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How Does Your Child Learn?
Helping your child learn can sometimes be quite a challenge. After all, every child learns differently. Maybe you’ve taken on the challenge of homeschooling, or maybe you just want a great way to help your child do better with her homework or in school. Did you know that learning some simple techniques could help you and your child both learn and retain information better? Teaching your child to visualize and tap into her photographic memory skills can help her store learned information more effectively.

Visualization is a key skill in the memory aspect of learning. You can start helping your child learn this skill by, first, discovering how your child learns. To get started, you have to find out where she stores her visual memory, or the place where she stores the image of the information she wants to remember:

  • Begin by asking her to describe things you know she’s seen.
  • You can ask questions like: Describe your classroom at school? What were you wearing last Saturday?
  • Watch her eyes and the direction she looks, which will tell you where the information is stored.

You also need to know where she how she visually constructs new information and concepts. Here are a few tips to help you observe this:
Ask her about future events like:

  • What do you imagine your house will look like when you grown up?
  • What will your car look like when you grow up?

Ask her to describe things she hasn’t seen or might not know:

Again, watch where her eyes look when she’s answering to see what part of her brain she’s using to do these imaginary pictures.

When she is answering questions, her eyes will look either up and left, which is more typical for memory, or up and right, which is more typical when trying to imagine or create something new. Asking her both types of visual questions and observing the direction her eyes move to either retrieve or create information and concepts will tell you where her visual memory (photographic memory) is stored.

So, How Do You Do it?
This technique is easy to learn. Follow these steps with your child to get her to learn to visualize new words:

  • Select a word and have him look at the correct spelling of a word.
  • Have her close her eyes and remember a place or time when she was very relaxed. (The purpose here is to get her into a nice, relaxed state of mind.)
  • Tell her to open her eyes and look up and to the left. (You can have her look right if this is where her visual memory is located.)
  • Now, tell her to picture the word (like taking a picture) in your mind.
  • Next, look up at the mental picture of the word and say the letters in order.

It’s most likely that the spelling will be correct. If it isn’t, there are a few tips that can help you build up the skill.

  1. First, you can have her try picturing the word in a certain color or with a familiar background.
  2. Another tip is to break down the letters into groups of three and try building the word three letters at a time.
  3. You can also have her try picturing the letters she’s having trouble with in a different color or a bigger size.
  4. The last tip is to trace the letters on the table or in the air to help visualize.

Where Did This Technique Come From?
This technique is incredibly simple and is often seen in champion spellers. John Grinder and Richard Bandler, while in the process of developing Neuro-Linguistic Programming, realized that most emotional memories are stored so that the eyes will look down when retrieving them. On the other hand, they go up when looking for pictures (where spelling champions store words). This technique was
developed by Robert Dilts, while he was studying with Dr John Grinder (often been described as one of the greatest thinkers of our lifetime) and Dr Milton H Erickson, a renowned psychiatrist.

This is a simple technique that can help your child not only spell but learn to use visualization to help her learn better in school. It’s definitely worth teaching your child and even learning to do it yourself.

About the author: Tracy is a freelance writer and teacher who hopes providing parents with these tips will help them tap into even more of their child’s potential. She enjoys writing but also lacing up her timberland pit boss boots and hitting the trail, which can be good for the mind too.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to teach visualization skills.

Image courtesy of John Flinchbaugh via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.