Help Your Child Succeed in School by Being Visual {with Giveaway}

by Jennifer Donovan

My daughter started high school this year. She’s always been smart, learning most things easily without much effort. However, that time comes when even the most brilliant of children has to study. If not before high school, I challenge anyone taking high school history or science to make A’s without hitting the books. She’s doing a great job of staying on top of her assignments, and so far her efforts have paid off. But this week is the first round of tests, so I’m a bit nervous.

Do you have a child who you know is intelligent and who sticks to task when she is doing something that she enjoys? Perhaps he gets overwhelmed when faced by projects that require many steps, preferring instead to get lost in the big picture?

You might be wondering if your child has ADHD and would benefit from medication. That might be the issue, but it still might not solve all the problems. Did you know that many gifted children and children who have been diagnosed with ADHD are visual-spatial learners? The problem is that the vast majority of schools teach in a way that best reaches auditory-spatial learners, who only make up about 25% of the population — 45% are both and 30 % are visual (Being Visual page 12).

As I’ve been reading Bette Fetter’s book Being Visual: Raising a Generation of Innovative Thinkers, qualities of my children — who do happen to be artistic — have jumped out at me, and caused me to evaluate why they might seem to have trouble buckling down to do homework.

Back to my daughter –

She’s recently complained about not being able to concentrate, specifically when she’s reading and studying for her Human Geography class. I didn’t really understand. She likes to read. She’s always been a reader. It should come easily to her. But absorbing large amounts of text in that way is NOT easy for her. Until reading this book, I honestly was thinking she was just making up excuses.

Please click through to my full review of Being Visual over at 5 Minutes for Books to read more of my thoughts. If you notice these qualities in your child (or even yourself!), I highly recommend this book to you. You’ll be able to understand the issue better, and hopefully you’ll be able to incorporate some of her tips. I’ve already tried to use a few:

  • Use visual graphic organizers to structure a term paper
  • Use color when writing spelling or vocabulary words to aid in memory
  • Use pictures and symbols when taking notes

You can enter to win a copy of this book. Just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below. We’ll announce a winner on Wednesday September 26 over at 5 Minutes for Books.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan has been a part of the 5 Minutes for Mom team since 2007. She writes product reviews, covers events, and manages the 5 Minutes for Books weekly column and website. She lives in Houston and blogs at Snapshot about life with her family.

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Janelle September 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I’m very interested in the ideas in this book. I am a visual /tactile learner, but I was fortunate enough to grow up in an era of educational experimentation and had many hands on learning experiences in my elementary years. Unfortunately, the higher grades weren’t as willing to explore other methods.

I see traits of this in my kids in different ways and would love to know how to make it easier for them.

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2 E.S. Ivy September 12, 2012 at 1:22 pm

My son is taking human geography this year too! I’ll have to ask him how the reading is going.

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3 Randi W. September 12, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Using color. I’ve had to do a lot of public speaking in the past and writing my notes in color always helped. It was a trick that I learned from a teacher while still in elementary school (for spelling words!).

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4 ANGEL JACKLYN September 12, 2012 at 10:36 pm

I RECENTLY JUST LEARNED ABOUT WHAT ADHD IS & I HAVE IT AS AN ADULT. IT MAKES COLLEGE VERY, VERY HARD TO TAKE IN. I USED TO BE JUST LIKE TO YOUR DAUGHTER, VERY SMART & GREAT AT WRITING. IF YOU DON’T TREAT YOUR DISORDER THOUGH, IT GETS WORSE WITH AGE & YOU END UP LIKE ME. I WOULD LOOOOOOVE TO READ THIS BOOK & GET TIPS TO HELP ME ABSORB HUGE AMOUNTS OF TEXT AT A TIME! THANKS FOR THE CHANCE!

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5 Susan P. September 13, 2012 at 12:45 am

It makes sense about people with ADD or ADHD being more visual learners since my huband was diagnosed with ADD at age 45 and has always learned better with visual learning.

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6 renee walters September 13, 2012 at 2:12 am

I agree that people with ADHD are more visual learners. My daughter struggled through school and was able to improve by watching something and than repeating it. Thanks so much for the fantastic giveaway!
Reneewalters3@yahoo.com

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7 Rachel September 13, 2012 at 9:07 am

I have always been a more visual/experiential learner which made things difficult, especially once I reached college and then grad school. I love to read this book to see if I could incorporate more visual learning into my life and into curriculum.
Rachel recently posted..Note to self (or my list)My Profile

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8 Dorothy September 13, 2012 at 10:46 am

Being a teacher I can relate very well to this topic.

