Understanding Children Who Struggle In School Child1st Publications
Jun 12, 2017

Understanding Children Who Struggle In School

Right-brained learners /
Struggling Learners /
Reading /
Visual Learner /
Visual Learners /
Multisensory Learning /
Reading Comprehension /
SnapWords /
Struggling Reader /
How to Teach Reading /
Kinesthetic Learners /
Tactile Learner /
Learning activities /
Sight Words with Pictures /
Attention Span /
Tactile Learners /
Struggling Readers /
Learning styles /
Kindergarten /

Today I would like to talk about why your child might be struggling to learn.

Is your child bright but struggling in school? Is she creative but cannot remember what she learned? Does it seem like no matter what you do he just can’t learn??

You are not alone. These questions are on the minds of many parents, especially parents of visual learners.

There is an explanation for why many children struggle to learn with traditional teaching approaches.

All children fall somewhere on a spectrum from left-brained dominant to right-brained dominant in how their brains are wired to learn. It will benefit both children and teachers to understand the child’s unique wiring.

First, take a look at Left-Brained Dominant learners

  • They enjoy traditional methods of teaching
  • They think in words and symbols
  • They can drill and memorize facts
  • They prefer sequential directions and details
  • They deal well with abstracts and are good with math and language

Researchers tell us that 25% of children are strongly auditory/sequential (Left-brain Dominant) learners.

Visual/Spatial (Right-brain dominant) learners fall on the other end of the learning spectrum

  • These children are rarely accommodated in class
  • They think in pictures and can learn in a glance
  • Their memory is permanent
  • They like to know the goal and can create procedures for themselves that make sense
  • They see the big picture
  • Discovering patterns are how they make sense of random information and how they remember
  • They learn from whole to part

33.33% of children are considered right-brained dominant learners.

A visual right-brained learner is someone who learns primarily through

  • images,
  • movement,
  • patterns,
  • hands on work,
  • and stories.

They need to know the goal; the Why behind the lesson. They need to discover patterns, make associations, and find similarities.

These are the ways in which a visual right-brain learner learns. These strategies are often left out of traditional school classrooms and the result is that children struggle, and many are put into special education. The problem is not with their brains; it is that they are not being taught in a way they can understand and remember.

Let's look at some resources that are designed for right-brain learners

When teaching letters and sounds, we focus on a symbol embedded in a visual that can be captured in a glance. The story creates a personal setting and a memory prompt. The visual and story create an association to a known object, and most importantly there is a body motion that reflects the shape of the symbol and known object.

This unique learning design becomes more apparent in learning words.

The visual shows the meaning of the word for comprehension. In SnapWords®, the word is embedded in the visual to allow your child to capture the word instantly. On the back of the cards, we have a body motion which reflects the meaning of the word, a story sentence that creates meaning, and a hook for memory.

With a right-brain approach, we teach the whole word first that then break it into little pieces & teach patterns that are found in words.


Math is far more than numbers and symbols. We use images, stories, personification, patterns, and body motions to teach math.

Here is a great example: Zeroman turns every number into a zero with one POOSH from his magic wand! As you can see it does not take much to transform information to a right-brain approach if you include specific right-brain elements in your lesson.

Let’s look at an example of math vocabulary words. “Numerator” means “one who counts” – he counts the number of items in the fraction. “Denominator” means “one who names” – he names what the fraction is – what is being counted. So in an example of three-fourths, the Numerator counts “123” and Denominator names the 4ths.

When learning needs are addressed you will see the results you have always hoped for. Your child will excel in Reading, Math, Spelling, Phonics and so much more when they are taught in a right-brained style.

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