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The Way They Learn

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,018 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
In this enlightening resource, Cynthia Ulrich Tobias introduces the variety of learning styles that shape the way students interpret their world. Once these approaches are understood, parents and teachers can become far more effective in helping children grasp confusing concepts, stay interested in lessons, and utilize their strengths. By recognizing children's learning pr ...more
Paperback, 168 pages
Published October 4th 1995 by Thomas Nelson (first published 1994)
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Anne Lawson
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
May have some value for others, but did not benefit me. I started reading but ended up skimming. Tobias' basic theory is based on different learning styles. I found them confusing and just another example of a personality type test. If I had to choose one, I prefer Myers-Briggs, which isn't included here at all. I appreciate that God wired people differently and it's important to understand each other; however, I get a little wary when we are not encouraged to understand what character traits ar ...more
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Overviews learning styles. Humorous, engaging writer makes it a fun read. Rather than boxing your child into one neat little category, this book encourages you to see the multiple factors at play. A really helpful tool in gathering ongoing assessments about what internal and external factors might enhance your child's learning environment. Lots of encouragement to try out different things, see what works, and change what doesn't. Uses several different approaches for informally assessing persona ...more
Nov 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting
Excellent, quick easy read about how different and wonderful we all are. Very helpful as a parent and employee. Highly recommend.

Update: Re-read again this year (Jan 2018) and found it just as helpful.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was an affirmation of what I have felt for years about learning styles and much of traditional education. I am reminded of an IQ test I created for an Educational Psychology class I took in college. The project, entitled, “How are You Smart” was meant to be a contrast to the pervasive question, “How Smart are You?” The premise behind this project and also behind the book “The Way They Learn” is that intelligence cannot be measured merely by traditional educational standards which tend ...more
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to find something to help me understand the learning style of one of my children. Happily the way, I identified each one in my family, while looking at mind-styles, environmental preferences, strategies for remembering, information processing styles and multiple intelligence. Some learning styles are tricky and misunderstood by those teaching. Being willing to accommodate children's styles result in more learning and less conflict!
Megan Meyer
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was very useful for me to become aware of the way different people learn. I will be revisiting this book when my kids are older and I am able to identify more of their tendencies. It will be a great resource for helping them to be successful in school and life.
Chin Ai
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
More like a personality book than a comprehensive understanding of different learning styles.
Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sarah Welton-Lair
Recommended to Lisa by: Sonlight Curriculum
Shelves: life-skills
This book introduces five different learning style models to help understand people and their natural strengths and preferences: Gregoric's Mind-Styles Model (Concrete-Sequential, Abstract-Sequential, Abstract-Random, Concrete-Random), Dunn and Dunn's Environmental Preferences (How we concentrate), Barbe-Swassing's Modalities (How we remember: Auditory, Visual, Kinesthetic), Witkin's Global/Analytical Information Process (How we understand), and Gardner's Multiple Intelligences (Linguistic, Logi ...more
Wow. If I had read this when I was in school, I wouldn't have spent so many years feeling stupid.

There was a reason why I didn't test well. There was a reason why I wasn't motivated to take AP classes (like the majority of my friends.) There was a reason why I liked those friends, & why those friends liked me. My learning style & way of processing information doesn't fit neatly into the framework of the educational system as we know it. But I'm not a complete square peg either. The bigg
Adriane Devries
Jul 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: teaching
The Way They Learn, by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias, aims to unlock the secrets to each child’s unique intelligence. The process of taking in information (Perception) can be divided into two camps: Concrete (five senses, tangible, obvious) and Abstract (symbolic, thematic, imagination). The way we order information (Ordering) can be divided into two further camps: Sequential (follow the steps) and Random (skip around according to interest). By combining your dominant Perception with your dominant Order ...more
May 27, 2012 rated it liked it

Helpful, but not anything groundbreaking. In fact, she just explains several different styles that other people have discovered. However, it is nice to not just look at how the mind works, but also how different people remember, learn, process, study, and hear. Most learning styles books look at one of those, but in this book she puts it all together and helps you see how everyone's preferences feed other parts of them. For example, I'm definitely concrete, but couldn't determine if I was seque
Mystie Winckler
May 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: education, 2011
Own. (purchased used for $1) Recommended to me years ago as a good book on learning styles.

I am a strong Abstract Sequential, and I was a little disappointed to learn that that explains my predisposition and ability to decide what emotions I will and will not allow. It's not because I'm wise and wonderful. It's just the way my brain works. And -- I always think unfortunately -- not the way most people's brains and emotions work. As is usually the case when I take temperament tests, I have one of
J. Alfred
May 22, 2015 rated it liked it
If you've ever wandered within hearing distance of education classes in college, the content of this book will be more or less familiar to you (learning styles, differences in temperament, how we view the world, etc), but it is told in a charming way with lots of good concrete examples. It is geared not just towards professional educators, but also toward parents, and with an eye to helping create and maintain a livable, conflict-minimal atmosphere in the home. It has a great coda at the end to ...more
May 20, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
This is another "must have" for a parent's library. I found this book interesting but I had a couple of problems with it. There were not a lot of tips in helping you figure out your child's learning style other than reading the descriptions. Most of the checklists and self tests seemed to be geared towards adults. My children are preschool age, so maybe as they get older they might more easily match up to some of the descriptions.

I also didn't find a lot of practical tips for helping a child le
This was a great book that would benefit both parents and teachers. Much like Gary Chapman's "The Five Love Languages," this book lays out four different Learning Styles:

1. Dominant Concrete Sequential
2. Dominant Abstract Sequential
3. Dominant Abstract Random
4. Dominant Concrete Random

There is a quiz provided so that you can figure out what your Learning Style is.

