Do you like to move around more than you like staying in your seat in class?
Do you get easily distracted when reading long pieces of text or when taking notes?
Do your parents and teachers often tell you you’re being too restless and fidgety? Would you rather play with a fidget spinner?
Chances are, your learning style is dominantly kinesthetic.
Being kinesthetic in a visual world called school can sometimes feel tough.
You may have some friends who are more visual learners and they love to sit still, take notes and read.
But just make sure that you keep in mind that you learn best by doing and interacting with the study materials and environment.
So, a typical classroom setting with your teacher speaking aloud and students taking notes is not the best situation for kinesthetic learners.
But don’t worry.
Over the years, I have helped plenty of people with different combinations of learning styles figure out the learning strategies that suit them best.
So, here are some unique study tips for kinesthetic learners to make learning easier in the classroom.
7 Unique Study Tips for Kinesthetic Learners
1. Move Around When You Study
As a kinesthetic learner, you might find you have a lot of excess energy.
Staying seated at a desk takes all your willpower – which in turn distracts you from actually learning anything.
So, try and move around when you’re studying.
I used to pace a lot when I studied.
I’d carry my textbook or set of notes, and pace the length and breadth of the house, out in the yard, while studying.
Although I bumped into things quite a bit, it also meant my body was working off the excess energy while keeping my brain occupied with the study material.
Some of you might find you retain information better when you are doing light exercises as you learn something and build your recall by repeating it to yourself.
In the classroom, where getting up and moving around might disrupt the rest of the class, focus on more minute movements.
You could squeeze a stress ball or spin a pencil to keep the need for doing something other than sitting under control.
You could also volunteer to hand out the homework or help the teacher clean the board, and other activities that involve you getting up and being active.
Finding ways to channel your energy helps you concentrate better in class.
2. Study in Groups!
Kinesthetic learners often learn better by being quizzed than just from reading.
Classes, where the teacher engages students by frequently calling on them to answer questions, will, therefore, be a good learning practice for you.
You might also learn better when studying with a friend or a group of friends.
Have them ask you questions, and then compare your answers to see which points you hit and which you missed.
This process of interaction helps build recall in kinesthetic learners since it involves directly engaging with elements of learning.
For kinesthetic learners, this is often a better technique than merely reading the text
3. Turn Learning into a Game
Study groups are not practical all the time.
So how do you study when you’re learning by yourself?
Flashcards are a super helpful tool for many kinesthetic learners.
Write the question out on one side of the card and the answer on the other.
Shuffle up the cards, and then ask yourself a question picked at random.
Answer it to yourself, then check the back to see how much of it you got right.
To make the process even more interactive and to appeal to your competitive side, rate the difficulty of the questions.
The more advanced the question, the more points you get for getting it right.
You can keep a tally of how many points you rack up over the time you study a particular subject.
By doing this, you turn studies into a game where you are continually invested in trying to get more points by learning more information.
You also see the progress you have made learning that topic or subject over time.
4. Learn by Doing
As a kinesthetic learner, you likely have excellent motor skills.
You remember things better by doing them yourself, rather than reading about them.
For subjects that involve experiments or those with physical participation, like drama and sports, your ability to recall information is likely better than for subjects like English and history.
So, learn to make learning for these subjects interactive.
Back in high school, when I was having trouble remembering the many dates and events of the French Revolution, I made a timeline.
And not just an average old list-like timeline.
My timeline was taped along an entire wall in my room, written on pieces of colorful paper.
I connected relevant points or interconnected events with string, much like those crazy conspiracy walls you see in mystery movies.
This process of rebuilding the content of my history syllabus helped me recall the sequence of events and dates so well, I remember them even now.
Much more fun than just reading the words off of a page, right?
5. Create the Right Ambience to Help You Study
Where other students with different learning styles, such as auditory learners, might get distracted by too much ambient noise, kinesthetic learners can benefit from it.
I absolutely can’t study unless I have some music on in the background or the TV.
One reason this might work for you is that the music or background noise serves to cancel out anything else in your environment, which might distract you.
Music without words is best and puts you in a positive mood and primes you for better memorization and recall.
Since kinesthetic learners might get restless in an empty room or studying by themselves, noise in the backgound might make you feel less antsy.
Remember, though, that if at any point the music or audio is distracting you, turn it off immediately.
My rule for times when I am too distracted by music or other ambient noise is to pick some instrumentals, or lowering the volume, so the voices are almost indistinct.
By doing this, I am less tempted to pay attention to the music, and more able to focus on work. So so what feels best from these 7 unique tips for kinesthetic learners.
6. Work Hard, Play Hard
As a kinesthetic learner, you may already realize that you can’t concentrate on studying for long periods.
To make the most of the time that you can focus, though, structure your study sessions to play up to your attention span.
Concentrate intensely for a short but productive period of studying, then take just as short and effective a break.
In fact, there is a scientifically proven learning strategy called the Pomodoro technique that I always introduce to students when teaching them to learn how to learn.
It involves studying intensely for 25 minutes and then taking a break.
Then go back again and study for 25 minutes.
When you do this, you switch your brain naturally through two gears, one where it is concentrating hard on the details, and one where it is relaxed and lets the information cement itself in your brain.
By using this technique, you can make the most of the time you are most attentive, and then reward yourself with a break.
Kinesthetic learners then don’t feel as though they are being forced to sit still and study because they get to do other things at study intervals frequently.
7. Make Note-Taking Engaging by Drawing Them
Like auditory learners, kinesthetic learners get more distracted when taking notes in class.
Try and make the note-taking process more interactive.
Doodle or draw out the information instead of writing them out in words.
Use color-coded highlighters and sticky notes to explain the information in your own words and connect all the subheadings in a chapter to the main idea in the center of your notes.
Come up with as many real-life examples as you can for the information you are learning.
By acting out a scenario relating to the material, you remember it more naturally, compared to just reading about the theory.
I have seen these tips work time and time again with students who thought they were just bad at studying or focusing in class – so do give them a shot!
These 7 unique study tips for kinesthetic learners make all the difference!
Which tip are you going to try first?
Drop a line and let me know!
Pat Wyman is the CEO of HowtoLearn.com and America’s Most Trusted Learning Expert. She’s a mom, golden retriever lover and the author of more than 15 books including, Amazing Grades, Smarter Squared and The One-Minute Gratitude Journal: For the Moments That Matter. Her mission is ensuring that you become a successful, life-long learner. You are invited to take the FREE Learning Styles Quiz at HowtoLearn.com.
Pat empowers all learners, visual, auditory and kinesthetic with strategies in her course called Mastering How to Learn. Check it out on the home page at HowtoLearn.com