In my last few posts I shared about how great it is to be a right brain thinker, even when the people around you and your child might not see it that way. This is especially true of kids who have been diagnosed with ADHD. For my next few posts I’m going to share on the challenges our right brain kids have in school. Which can be significant.
Our right brain kids are highly intelligent but need some help understanding how their minds work and help getting in sync with our current education system, so they can thrive and learn effectively. But at the same time, we must be careful we don’t start making excuses or expect less of them. Here are some things we can do as parents, to stay in touch at school and find out what our kids need to learn effectively.
Stay informed. Know what’s up.
As a parent and advocate you need to know what’s happening at school. What happens during your child’s school day? Do they have art, music, gym and recess? (You’d be surprised what schools do and don’t have these days.) Get to know the classroom teacher. Be involved. Volunteer if you can, but if you can’t, there are plenty of other ways to be part of what’s happening. Be sure homework is getting done every day. Get extra help where needed. Visit the classroom. Attend conferences. Attend school events as a family. Having a relationship with people at school and teacher is one of the most impactful things you can do for your child.
Get a plan. Not a pity party.
Right brain learners often struggle in one or more areas of the academic classroom. Usually math, reading and writing. For some kids this can lead to low self-esteem, acting out in class, or withdrawing emotionally. But the more you’re involved, the more you can see where those areas of struggle are and can do things to bring change. Being a right brain learner is not a handicap. And it’s certainly not an excuse for kids not doing the work or doing well. We need to get the kids the help they need, but then they need to do the work. And they can. I was reminded of this last year when our grandson entered elementary school. The amount of reading and writing in first grade was challenging for our right brain learner, but we dug in and did some extra work at home with sight words and handwriting. The extra effort on his part and our part, rebuilt his confidence and had a big impact on his classroom work. Now he’s in second grade, feeling a lot better about himself, and it looks like we’ll be spending some extra time this year learning math, the visual way. But we’re inspired by our past victories and expecting good results.
Where there’s a will there’s a way.
As a parent you want what’s best for your kids. You may not be well versed in the education system and feel confused about why your child’s not thriving. Maybe you’ve even gone to the school staff and didn’t get the help or clarity you were looking for. I want to encourage you to press in and keep at it. If you’re tempted to say “my child just doesn’t like math”, or “I didn’t like reading either”, it’s not okay. You may have had similar learning challenges that weren’t addressed but this is a new chapter and your child’s future. Not liking something is often the signal for where they’re struggling. So pay attention. Dig in and find a way. No powerless parenting allowed. No excuses.
This is all good news. When our right brain kids work hard and put extra effort into their work, it pays big dividends. Kids who learn to work at something are stronger, wiser and learn far more than the subject at hand. It builds skill, character and self-confidence they’ll carry into everything they do.
Here at bettefetter.com we’re committed to helping you create success for your visual learners. Check out the resources we have on hand – but stay tuned for lots more. And let us know what else you need us to help you with.