Every child has a different learning style and pace. Each child is unique, not only capable of learning but also capable of succeeding
Robert John Meehan
I love this quote. If I may, I would like to add two words to it…“and adult”.
I have two girls. My oldest has my learning style. I am mainly a visual learner, with reading/writing and some tactile added in. I believe my youngest to be more of an auditory/tactile learner. I texted my youngest to ask her what learning style she thought she was and I never heard back from her. Clearly, I should have called her as auditory learners prefer to hear what you have to say.
Because my oldest has my learning styles, it was easier for her to understand my teachings, and harder for my youngest. Since I didn’t know any better, they were both taught my way of doing things, including organizing.
I now realize that was probably pretty painful for my youngest and it probably made very little sense to her.
Take a look at this Learning Styles Assessment so you can get a better idea of what your child’s, or even your learning style is. It may make all the difference in the world when it comes to getting organized. The assessment covers 4 styles of learning.
This article will concentrate only on the Visual Learner.
In the following weeks, I will share organizing and lifestyle strategies to use with the Auditory Learner, the Kinesthetic/Tactile Learner, and the Reading/Writing Learner.
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Success strategies to use with the visual learner…
- Show them how to do what it is you want them to do as visual learners learn by watching.
- Pictures work well. Chore charts with pictures of what is to be done will help them see what they need to do, and check off what they have done. You can even list the pictures by priority, and they will follow that structure. Important chores first, or chores by the time of day.
- Written instructions are great and they enable visual learners to refresh their memory because they struggle with remembering verbal instructions.
- Checklists are great. Checklists with pictures (for the younger ones) are even better. Visual learners love to check things off as they complete them.
- If you are giving instructions to an older visual learner, send them a text with instructions rather than telling them over the phone. What you told them literally flies out of their head. This will explain why only part of something will get done. They forget most of the conversation. (Believe me, I know this).
- When organizing toys, or even picking up toys, create a game of; pick up all the yellow toys, or all the square toys, or all the Barbie toys.
- Visual learners love charts and graphs. I would consider a calendar a chart. Being able to see what is coming up, or expected of visual learners is so helpful.
- Visual learners also love color-coding. Don’t overdo this. I don’t love a lot of color-coding. The one color I do respond to is red, and to me, that means an appointment. I do have color coding for other items on my calendar, but red is the one that really speaks to me. On a side note, ONE TIME I put a client appointment on my Google calendar in another color, and missed the appointment!
- Sound can be distracting for visual learners. When your visual learner is decluttering, cleaning up, or organizing, make sure the space is quiet. It will help.
- Anything that will visually distract them, needs to be put away out of sight. Out-of-season clothing, toys they don’t play with much, books they don’t read. These all confuse the situation and make it harder to get anything done.
- Visual learners don’t do well in clutter. If there is clutter in their space, it will be hard for them to concentrate on the task at hand.
Tasks most visual learners will do well with…
- Visual learners are good sorters. They can sort laundry, silverware, groceries, and recycling. They also come in handy during the decluttering and organizing process.
- When you are grocery shopping with a visual learner, they can collect the coupon items if you still use coupons. They would also do well with a list of things to collect.
- Visual learners have great eye-hand coordination. This makes them good at things like vacuuming, dusting, emptying the trash, and filling pet dishes.
- Other chores they would be good at include setting the table, cleaning out the fridge, loading and emptying the dishwasher, washing off the fronts of cabinets and light switches.
- Please make sure the chores are age-appropriate. This list gives you guidelines as to what a child can do and at what age. Keep in mind the quote at the beginning of this article.
Organizing tools the visual learner might like…
- Use labels. Labels in the toy room, in the closet, on bins. For nonreaders, put pictures of the items that belong in the bin, on the bin.
- Dance clothes in a container with a dancer on the front
- Sports items go into a bin with something that represents sports.
- Visual Learners like nice-looking organizing tools. Just don’t get too many!
- Clear bins with labels are great for the visual learner. This helps them see what is supposed to go in the bin, so chances are the right things will end up in there. This is also helpful when things are stored there. A quick look at the label and the contents, and they will know if it’s the container they need.
- I love the Time Timer for visual learners. They can see time ticking down with this tool.
We can all use a hand up in life. Teaching according to learning styles is a hand up.
It’s been a while since I have been in college, but I always remember this particular incident. In college, I was taking an Algebra class.
The first semester I understood what was taught well enough to earn a B.
The second semester, I struggled to make rhyme or reason of what this new professor was teaching. I am thankful for the classmates that helped me one on one as I would have flunked out of the class without their help.
The third semester, I had the same professor as I did the first semester. What a difference it made. I didn’t need any extra help from my classmates and I finished that class with a high B.
Learning is different for everyone. Why make it hard? Take some time to figure out what your learning style is. If you struggle with learning organization, or really anything else, this is where we start to figure out the why.
What kind of learner are you?
If you or someone in your household is a visual learner, do you think any of these ideas will be helpful? What strategies will you try?
Let me know in the comments below.