Reading Help for Visual Learners
A few weeks ago my sister Diane called to talk about her granddaughter Lanie. It seems her first grade teacher had some concerns about her reading and wanted to meet with Lanie’s mom and dad. They talked as a family about what the stumbling block might be and remembered our conversations about visual learners.
Lanie is a visual learner and she loves to draw. She loves to draw anywhere, anytime, all the time. She takes weekly Young Rembrandts classes at her elementary school. She loves to draw from our How to Draw videos (on YouTube) and she’s anxiously awaiting our next video drawing book (an eBook with drawing videos inside). Lanie is a visual learner – but not because she loves art. She’s a visual learner because that is how her brain is wired. People who are right-brain dominant are visual-spatial learners and have very specific thinking patterns and learning needs. Kids that are always making, doing, drawing or building – are probably visual learners. Here’s a link to a quiz that can help identify if your child is a visual learner!
After meeting with the teacher and confirming understanding where her reading challenges were – mom, dad and grandma hatched a plan. Here are a few of the things they did:
To the library! – They checked out an assortment of books for Lanie to read; some for her house and some for grandmas. And everyone is taking turns being read to. They were also careful to get books to read to Lanie. You never want to stop reading to your child when they learn to read. Listening to someone else read helps build comprehension and visualization skills.
Special work area – Like many kids, Lanie doesn’t go straight home from school. She heads to grandma’s house in the afternoons. So instead of leaving all the homework and extra reading time for mom and dad – they also set up a special homework desk at grandma’s house.
Sight Word Box – Lanie’s classroom is very phonics oriented, which is great but visual kids also need to see and learn whole words. They pay attention to which words she needs more practice with and write those words on cards, one word per card, so Lanie can practice remembering what they ‘look’ like.
There are many ways we can help bridge the gap between classroom learning and the needs of our visual kids.