Is Your Teen Struggling in School? This One Insight Could Improve Your Teen’s Stress, Anxiety and Academic Performance - ROWI

Is Your Teen Struggling in School? This One Insight Could Improve Your Teen’s Stress, Anxiety and Academic Performance

  • Posted by ROWI
  • On September 9, 2019

Is Your Teen Struggling in School?  This One Insight Could Improve Your Teen’s Stress, Anxiety and Academic Performance

By the ROWI Education Team

Andrea Mettel & Michele Wexler


As a parent of teenagers, you’ve seen firsthand that no two children are the same. Even children growing up in the same household, with the same rules, expectations and lifestyle, will develop into people with unique likes and dislikes, talents, and hopes for the future.

But parents often do not realize how different their children are when it comes to their learning styles. If you’re frequently frustrated by your teenager seeming unable to understand what you’re trying to teach them, or if you’re dismayed by their poor performance in school, the problem could be that their academic or home environment isn’t connecting with their individual learning style.

As educators at ROWI, we bring expertise from over 30 years of combined teaching experience. We’ve found that understanding how your teen retains and processes information can be the key to reducing stress and anxiety…both for them and for you! Furthermore, once your teen understands their learning style and takes charge of it, they can radically improve their time management as well as their chances for academic success.


What Is Your Teen’s Learning Style?

Learning styles are classified into three basic categories: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (“hands-on”) learning. Below are the basic characteristics and study strategies for each learning style.


The Visual Learner

Visual learners learn best by using their sense of sight. Having something to look at helps them process the information. Maps, diagrams, graphs and other visual aids help these learners understand and retain ideas and concepts.

If your teen is a visual learner, here are some techniques they can take to support their studies:

  • Organize work area and living space to avoid distractions.
  • Sit in the front of the classroom, away from doors or windows.
  • Use neatly organized or typed material.
  • Use visual association, visual imagery, written repetition, and flash cards for improved memory.
  • Use notepads, post-its and to-do lists for reminders.
  • Use organizational outline formatting for recording notes.
  • Use underlining, highlighting, and images in your notes.
  • Watch a movie or movie clip of written information.


The Auditory Learner

Auditory learners process information best by listening, as they primarily respond best to sound. They find it easiest to remember information they have heard, whether in class or on a recording.

Here are some strategies for an auditory learner:

  • Record your teacher’s lectures to replay when you are studying.
  • Work in quiet areas to reduce distractions.
  • Rehearse information orally.
  • Engage in class discussions with other students and teachers.
  • Use mnemonics, rhymes, jingles, and auditory repetition through tape recording to improve memory.
  • Use songs, rhythms, beats to enhance study materials.
  • Read your notes, study guides, and directions for tests or assignments out loud, or have someone read them to you.


The Kinesthetic/Hands-on/Tactile Learner

Kinesthetic learners learn by doing. They are extremely animated and always need to be moving. These students learn best by going through the motions of what they are learning.

The following strategies will help a kinesthetic learner absorb and retain information:

  • Copy important notes repeatedly.
  • When memorizing material pace or walk around the room as you recite material aloud.
  • Keep something flexible in your hand as you study, like a stress ball, or use a pen to tap a rhythm.
  • Study in short intervals, get up and move around.
  • Associate what you are learning to your life.
  • Listen to music while you are studying.
  • Use practice, play acting and modeling to prepare for tests.
  • Teach the material to someone else.


Additional Learning Styles

In addition to the three most common learning styles listed above, there are four additional learning styles that can be secondary to a primary learning style and can also aid in the learning process.


The Verbal Learner

Verbal learners learn best under verbal instruction and writing. They express themselves in both written and spoken word. They enjoy reading, writing, tongue twisters and rhymes. Most have a large vocabulary and enjoy learning new words.


The Logical Learner

Logical learners are thinkers who have a unique way of learning. They are the individuals who want to understand the reason behind content or skills. They perform complex calculations, create procedures for future use, plan agendas and itineraries, and even rank and number them, all in an effort to classify and group information in order to better understand it.


The Social Learner

Social learners are natural group workers. They are the highly social students who seem to be involved in every extra-curricular activity and enjoy playing group sports. These learners’ ideas off others and work through issues in a group. They listen well and are often trusted by others for their advice.


The Solitary Learner 

Solitary learners are individual learners who prefer to study by themselves. They think independently, spend time on self-analysis, and feel more relaxed when they are away from crowds. They journal, write, and record personal thoughts and events as a way to improve.


Become Your Teen’s Learning Partner

As you become familiar with the many different ways people learn, as well as the strategies that can benefit a particular style, it’s important to identify which style works best for your teenage child. We recommend sitting down to talk with your teen about how they feel they learn best and exploring ways in which you can support them with the strategies that fit their learning style. You’ll be surprised how just opening the door to this conversation will help reduce the overwhelm, stress and anxiety that your teenager experiences. You’ll be even more delighted to find how it can positively impact your relationship as parent and child.



ROWI is a World Class Mental Health Facility for Teens dedicated to Mental Health and the wellness of all teens regardless of their involvement in our program. We encourage our staff to research and write articles or blogs on all areas related to our practice from mental health to dietary considerations to education. If you have a topic that you would like us to cover or would like to provide feedback on some of our work please reach out at