The term Visual Learner is frequently misunderstood, even though 33% of children are visual learners and another 30% prefer to learn visually. Because, coincidentally, visual learners fill special education classrooms, it is critical that we understand these children and learn how to help them be successful.
What is hard for them and why they struggle
Visual learners don’t learn new material by listening to someone talk. They find it nearly impossible to memorize rules, procedures, or definitions. Just remembering sequences of steps, such as listening to and carrying out a series of directions, is daunting to them. Visual learners are not auditory or verbal, so when they become stressed, their words might nearly disappear, leaving the impression they just are not very smart. Visual learners are not as good at explaining verbally as they are at showing you – making, modeling, or drawing what they know.
The gifts of visual learners and how they learn best
Visual learning doesn’t mean “learning by looking” (such as at words on a page), it rather means learning by image, by finding similarities, by discovering patterns that make sense of seemingly random details. Visual learners are creatives who think in pictures and are best able to learn by seeing where details fit into the whole.
- They have mental cameras that snap an unforgettable picture of the concept if it is designed favorably for them. For example, if a difficult word is embedded in an image, they "snap" a mental picture of the word, image and all, rather than trying to sound it out.
- They are amazing detectives, searching for and finding similarities between elements, group those together naturally, and learn them by snapping a picture of the pattern.
- They are global thinkers. This means they see the whole picture with all of its elements, and once they are shown the goal, they are excellent at creating efficient and effective steps for reaching that goal.
- They are intuitive. They extract meaning, they read between the lines, they understand shades of meaning. They are very good at reading people and their emotions and caring for them.
- Visual learners are wonderful inventors and problem-solvers. This is true because once they see a need or a gap, they naturally go to work to find a solution. As they see the whole picture and understand the desired goal, they automatically invent steps to accomplish that goal.
How we can help
Child1st came to be primarily to help visual learners – to provide resources that are designed in ways that give visual learners the chance to learn from their strengths. Because visual learners make up such a large percentage of children in our schools, and because so often they are the ones who end up struggling most, helping them became our mission. All our resources are designed with them in mind and are structured to give adults who teach them the ability to pick up the resources and just begin to teach without prior training or preparation. Just follow the directions that accompany each resource.
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SnapWords® help visual learners learn words in a glance.Learn More
SnapWords® Kits provide an extensive sight word vocabulary and supporting resources.Learn More
Beyond Sight Words Activities
Hands on activities and games that teach reading while your child is learning SnapWords®.Learn More
Phonics and Spelling
Reach for phonics and spelling resources that help visual learners thrive.Learn More
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Find a full reading program for grades K-3 that was designed for the visual learner.Learn More
Provide reading practice as your child learns SnapWords®.Learn More
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