Teaching Your Visual Learner

Do you have a child who thinks in images? They seem not to be able to follow instructions unless they can “see” what they’re supposed to do. They will frequently take information you give them and either write it down or draw pictures for it. They would likely give directions by drawing a map rather than writing it down. If this sounds familiar, you probably have a visual learner.

Recognizing that your child learns best from information presented visually, is the easy part. What’s difficult is trying to figure out how to present things in a way that your child can process most easily. For teaching a visual learner try these techniques:

1. Have your child organize the information you want him to learn in a map or diagram. A map usually starts with a word or picture in a bubble, and then has related words/ideas linked to the bubble.

2. Use highly visual books to teach. Books like Magic School Bus, Dorling Kindersley guides, Usborne, and other pictoral guides are excellent teaching tools for the visual learner.

3. Visual learners are very good at seeing the “big picture.” Try presenting information as a summary with supporting details as opposed to details that lead to a conclusion and summary.

4. Consider doing unit studies with the visual learner. Remember, visual learners tend to look at the big picture and add details to an overall summary. Unit studies tend to lend themselves towards this type of learning.

5. Flash cards are an excellent teaching tool for the visual learner. Flashcards with pictures that go with the information are even better because it gives the visual learner and extra “tag” to put on the information.

6. Visual learners are typically good at doing worksheets. Especially worksheets that have activities like matching, or in some other way require the student to make visual connections.

7. Of course, if you haven’t thought of this yet, use as many visual aids as possible. The more information you can present in pictures the better.

8. When you read a longer story or chapter book out loud, encourage your child to visualize what’s going on. Or, even let your child draw pictures to go along with the story as it’s being read. Putting a picture to the words that are being read will increase comprehension.

9. Too much visual stimuli can be a distraction so it’s important that the visual learner do school work at a desk or table that is free from clutter.

10. Well done television shows and videos are excellent tools for the visual learner. Here is a small list of excellent educational shows and DVD‘s:
PBS Kids, not only has educational shows, but their website has lesson plans to go with their shows.
Popular Mechanics for Kids
The Discovery Channel: Kids is similar to PBS in that it has online activities to go with it’s shows.

Resources for Teaching to your child’s learning style:

Nurturing the Genius in Each Child