As a mother of 5 children, a retired Junior High/High School Teacher 15 years, including 13 of those years as a Junior High Pastor; I have had the blessings of yearly training and life experience helping children learn how to learn.
One huge missing link in the lives of children today is the ability to learn, simply by hearing the instructions given verbally, with no visual or hands-on instruction.
In a generation who is constantly fed visual images, the ability to learn just by hearing the concept explained is almost completely dead.
In the 1970s most TV Broadcast consisted of ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and a local station. Mine was KPTV, channel 12. That gave the generation of that day, a selection of only 5 channels to view. Today's generation are offered more channels than they could possibly watch.
Do you remember when the broadcast shut off and all you were left with was static, fuzz, and a huge roar that blasted you awake had you dozed off during your program? Today's generation have the ability to view something on TV, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and couldn't imagine all broadcast ending for the day.
Video games absolutely amaze me.
Past generations were offered a simple joystick, with an orange or red button to fire at things. The graphics were simple, but satisfying to the eye, and it meant that they didn't have to walk down to the store and spend a quarter of their allowance to play a game.
I watch today's generation play games that require them to push multiple buttons on a controller, in all kinds of sequences to generate specific functions for the game they are playing. I would need a class just on how to use the controller, and then help pushing X and O at the same time, with the same hand.
With all that said, most of today's learners are visual, and hand's on. The ability to learn simply by hearing instructions is quickly fading away.
Because knowledge is power, there is an excellent way to strengthen all of the learning styles, and master them. Visual and Hands-on are already mastered, so doing this one exercise, you can also reap the benefits of strengthening your ability to learn by hearing as well.
The exercise itself is easy, however it will require you to be creative, especially if you have children.
It is called, Having a Visual-Media-Free Day. Turn off every TV, and cover them with a sheet. Covering them will help you to forget they are there. Take a test, and see how many times your eyes look over at the sheet covered TV. You will be amazed at how trained you are to looking at that box.
Explain to your family, ahead of time, what a Visual-Media-Free Day is, and share with them the activities you have planned to strengthen their power to hear.
Planning your day to listen is full of possibilities. Plan a day hiking. Do fun exercises with the kids with blindfolds. Have them only hear what is going on around them, and talk about it.
If you love music, you could take the whole day and explore your favorite genre of music. Take a journal, and write down the images you see as the artist is telling the story of the song. Perhaps if the song conveys emotion, write down what you feel as you hear certain notes, and instruments.
An excellent way to fully appreciate the exercise is by listening to books on CD. This forces you to create images as you listen to the story. There are some really good books on CD that the kids would enjoy as well.
Another excellent way is to listen to the Old Time Radio Programs. These can also be purchased on CD. It is these old programs that trained and strengthened that generation to be excellent Audio Learners. They had no choice but to visualize on their own, the action and adventure of those programs.
The key is to use the sounds you hear to create images in your own mind, without being fed visual image. Use you own imagination to interpret the things you hear.
Whatever you enjoy in the exercise of listening can be used for your Visual-Media-Free Day.