot cope with the rapid, auditory, lecture-based pace of the classroom. Once they do learn something, though, they tend to retain the information, but they are slow to assimilate new information. They learn best when teaching is incorporated with movement, models, or hands-on projects that allow them to manipulate objects and use all their senses. Although they have great long-term memory, they may have difficulty with short-term memory, making them seem forgetful. Giving them patience and allowing them to work at their slower pace will pay off in the long run.