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.
I have enjoyed watching my grandson Brayden grow and manage tasks more independently and to help him, we keep his room well organized and easy to navigate. We also use lists and charts for certain tasks. But when working with kids, and many adults, it helps to make the lists visual.
The majority of our students are visual learners, so we need to pay more attention to the development of their visual skills. Our schools are very focused on verbal literacy, but visual literacy is essential to success in the classroom, especially for our visual learners. Visual literacy requires us to be able to read, write and interpret visual images, so we need to help our children gain proficiency.
Last night I had a ‘sleepover’ with my grandson Brayden. Like most four year olds, Brayden loves to read books, or at this stage, have books read to him. And one of his favorite parts of our ‘sleepovers’ is getting jammies on and climbing into bed with a very big stack of books.
The preschool years are ripe with opportunity to discover the world and prepare children as learners.
Along with building certain physical skills, like the pincher grasp used in writing, children also need ways to develop their sequencing abilities, focus and concentration skills. Here are five activities (free downloads) that are easy to implement at home and in the classroom.
While there are a multitude of assessments to gauge preschool development, as an educator, mother of four, and now a grandmother, I would like to share some thoughts. And while it’s enormously tempting to measure, compare, worry and even compete, it’s hugely important to remember that all children develop at their own pace and in their own time.