Understanding your child's / student(s)' learning styles is one of the most important factors in helping them reach success. At the end of the day, why else did we become parents or teachers but to watch the next generation learn? The problem is that we often assume that everyone learns and processes information the same as we do. If they don't, does that mean there is something wrong with THEM?! Absolutely not!! Respecting and building on the natural learning style of the learner, in my opinion, is the most important role of the tutor.
In my day, everything was pretty much done by taking turns reading aloud. The problem for me was that I was not good at processing information while reading aloud nor was I savvy at auditory processing. For several years I was treated as though something was wrong with me and given that I had an older sister who processed information "normally," I internalized that message for a very long time.
The fact is that there are several natural learning styles and it can be very challenging for very bright students to step out of their comfort zone to the teacher's preferred teaching style. This often leads to negative self-perceptions that are false. For myself, it wasn't until an advanced Biology teacher in the 10th grade told me I was very smart but needed to study that interrupted that negative tape that I wasn't good enough (because I was very much a visual learner unlike my older sister, "the smart one"). The fact that I was in several advanced courses did not even register with me; I was not the "smart one" in my mind simply because I learned differently than most teachers taught.
I was fortunate enough to eventually determine the changes I needed to make to work with my own learning style. I went from being an average HS student to graduating at the top 25% of a very large class and graduated from a 5-year college program in 4-years, Magna Cum Laude. Few students with learning challenges, especially given the progression of education in modern days where lessons are geared to teach to standardized tests are given the guidance in the school system to make such adjustments on their own.
To effectively reach your students, it is imperative that you quickly determine if they are an auditory, visual or kinesthetic learner and approach them accordingly. When teaching a group, it is ideal to incorporate a variety of learning styles to reach as many as possible. The point is not to make them adapt to us, but to find a way to reach as many of them as possible to help them excel in a way that is most conducive to helping them reach success with relative ease while stretching their skill sets. This requires a high level of observation, analysis and creativity for maximum results.