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The Way They Learn

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  1,211 ratings  ·  95 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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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  1,211 ratings  ·  95 reviews

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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
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
Rachel Tilly
Sep 02, 2019 rated it liked it
This book has some very useful information regarding learning styles and how to best help your child succeed. I appreciate the focus she puts on different ways people can show their intelligence, rather than just focusing on school smarts. I also appreciate her perspective that, often, when children do things that frustrate or annoy us, they are not being so intentionally but rather they are processing and learning in a different way than I am. Understanding this can help us adjust our expectati ...more
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: educational
This book was an eye opener. Having 4 kids, all with different learning styles, might be a challenge but this book gave me a deeper understanding and appreciation of differences we all have. Written with a lot of humor, this book gives practical advice as to how help our children succeed. Highly recommend!
Spencer Willardson
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
My wife wanted me to read this. I'm glad I did. Knowing different learning styles can help me to understand my children better, my students better, and even myself better. Ultimately the message is that we are all unique, but there may be some strategies for dealing with those who are not learning what we want them to (including ourselves) that may be more effective than others. An easy and interesting read. Highly recommend.
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
Jesse van Doorn
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Generally unimpressive. Particularly annoyed by the portion pushing the idea that everyone is equally smart if we could just figure out which type of smart any person is. This idea is obviously false. The book lists 7 ways to be intelligent. Assuming we could make a perfect test to score people from 0-10 in each category we'd have some people much closer to 70 (7 perfect 10s) and others much closer to 0. Let's not pretend that it would all even out and we'd all get around 35.

Once you recognize
Sep 07, 2019 rated it liked it
I thought this book would be a lot more “cut and dry” than it actually was. I began the book with the assumption that it would go something like this:
1. Here are a few learning styles.
2. Find which one your child is.
3. Here is how to teach to that learning style.
Unfortunately, it was nothing like that. Apparently there are multiple learning styles for multiple facets of our being: How our minds work, our preferred study environment, how we remember things, how we study, and our different areas
Melinda Christensen
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
I see this book as an educational manual for me. Loving parents want to help their children excel in school and to become lifelong learners. One thing is important to remember: children are not rubber-stamped to learn one specific way. All children are unique. They perceive the world in different ways. By reading this book, you will discover how to identify your child's learning style. You can define this for your children by asking four questions: "What makes most sense to them? What are their ...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!
Britt Any
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's an easy read and a great introduction to the depth of various learning styles.

I think that it would be ideal for those struggling with 'difficult children', the inability to absorb information in some of your own courses, if you are having differences with others that you're wanting to resolve, or if you are planning to teach.

All-in-all it took me a few hours to read and it's equipped me with some language I need to communicate my needs with a group project.

Jennifer Buczynski
Aug 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: homeschooling
Great at describing different learning styles and identifying them, however there wasn't much meat to help out kids learn using these styles. There were a couple of examples here and there but not enough to go on! I guess I'll settle with identifying my kids' learning styles for now and look elsewhere for more information. (Yeah, I'm a Abstract Sequential. I need more information!)
Sarah Stegeman
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was epically helpful in understanding how my very intense daughter thinks and learns. I have a much better understanding of both her and myself now. The address bonus is that I can understand my husband and my son more clearly too! I will definitely be keeping this on hand through the years as my kids grow up!
Helfren Filex
The different type of children AR, CR and other learning personality have a great impact on how to teach your children. Using the guideline of these personalities, we can better help the development of knowledge of the youngster to better themselves as an adult.

A very compact and complex subject on child learning.
Catherine Lowe
Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
A friend recommended I read this to get me thinking about different learning styles as I embarked on homeschooling my son. That's exactly what this book did--it got me thinking. "The Way They Learn" is a short, easy overview of 5 models of learning differences. It did not inspire me to read another book with more depth which I think you would have to do to effectively apply this information.
Aaron Warren
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It is definitely more of an introduction to types of learning constructs, which the author admits up front. I am looking at homeschooling my children and someone recommended this book to me. It is short and to the point, it provide practical instructions, and lists additional resources. I highly recommend this book especially because it is so short.
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.
Beth Daane
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent read for not only people who have children or work with them, but also for learning about your own learning style and other adults in your life. An excellent way to understand communication for yourself and those around you.
Chin Ai
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
More like a personality book than a comprehensive understanding of different learning styles.
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Like the 5 Love Languages for the classroom.
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this straight forward overview of a variety of learning types. Best takeaway was being mindful of not only my child's bent, but also my own.
Blair Kendall-Lingbloom
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very informative and helpful for parents & teachers (anyone really). I really enjoyed this book and it’s insight into education and learning styles. ...more
Jessica Dudenhofer Beery
Fascinating research on the different ways people study, learn and remember. Probably need to buy this and read it annually.
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
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 biggest pers
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 sequ
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
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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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