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9 My Baby Pajamas September 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm

My husband was diagnosed with ADHD at a late age and feels he missed so much of school. It’s great that society is getting a handle on us visual learners and taking some action. I believe schools should take the time to teach in all 3 different teaching styles. Great giveaway!!

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10 lana September 13, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Never realized using color can help so much

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11 Margaret Rogers September 14, 2012 at 11:59 am

I like the idea of using different colors to attract and keep attention.
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12 gail September 14, 2012 at 3:46 pm

i agree that using symbols and pictures when notetaking is a good strategy

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13 Stephanie September 14, 2012 at 11:01 pm

I’d love to read this book, with a husband who has severe ADHD, and my first baby on the way. I am a very visual learner, and think everyone learns in their own unique way.

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14 Jennifer Nixon September 15, 2012 at 1:00 pm

My son has adhd and he’s Autistic. He has difficulties with the comprehensive side of reading.But he loves reading anyhow.

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15 Kia September 17, 2012 at 5:47 pm

My daughter with ASD is a visual learner and even though i’m not on the spectrum i find i am as well
Kia recently posted..Movie Review – Won’t Back DownMy Profile

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16 Chelsea September 18, 2012 at 1:48 am

I totally agree and feel for your daughter… It’s very hard for me to absorb and concentrate on large amounts of written information

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17 Daniel M September 18, 2012 at 8:45 pm

pictures are always more fun than page after page of boring text

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18 andrea September 20, 2012 at 10:03 pm

there are so many different types of learning styles

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19 vera September 21, 2012 at 11:04 pm

My friends child has ADHD and I think this book would help her out a lot. I would also love to read it, I had no idea using colors could help so much and I think both my friend and I could benefit from this book.

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20 Ed Nemmers September 22, 2012 at 5:10 pm

This would be helpful for my neighbor!

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21 Valerie Taylor Mabrey September 23, 2012 at 12:31 am

visual is better for me
vmkids3 at msn dot com

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22 Rachel Newman September 23, 2012 at 12:32 am

I teach at a school for students with dyslexia and we teach using a multisensory approach, so I am very interested in reading this book.

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23 Karen Gonyea September 23, 2012 at 9:25 am

I like the idea of motion while learning – it engages different memory techniques.

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24 Chelsea M September 23, 2012 at 1:25 pm

I had no idea that using color could help you memorize things! I’ll definitely have to try that out next time I’m studying.

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25 Ciara B. September 23, 2012 at 3:43 pm

i love the idea of teaching my son to be more visual

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26 rebecca day September 23, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Never realized using color can help so much

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27 christal c w September 24, 2012 at 7:05 am

My daughter takes after me,in that she writes notes and put little symbols or signs next to them. I may do this to remember, who knew

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28 susan smoaks September 24, 2012 at 8:40 am

I love that this book will help me understand our visual learner and help me to help them learn!

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29 mary j. September 24, 2012 at 9:38 am

I like this suggestion:Use color when writing spelling or vocabulary words to aid in memory

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30 mary gardner September 24, 2012 at 11:15 am

i also think that using symbols and pictures when taking notes is great as well as using colors for spelling and vocabulary words to help with memory.

jagar0047 at yahoo dot com

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31 mary gardner September 24, 2012 at 11:16 am

these are some great tips and especially like the idea that using symbols and pictures when taking notes is great as well as using colors for spelling and vocabulary words to help with memory

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32 Saver Sara September 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Use pictures and symbols when taking notes

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33 Kerrie Mayans September 24, 2012 at 12:53 pm

This is very interesting to me because I am definitely an audio learner. I even read things aloud to myself if I want to remember them but my son isn’t at all. He is mostly visual so there are some great hints and tips for helping him learn and I would love to read this book to learn even more.

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34 Jennifer Peaslee September 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm

I liked your post because it reminded me that people learn in different ways. I like the creative ideas for appealing to visual learners, especially using pictures and symbols when taking notes.

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35 Jane H September 24, 2012 at 4:42 pm

My son could never focus when reading so we went on field trips, played games etc that would teach the same lessons and suddenly the books made sesnse. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

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36 Sarah Yurga September 24, 2012 at 7:40 pm

my daughter has ADHD and autism. She is able to concentrate on things she loves almost to an obsession. I am curious to read this book and see how it might help my daughter.

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