After a long summer filled with a variety of activities, it’s time for kids to head back to the classroom. Unfortunately, for many kids this means a lot of time sitting in chairs and listening. If your child has trouble paying attention, gets fidgety, displays disruptive behavior, makes careless mistakes, has difficulty organizing and completing assignments—they may be recommended for an ADD evaluation. It extremely important to find out what’s distracting them, but rest assured, it may have nothing to do with ADD.
I recently took a mini-vacation with my oldest daughter. We spent a few days together in sunny Montauk, NY, enjoying the beach and delighting in the spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. While my daughter and I always enjoy our time together, I was also blessed to have Julia Child join us.
Bright yellow school buses on the roads again, reminding us all the school year has begun. Both children and parents enter a new school year full of expectation for our students. Many of those expectations will be met and great successes will abound. Sadly, some will not be met for a variety of reasons.
As parents, we have a vested interest in understanding the nuances of left and right-brain thinking. A child’s ability to learn is directly affected by the way their brain sees and processes information. Knowing if your child is an auditory, visual or kinesthetic learner will enable you to choose activities that support their learning needs, while working to develop their weaker areas. Click HERE to take our quiz and find out if your child is a VISUAL learner!
Art class is not just about art. Art and its foundational skill—drawing—is about reading and writing visually. When children learn to draw, they learn to see, evaluate and discern—visually. Many other subjects are affected by a child’s visual discernment and reading skills, such as math and reading.
Recently, I was invited to be part of a teacher in-service at a local Montessori pre-school. We met in the evening, after the children had gone home. As I entered the classroom, I saw shelves lined with familiar Montessori activities—all colorful, well-organized and designed to entice young learners. There is a special place in my heart for Montessori pre-schools, because their teaching method includes techniques and tools that work well for a multitude of learning styles, especially our visual and kinesthetic learners. Their engaging activities get the children interested but are also designed to help children develop discrimination, sequencing and organization skills that are critical to successful learning.
When I first set out to write Being Visual, I thought I was writing about my experience seeing the way art can be used to enhance learning. But while writing and researching, I had a very profound shift in my own understanding. I, like many others, thought learning was learning and art was there as a benefit—an enrichment. As an artist myself, I had always enjoyed participating in art class alongside my other studies. But, I now realize I had grossly underestimated the power and value of art as it relates to education.
It’s Saturday morning—time to take my grandson, Brayden, to the library for a new set of picture books. Oh, how he loves books! First, we go around the house gathering all the books we need to return. As we review them, Brayden has a bit of emotion about letting some of his favorites go, but is encouraged about finding new books—new “friends”. We jump in the car, drive over and enjoy the return process before heading in to select new friends to check out and take home.
Cooking with our kids is a great way to spend time together while involved in purposeful activity. But there’s much more that happens when we invite our kids into the kitchen. Cooking is an engaging, visual, spatial, tactile, hands-on activity that can reinforce classroom learning while developing fundamental cognitive skills.
Participating in theater is about so much more than playing dress-up. There are significant cognitive, physical, emotional and social benefits to participating in live theater. Many of these benefits are just what our visual-spatial kids need, but are also a safe, fun way for our more auditory-sequential kids to develop their “other” side.