My daughter is visual spatial learner. Her strength lies in the right brain. Majority of learners are left brain dominate. Schools primarily teach to the left brained learner. My daughter thinks in pictures. She is ultra creative, logical, artsy, mechanical, and very bent on being her own person. In the natural (sequential) world of learning, she is a failure, however, I realize her amazing strengths, and further, I insist she realize her amazing strengths!
She sees movies as she reads or listens because she engages all her senses. She learns in 3-D, she gets the “Big Picture”, she is a pattern finder, she turns work into play, she thinks outside the box, she is very emotional–her feelings and emotions intermingle… Her mind is like a computer. She can create, file, and pull up visual information as needed.
Visualizing works for all types of thinkers, but it is home base for picture thinkers. Impatient picture thinkers never look at anything long enough to make a picture. They have need to be taught to take just a few seconds longer when trying to create a real and lasting visual memory. She sees ideas in 3-D, like computer animation with depth. She sees the whole picture and not parts. She can examine relationships and connections. She can quickly scan her senses to check what she has taken in (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling, sensing) and mentally connect the dots that spell out what is going on. She can make pictures to represent ideas. She is adept at finding patterns. If a recurring pattern is present, she will find it. This means she learns math facts better when she is aware of interconnecting number patterns.
Trying to teach math to a visual learner involves more than just drill work. Rote memorization or old-fashioned drill work is futile! Playing games that use number patterns works far better than old-fashioned drilling since her memory doesn’t hold isolated, disconnected facts. She is able to find patterns that others often overlook. She isn’t comfortable following linear lines of thought–her mind doesn’t work step by step. She can take in the step by step process, but without the big picture, it simply fades away.
She does need time to try out her ideas to make sure they are going to work–processing time. She is moody–she can take off and fly with an idea if she is upbeat and feeling confident, or be sullen and refuse to even give it a try if she is feeling upset, confused, angry, or depressed. Her feelings and emotions intertwine with her learning. Her emotions affect her way of thinking. She loves to have fun. She is eager to explore nature, curious about her surroundings, delights in unusual discoveries… She is either stirring up an argument or playing the clown, devising ways to liven things up. She needs a rich, colorful, stimulating environment to thrive. This is part of why others find her interesting and fun. She livens things up and provides a much-needed zest to life. Thus, homeschooling is the perfect avenue for my right brain learner.