Being Visual was released in September with hopes of influencing some education practices, what I was not expecting was how much my book impacted the relationships between parents and children. I am honored to be a part of this evolution and am truly touched by the words some of you have shared with me.
One of my all time favorite things to do is to head into a classroom full of preschool students, sit them around a table and teach them how to draw. That would strike terror into the hearts of most people, but with training and a reasonable expectation of what is possible – it is a most remarkable experience.
Preschoolers doodle and draw as a form of communication and entertainment. While limited to often rainbows, smiley faces and basic shapes, these innate skills are the beginning of their visual and artistic vocabulary. Young children can benefit greatly from time spent learning to draw. Being trained to see and draw will expand the number of things they can draw, which in turn expands their ability to communicate verbally and visually.
This morning I was looking on line to see what kind of things are being done in elementary schools, to teach math visually and came across this video; Teaching Math Without Words: A Visual Approach to Learning Math Through Software.
In the video Dr. Matthew Peterson shares some great insights on why the current language heavy approach to teaching math is not working, especially for children that learn visually and conceptually. In answer to these challenges, their group, The Mind Research Institute has developed math-learning software to use in the classroom and is yielding impressive results. This video includes examples of their software – which I must admit – move way too fast for me to fully grasp. But when seeing the children working and discussing, in front of their computers, the programs seem to move at a pace that invites engagement and understanding.
I have been driven for many years, in all I do, to find ways to help children be more confident and successful. Writing Being Visual was a long, labor-intensive process especially for me as a visual learner. I truly believe that when we understand the way our visual kids think, we can help them be more successful. When I hear from parents that have read and applied visual learning techniques, I am enormously grateful to be a part of this important conversation.
I have been enormously blessed with a wonderful husband, four adult children, one grandchild (so far) and a bevy of nieces and nephews. My husband and I, along with our brothers and sisters, are great supporters and champions of one another’s children.
Education.com is a great resource for parents and educators. They have dedicated themselves to providing information to parents in order to help kids reach their full potential. The site is one of my favorites and contains articles, activities and thoughts from experts in their fields. The information is organized and presented by age group and covers everything from seasonal craft and play activities to parenting tips, to education tools and strategies. If you aren’t familiar with the site, I encourage you to take the time to visit www.Education.com. I am sure you will find it so valuable you will find it a must to bookmark.
We had some fun when we headed to the WGN-TV news studios in downtown Chicago. After reviewing my newly launched book, Being-Visual, I was thrilled that WGN invited me to appear on a “Focus on the Family” spot, to share tips on helping visual kids do better in the classroom. Originally, the segment was scheduled to be taped live and I must admit, knowing the large audience that WGN reaches, a bit of nervousness settled upon me. However, news about the Chicago teachers strike forced the station to make some changes to their schedule, so we taped our session to be aired at a later date this month on September 25.