There were other helpful chapters dealing with such issues as "How do we concentrate" and "How do we remember" and "How do we understa
Adam T Calvert
Nov 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Pretty good book on different aspects of how we take in and process information, from a variety of aspects. The author tends to be a little heavy on the importance of "self-esteem" as far as I'm concerned (I mean, it's definitely something the Scripture never tells us to worry about).

But overall, big picture-wise, I enjoyed it (of course, according to the book I have a dominant preference for big-picture rather than details ;)

It's probably more eye-opening for who the reader is and how they domi
Tara Henery
Sep 24, 2013 rated it liked it
I thought this book had pretty good information. It explained exactly why I struggle with keeping my 5 year old wired boy on track. I fit almost perfectly in one category and I could see exactly which category my husband and two school aged boys fit into. The author nailed it on the head my expectations from my kids as well as my discipline outcomes. It definitely lead me to looking further into more effective ways of disciplining my kids and hopeful that that will lead to better outcomes. Good ...more
Oct 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I have read this book many times and continue to pick it up about once a month to refresh my memory about how my children learn. I find it very helpful to understand how my children learn and hear my directions and how they express their learning. One of the reasons that I chose to homeschool was so that my children can learn and grow the way that God made them. So rather than trying to get them to learn the way that I teach, I'm trying to understand them and bring out the best in them. This boo ...more
Tawnda Andrews
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As a mom just of 5 and a homeschooling family, I found the information in this book very informative and valuable. The underlining idea though is that we cannot possibly categorize ourselves or others , because we are all created quite uniquely. However, the author have 5 ways of identifying learning styles in our children and ourselves. While, I can't say that my children are one way or another I feel that I can start to find out how they learn/study/act. This is a book I will return to many ti ...more
Apr 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who want to understand more about people
I liked the info. in this book. At first I didn't know if I would be able to apply the information I was getting. Then, I had to prepare a lesson for Sunday School...
I found myself thinking that I had better write on the board so those kids who were more visual learners could get more out of the lesson...and I should make sure to include things to help the more auditory learners too...
It was fun to discover in what ways I learn the best, what helps me remember better, how I take in information,
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this book in a manner the author would appreciate. I read the ends of each chapter first, then browsed the content. I, like her, am a global, random learner. This book clearly delineates learning styles and the factors which help and frustrate learners of each style. The information is useful when learning how to communicate with children, adults, teachers and students. I highly recommend it.
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: homeschool-mom
Excellent book that gives great insight in to how different children learn. I have one child who can't learn while sitting still, but if I give her hands something to do while I'm reading or teaching, she gets it. At first it was hard because I felt like she wasn't paying attention, but I quickly realized that she could answer my questions much better than if she were made to sit still and "pay attention."
Feb 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Not just in relation to school learning, this book explains learning styles and how best to reach children of each style. I have known for a long time that my second child is not MOTIVATED by the same things that motivate my first child (and myself), and this book is the first to show me how to reach him. It has helped us immensely with doing chores around the house. I recommend it to all parents!
Jun 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to Dawn by: Anyone wanting an introduction to learning styles
This book provides a good survey of five aspects of learning styles: the mind styles of Gregorc, environmental preferences, modalities, analytical/global information processing and multiple intelligences. If you are looking for an accessible introduction, this book would be a good place to start.

However, if, like me, you have already read a number of books on learning styles, you will find this book lacking in depth and detail.
Jordan Carlson
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This information was incredibly interesting to me as I seek to understand myself and my learning (working) style, plus my husband's and my childrens' have to know your strengths if you want to play to them!

Global/analytic, concrete, abstract, random, sequential, visual, kinesthetic, audio, etc!

Great closing chapter on learning styles v. disabilities.
Oct 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
A quick read and overview of several learning style theories. Personally, I am not a big fan of Gardner. Informative. I would be hesitant to categorize children too early since they are still developing their learning styles. Probably the best approach for children is to give opportunities that use a variety of learning styles so they can be exposed and best develop their own strengths.
Mar 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good overview of various theories about learning styles. Not a huge in-depth description, but it does give some pointers on how to teach to the various styles. It also gives some good advice about the style of the adult, and how that might affect your parenting, and what might frustrate you if you have kids that are similar in style.
Sep 16, 2010 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book that looked at ways of categorizing learning styles beyond the basic visual-auditory-kinesethic that I was familiar with in the past. I found it amusing that I was also recently steered towards an article that highlighted the lack of research supporting the hypothesis that teaching to a person's learning style actually helps them learn better.
Tracy Collier
Jul 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Cynthia Tobias is one of my favorite authors, and speakers. I have listened to her so often, I can hear her voice when I read her books! Once again, she provides helpful, practical, do-able advice on parenting and learning. I borrowed this book from the library but will add it to my list of books to buy. Priceless!
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
I can't believe it took me so long to read a book on learning styles! What an eye-opener! Very useful information, put in an easy-to -read format. The author is up-front about this just skimming the surface on the amounts of information out there on this subject, and gladly points the reader to references for further study. A must read for any parent, teacher, or homeschooler!
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Cynthia Tobias received her Master’s Degree from Seattle Pacific University. Her successful background includes 25 years of private practice, 8 years of teaching public high school, and 6 years in law enforcement. She is a best-selling author of 9 books, a featured guest on radio and television, a popular presenter for business, government agencies, churches and schools throughout the U.S. and the ...more
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