Right Brain vs. Left Brain

  • Sight word cards (36 words) by Dianne Craft.
  • Your own homemade cards made by you or your child.
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Train your children to change words into pictures when listening and reading.
  • Teach them how to make a movie in their head as they read to dramatically increase their reading comprehension and memory.

Resources

  • Teaching Your Right Brain Child video by Dianne Craft.
  • Teach Both Sides of the Brain by Tony Buzan.
  • Lindamood Bell’s Verbalization/Visualization program.

Writing

  1. Model for your children how to see their whole paper, or paragraph, before they write it.
  2. Model pre-writing by using webbing (right brain) versus outlining (left brain).
  3. Show them how to write only one or two words to remind them of the whole thought.
  4. When grading the papers, give points for every positive thing on the paper. Ignore the errors initially, addressing them later when students prepare to write their next paper.
  5. Don’t correct spelling errors on the paper. Instead, put the misspelled words into the next spelling list for the student to learn.
  6. Don’t require that a paper be rewritten until a child has achieved success at the writing process.
  7. Give the child a list of transition terms, topic sentence starters, and concluding terms to use in his writing at first.

Resources

  • Tapestry of Grace Writing program by Marcie Somerville, available at www.tapestryofgrace.com.
  • Step Up To Writing by Maureen Auman, available at www.sopriswest.com.
  • Following Directions
  • When giving oral directions, use quick doodles to help a child remember what is said.
  • Later, have the child make a picture in his head of what you tell them to do.
  • Using color and circling to help show a child how to break down the steps of written directions for easy understanding.
  • Study Skills
  • Teach your child how to take picture notes for history, science, grammar and other subjects. Their test scores and understanding will improve dramatically.
  • When teaching any amount of sequential material, use doodles and pictures, in a story, or in a row, touching each other, for easy storage and retrieval.
  • Resources
  • Teaching Both Sides of the Brain by Tony Buzan
  • Teaching Your Right Brain Child video by Dianne Craft

VISUAL PROCESSING DYSFUNCTION CHARACTERISTICS

  • A child struggling with visual processing issues will display some of these characteristics:
  • Reading reversals (“was” for “saw,” “on” for “no,” “big” for “dig,” etc.) after initial introduction of the words.
  • Skipping of small words when reading.
  • Needing to use finger to track after age 7.
  • Oral reading that is smooth at the beginning of the page, but becomes more labored the longer a child reads.
  • Experiencing eye fatigue shortly after reading begins (watery eyes, rubbing eyes).
  • Yawning shortly after reading begins.
  • Continuing to struggle even after being prescribed eye glasses.

INFORMAL EVALUATIONS

These informal evaluations can be done at home to help a parent determine if a child is experiencing a blocked learning gate. Be sure as well to have your child’s vision acuity checked by an optometrist or ophthalmologist to make sure that this is not the cause of the child’s reading problem.

Eye tracking: With the child standing three feet in front of you, take an interesting object and slowly move it in a left-to-right manner in front of the child’s eyes. Ask the child to keep his eyes on the target. Do this for about four swings of the target. Watch to see if the child’s eyes skip in any spot, or if they begin to water. Then slowly move the target in a horizontal figure eight manner within the child’s shoulder width, making sure that the target is not too close to the child’s face. See if the child can look in those various directions without skipping or his eyes looking stressed in any way. Make a note of your findings. There are specific exercises that can be done to strengthen a child’s eye teaming abilities to reduce the stress in the visual learning system.

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