“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn”
There is no denying the fact that each child is unique and each one comes with their own superhero abilities. Even with special needs kids, this remains intact. Each child understands and learns about the world differently. With research, we know that that are 5 primary learning styles viz. Visual, auditory, verbal, kinesthetic and logical. Today we explore the traits of Visual learners. Let’s look at the ways in which we can modify our teaching to help them learn better.
How to know if your child is a visual learner?
There are some typical traits that can help you understand the dominant learning style of your child:
1. Understands pictures and diagrams/charts easily.
2. Prefers visual instructions
3. Habitual doodlers/drawers
4. Have a strong preference for color coded material
5. Notices minute differences between pictures and objects more easily.
Some sites also provide online quizzes to find out your learning style. Although the results may only be tentative.
If your child indeed turns out to be a visual learner, here are some tools to modify your teaching style. We bet you’ll be amused to see how you can help your little one with these playful learning strategies.
Strategies to teach visual learners:
1. USE FLASHCARDS
Break down the information to be learnt in small individual units. Present each bit on separate cards, preferably including colorful, bold and relevant pictures.
You can also use technology to your benefit and present complex concepts using Flash PPT’s.
“With one of my clients, who was a visual learner, I used to make PPT slides to test his understanding of learnt words. I used to present him with one word at a time on PPT slides, change the slides quickly and have him read the words aloud. This helped in increasing his reading speed as well. One the last slide, I used to put all the words together and let him read each one properly just to polish his understanding.” – STARLIT professional.
Using Role Play to act out a story, for example, enables a visual learner to remember the details better. A science experiment that can be demonstrated live will be better understood than only explaining the text. The logic is that since the child’s visual processing is dominant, s(he) will encode information more easily and thus remember better.
The method of Mirror Imaging also is helpful. Have the child stand facing you and instruct him/her to just imitate your actions and expressions. This is more than just a game to be played for some giggles. You can, for example, narrate a whole to-be-learnt story having the child copy your gestures. This also helps the child to understand social interaction, comprehend expressions in others and remember the dialogues and storyline better.
3. COLOUR CODING
Visual learners comprehend colors the best! Make their workbook as colorful as you can. Use different color pens for different concepts and separate colors to denote specific things. For example, use a red pen to underline all the wrongly framed sentences. A pink one to give a star when everything is right. It is important, though, to use the same color or symbol to denote a specific thing consistently so the child knows the importance of each.
What also helps is using different colored sheets for writing. Also, simply having the child color a picture of the object you are trying to explain helps a great deal. For example, coloring pictures of different modes of transport after learning about cars and buses etc.
4. BEHAVIOUR CHART4
Not just learning, but visual presentation of what is expected helps the child understand what needs to be done when. A simple example, a picture of a boy reading shown before the English class helps a great deal. A photograph of a kid exercising before the P.E. class encourages the child to do the same. Rather than just instructing orally, use pictures and gestures to convey the message.
Having worked with special needs kids for so many years now, we’ve always noted that the mode of teaching is very crucial to children’s understanding of the information. There are a lot of other ways in which you can help your little visual learner. So put on your work pants and get set to make everything around your child ‘look’ pleasing.
To know more such techniques or to avail psychology services for your child, feel free to reach out to us.