If you have a child who is good with numbers and asks a lot of questions, you might have a logical learner. Whether you have a logical learning style or not, you can teach this child strategically. A logical-mathematical learning style is conducive to studies like math and science. They are process-oriented, which logical learners love. So, how do you help your logical learner with subjects that are a struggle? Read on to learn how to use your logical learner’s strengths in any subject.
What is a logical learner?
A logical learner has a core need to understand what she is learning. Memorizing facts will not satisfy a child with a logical learning style. Logical learners thrive on orderly and sequential processes.
Advantages of the Logical Learning Style
- They are great at following the steps to solve a problem or conduct an experiment and remembering those steps the next time.
- They benefit from the use of visuals, both realistic and conceptual or abstract. This includes charts and graphs, which they will enjoy creating themselves.
- They are usually very organized.
- They love to figure out how parts of a whole work together, whether in the context of a sentence diagram or a chronological timeline.
- They are goal oriented.
- They are quick to see patterns and enjoy categorizing.
- They make decisions based on facts and reason, rarely accounting for emotion.
Disadvantages of the Logical Learning Style
- They may struggle with mnemonic devices. It might be easier for them to remember the classification levels of Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species than to remember a nonsensical phrase about King Philip.
- They dislike vague instructions. Be as specific as you can about what the assignment is. Provide a rubric for older students, so they can check all the boxes.
- They will likely have difficulty with open-ended, creative assignments. That does not mean you should avoid these assignments. Logical learners might just need more prompts to get them started.
- They can get so focused on details that they miss the big picture. When you sense this happening to your logical learner, take time to zoom out. Make sure they understand the larger context and why the study is important.
Is your child a logical learner?
If you are not sure what your child’s learning styles are, try this learning style quiz. Remember that many people exhibit more than one strong learning preference. Also keep in mind that any child can learn using any style, but the learning style quiz will reveal their preferences and strengths. Logical learners often have overlap with visual learning or kinesthetic learning styles, but may also prefer verbal learning strategies. Most students can benefit from a combination of learning strategies, even those that do not necessarily fit their strengths.
Activities for Logical Learners
Logical learners will enjoy problem-solving activities. Learners with other strengths may improve their logic skills by engaging in these activities, too. Because it takes all types of learning to succeed in life, all students can benefit from many learning experiences. The activities here may fit into many subject areas. To take full advantage, use them to help logical learners in the subjects they may struggle with.
· Solve logic puzzles and riddles.
Logical learners love a good puzzle. Logic puzzles are a specific type of puzzle where it seems at first glance that the clues given are not enough to solve it. Usually, these puzzles are best solved by filling in a grid with X where two items are mutually exclusive and O when you find the right connection. Check out a simple logic puzzle for a child.
· Learn coding.
You have many options for coding activities, even for young children. My daughter has a robot she can program with left turns, right turns, and straight moves to navigate a map. For older kids, online resources such as Khan Academy and Code.org have great resources to learn coding. Logical learners will love coding because of the orderliness and stepwise pattern of commands.
· Conduct a survey.
Logical learners will enjoy creating a survey and putting the results together in a graph. This will require listening skills and will begin to develop analytic skills. For example, when working through the results of the survey, they may find that certain respondents answered questions differently than was expected. Students can take time to consider what might have made those respondents answer differently and what additional questions to ask to better understand what’s going on.
· Play twenty questions.
I used to have a digital twenty questions game that could always discover what I was thinking! Generally, the game would start by asking animal, vegetable, or mineral. Those first three yes-or-no questions would capture most of reality. From there it would ask questions about size or location. Playing this game with an adult will help children learn how to ask good questions that logically narrow down the options until finally arriving at the right answer.
· Play tri-bond.
Give students three words and ask them to figure out what they have in common. Logical learners may prefer to work on this individually rather than in a group. Here is an example: What does a piano, a computer and a house have in common? They all have keys. They have different types of keys, which is why this activity stretches our brains. Play “one of these does not belong” with younger children. Show the child four objects and ask them which one does not belong. Make sure she can support her choice with good arguments.
· Make Venn diagrams of similarities and differences.
A Venn diagram has two overlapping circles. In the overlap, you can document what is the same, for example between lizards and birds (both lay eggs, for starters). On the lizard side of the circle, you would write what is unique to lizards, like scales. On the bird side, you might write “feathers.”
· Use manipulatives.
All learners can benefit from manipulatives. Logical learners will especially enjoy categorizing manipulatives or making patterns with them.
· Make timelines.
There are a variety of ways to use timelines even outside of history class. Logical learners will appreciate the orderly, visual representation of events.
· Create anchor charts.
Document patterns and processes on colorful posters that you can hang in your classroom.
· Research a topic thoroughly.
Logical learners love organizing information and investigating with questions. A research project is a great way to take a deep dive into a subject.
· Find patterns and make predictions.
Logical learners are quick to find patterns and “see” what should come next.
Logical Learning Strategies
Here are some strategies for teaching various subjects to logical learners.
This subject will probably come very naturally to your logical learner. He may be able to answer difficult math problems in his head. It is important in the early years to insist on showing his work when solving math problems. The orderliness of the steps to solve a math problem will appeal to him. In later years, showing the steps will allow the logical learner to remember the process when problems are more complicated.
This is usually another strong subject for logical learners. They like to ask questions and understand how and why experiments work. Encourage all the questions and support your child’s discovery process. If it takes you further than you can go, find an expert.
Logical learners are usually good at detecting cause and effect relationships. Use timeline projects in history study, so your logical learner can spot these relationships. The timeline will also help a logical learner remember the order of key events because of the visual representation. They may even be able to make predictions about what happens next based on their pattern-recognition skills. Maps are also a great tool for logical learners to visualize the history and geography they are learning.
Many children dislike sentence diagrams. When I was a kid, I would commiserate with my diagram-hating friends, but secretly I loved the order and logic of diagrams. They revealed how each part of speech worked together to create meaning. The English language is notorious for having grammatical rules and then breaking them frequently. Logical learners may struggle with the rule-breaking words. If you are studying a foreign language in your homeschool, these same strategies apply.
Literature and Poetry
Your logical learner might enjoy reading for pleasure but dislike trying to interpret literature and poetry. Systematize the process they should follow. Encourage inductive and deductive reasoning as they consider the text. Allow the student to ask questions to understand the text.
Art and Other Creative Projects
Give your logical students a goal to accomplish with each art project or creative writing assignment. Give more direction than you might with other learners. Make the project as process oriented as you can.
You might have heard of the inductive Bible study method. Your logical learner can ask questions of a text, find answers, and come up with insights and personal applications.
• • • • •Valerie is a wife and a mother to a very busy preschooler. In her free time she enjoys reading all kinds of books. She earned a B.S. in Biology from Bob Jones University, minoring in Mathematics, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from Ohio State University. Valerie has 15 years of experience working in research laboratories and has coauthored 8 original research articles. She has also taught several classes and laboratories at the high school and college levels. She currently works as a Data Analyst and a freelance writer.