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Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp
Copyright 2006 by Julie Shepherd Knapp.  All rights reserved.
about the book
The Homeschool Diner's Guide to
Homeschooling Specials

Homeschooling Visual-Spatial
and Creative Learners

by Julie Shepherd Knapp, copyright 2006

"Visual-Spatial" is a learning style that describes children who think in
pictures, rather then in words, who are creative, and have very original  
(even unusual, "out of the box") ideas.  They usually like to create or build
or make things.  They tend to be disorganized and have trouble
remembering details.  

In general, these children learn best from visual material (diagrams, books,
maps, and pictures), rather than by listening to lectures.  They need to see
"the big picture" in order to understand a new concept, this is called "whole
to part" learning.  (The opposite is "step-by-step" or "sequential learning".)

A child who is highly Visual-Spatial does not have an actual "learning
disability" but is at a distinct learning "disadvantage" in the typical
classroom environment.  Even though an estimated 30% of school children
are Visual-Spatial Learners, most teachers are trained to present
information thru lectures, in a "step by step" style.  Most textbooks are also
arranged to teach concepts in small steps, instead of providing the big
picture first.  

When a V-S child struggles in school he or she may be suspected of
having a learning disability.  V-S Learners often have trouble with the
sequential nature of math, with memorizing math facts, and with keeping all
the details in order.  They often have trouble with writing, because they
think in pictures, but have to translate those pictures into words for their
written work. They are often so cluttered and forgetful of details that they
may seem to have a disability in organization.

Homeschooling is a great option for visual-spatial learners, because, when
they are taught in a way that fits their learning style, visual-spatial learners
can make sense of math, write well, and even get organized.  The articles
below talk more about what it means to be visual-spatial, and also how to
help your child learn and achieve in a way that works for him or her.

The Visual-Spatial Learner: An Introduction  by Linda Silverman

Are You a Creator? -- by Linda Silverman, a child's guide to v-s abilities

Visual-Spatial -- lots of great articles and books on v-s

Teaching The Right Brain Child by Dianne Craft MA CNHP of Child
Diagnostics -- manual, videos, and flashcards (sold separately), a former
homeschool mom and special ed teacher helps parents learn how to use
Right Brain Strategies to teach their children Spelling, Math, Reading,
Phonics, Sight Words, Vocabulary, Following Directions, and Study Skills.
Her website is rather bare bones... here is a description of
her program.

Issues with Reading and Written Work:

Web 2.0... The Machine is US/ing US by Michael Wesch, Kansas State
University -- shows how word processing, HTML, and the Web have
changed the way we communicate - have made it more V-S friendly!
I Can't See It ! A Visual-Spatial Approach to Language Arts a book by
Alexandra Golon
Visual-Spatial Learners have trouble with writing by Alexandra Golon
Writing Problems of Visual Thinkers  by Gerald Grow
Help for Reluctant Writers and Kids Who Hate to Write
Graphic Organizers from Enchanted Learning -- free online examples
and directions for using many different types of graphic organizers

Issues With Math:

Teaching Mathematics to Visual-Spatial Learner by Linda Silverman
Taking Timed Tests by Alexandra Golon
Nothin' But the Facts!  A Visual-Spatial Strategy for the Times Tables
a book by Alexandra Golon
Teen-friendly Flash Cards -- these have great visuals to help remember
math facts, created by a teacher, Joel Harrison, in Orange County, CA
Fraction Summaries -- nice reference pages to help remember
Arithmetic weakness does not correspond to lack of "math talent" -
v-s children may be gifted in conceptual math but not calculation
Borenson's Hands-on Equations a visual method of teaching children
how to solve linear equations in algebra (great for younger kids, too)
East Meets West: Fundamental Differences in Math Teaching -- a
review of Liping Ma's "Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics" by
Drs. Fernette and Brock Eide, "...many US teachers don't really understand
the "big picture" of math"

Issues with organization and attention:

Organizational Skills for V-S Learners -- by Alexandra Golon
Excess Teacher Talk Swamps Children -- by Linda Doherty, education
editor of the Sydney Morning Herald
Does inattention always mean ADHD?

Help with Short Term Memory Skills

we all know a few procrastinators... what planet are they from? ;-)

Graphic Organizers from Enchanted Learning -- free online examples
and directions for using many different types of graphic organizers

Get Organized Without Losing It by Janet S. Fox -- humorous book
written for kids in upper elementary to middle school

The Organized Student: Teaching Children the Skills for Success in
School and Beyond by Donna Goldberg -- strategies and tips to help
parents help their kids organize their lives

Time Management for Unmanageable People:The Guilt-Free Way to
Organize, Energize, and Maximize Your Life by Anne Mcgee-Cooper --
aimed at those who are creative, right-brained, or otherwise
"out-of-the-box" types, helps understand that the same organizational
methods don't work for everyone, good for middle school kids and older  

Giftedness and Visual Spatial Issues:

Is Your Child Gifted?

Is Your Child a Gifted Visual-Spatial Learner?

Kids Can Be Gifted and Have Learning Disabilities?

Online support groups for homeschooling V-S learners

Homeschooling Extraordinary Children - support for parents
homeschooling bright children with a  variety of learning differences
Homeschooling Creatively - focus on individualized education and
child-centered learning (very helpful for Auditory-Sequential parents who
are homeschooling Visual-Spatial children)

Related Issues

Thinking Like Einstein: Returning to our visual roots with the
emerging revolution in computer information visualization by
Thomas West --  a book discussing how visual-spatial learners are leading
the way in a new era "where the most advanced work in science, art, or
business will be done using modern information visualization technologies
and techniques", also author of the book "
In the Mind's Eye"

Check out The Homeschool Diner's  online enrichment
 These are collections of free online activities, experiences,
and resources  that  may appeal to your V-S learner (there's something for
everyone ;-)

Online Enrichment for Visual Arts
Online Enrichment -- Music
Online Enrichment for Math
Online Enrichment for Science

You will also find audio-visual and hands-on resources listed
within each subject in the
Homeschooling by Subject section
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