Standardized Testing and the Right-Brained Learner
It’s that time of the year – the first round of testing is coming up if it hasn’t happened already. Testing can be a stressful time for both parent and child! The good news is that even if your child doesn’t perform as well as you had hoped, there is good reason to be optimistic! What we need to do is be prepared and be ready to carry out a good plan of action should test scores be less than stellar.
Ideas to consider:
1. Start by evaluating the situation to determine what is going on, focusing on what you know about your child. It always helps me process if I actually list my thoughts on paper.
a. List what is easy for her, what she's good at, and how she's smart. In what areas do you feel she is capable, confident, and focused? Be very specific both in general characteristics (such as creativity, inventiveness, compassion, and empathy) as well as those things that relate to school.
b. Identify in like manner what is hard for your child. Be very specific in terms of general characteristics (such as disorganized with belongings, following directions, etc.) as well as specific things relating to the classroom that are hard for him. What were the specific skills the testing identified as weak?
2. Consider options to help.
a. What does the school suggest as a plan of action? Wait a bit to see if things improve? Pursue testing to rule out a disability? Extra help in the classroom or at home?
b. What do you feel about this plan and how effective it will be for your child?
c. How would your child respond to this plan? Will it help her do better in school?
What do the tests actually show?
What if poor test performance is simply the result of a mismatch between learning style and teaching style? Actually, the brain is designed to learn; it wants to learn. I have seen many situations in which children were failing until the presentation of material changed. Suddenly learning was easy.
If your child did poorly on some tests, it is highly likely that he or she is a visual, right-brained learner who needs materials designed for that brain-strength.
- Traditional classrooms present material in a left-brained manner
- Roughly 66% of children prefer a right-brained approach (or an approach that takes the left-brained content and presents it within right-brained elements for learning)
- Testing will primarily reveal how successful your child is at performing within a left-brained environment
What I want you to come away with is a sense of confidence that you know your child and that you can trust your judgment in choosing a way to help her. I want you to embrace your child with his particular learning gifts, knowing that if he can’t learn the way another child learns it doesn’t mean he is incapable. I want you to know that learning is easy when we get the method right.
We are here to help both with feedback and with materials designed for visual, right-brained learners. Please also look at these blog posts for specific helps: How to Help Your Child With Common Reading Challenges and Why You Should Teach Math in a Right-Brained Way. The first blog talks in detail about specific issues with reading and language and how to help. The second article tackles difficulties with math and how to help.
This will be good! Remember, we are here to answer questions and to be a sounding board. If you want more direction about helping your child, please call us at 800-881-0912 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org