Kinesthetic learner

I have recently figured out that I am a kinesthetic learner. This means, in a nutshell, that I learn best by touching or handling things. 

Only about 5% of people are kinesthetic learners, according to research done by the University of Alabama School of Medicine, so I am in yet another minority. 

I have known for quite a while that I am not an auditory learner: what I hear is not retained unless I immediately write it down. This made me think I was a visual learner, as I thought looking at the information is how I process it. But I can easily see that the act of writing is what helps me retain the information at least as much as the act of seeing it written down.

Here is a description of kinesthetic learners:

"Tactile or Kinesthetic Learners
Can you feel it? If you like to touch things to obtain information, you are very likely the hands-on kind. You like to feel the information, if at all possible, learning in the doing. Here are some characteristics of tactile learners: 

1. You learn best when you are hands-on––moving, doing, and touching help make the information real to you.  This is why I love to knit--it's not the finished product I seek, it's the process of knitting. I especially love to read and knit--the knitting helps me remember what I read. I also like to knit when someone is talking to me, for the same reason.

2. You use your hands when you talk.  I certainly do!
3. You remember events by what happened but not necessarily what was said or seen.  True, to the point that I usually don't hold the same memories as others about what we did together. We have startlingly different recollections.
4. You're good at drawing, art, cooking, construction—–things that require manual manipulation of objects. I loved to color as a kid, and made clothes for my paper dolls. I enjoyed building with my brother's Lincoln Logs and little plastic bricks (pre-Lego)

5. You tend to be adventurous and easily distracted, finding it hard to stay put for long periods. Very true. This is one reason why school classes, either teaching them or learning in them, are so hard for me. I get very antsy. The same problem arises in church services. 
6. You don't like to be hemmed in, preferring to be where you can stand up, move around, and take a break. Yes, indeed. If I am in the middle of a long row at a play, a movie, a concert, a church service or an airplane, I go wild inside. It feels like I am being smothered.
7. You don't like sitting in classrooms when there are things you could do that would teach you more. See 5. and 6. Field trip!

Methods to succeed with this learning style

1. Find your space. You need room to move around, so don't sit in your bedroom with the door closed while you study. The kitchen table might be more suited for your style of learning. I just moved my entire writing set-up to the big dining room table. I have room to spread out my various projects and am in the middle of the action, where I like to be.

2. If you're memorizing abstractions, such as the value of pi, write down the individual numbers or steps on each flash card. Then personalize each flash card with stickers or drawings. After personalizing, scramble the cards and attempt to put them in order. Be sure that you write down the order somewhere or you'll never remember what the sequence was.  If I ever have to memorize pi, I will take this tip to heart. I just hope never to see or hear about pi again in my lifetime.

The tips for visual and auditory learning styles above should help you too, especially learning by association and repeating concepts aloud as you pace around the room. Adapt the tips as needed so that you are interactive with your material." 

So . . . here is a good explanation of why I find some situations that are perfectly normal to other people (the 95%) to be unbearable. I can now restructure my life, so I keep my hands busy. never sit too long in one place and don't expect to remember anything anyone says to me unless I write it down!


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