Here’s a question posed about whether and how to use summer vacation: After she worked hard all year to try and keep up, it is really fair to have my daughter put more time into her reading, writing and spelling during her summer vacation?
The short answer is this: do NOT have her do more of the same thing she’s been doing. Use your picture thinking to imagine how to best help. If you’ve ever been in an ocean or river, then you’ll recall how it feels to “go with the flow”. In an ocean wave or at the river, we’re effortlessly moved along with the water and we quickly realize that swimming against the current takes way more energy than going with the flow. Sometimes even trying to stand still can take some sturdy footing.
Consider the possibility that the amount of work your daughter has expended to keep up is a bit like finding that sturdy footing in the river. If getting things done is taking that much energy then she is definitely not going with the flow.
Our imagination, also called the Mind’s Eye, turns on automatically when we are bored, curious, anxious or confused. Have you every realized that a thought prompts your imagination to stop listening or reading while you contemplate an idea? When you’re contemplating, your Mind’s Eye is turned on; consequently your brain stops accurately receiving information from your eyes and ears. Instead, it receives the version the imagination delivers.
For many students, this strength of imagination is at the root of problems processing letters, numbers and words. Why? Because when our Mind’s Eye/imagination is triggered, we use our nonverbal/picture thinking. We all begin life as nonverbal since we do not have words as babies; by the age of nine, we begin to specialize in either verbal/work or nonverbal/picture thinking.
Which kind of learners has the potential for slower processing? Well, since reading, writing and spelling require processing letters, numbers, and words, not pictures, it makes sense that the picture thinker is at a disadvantage. I speak Spanish, but my native language is English. If pictures are are one’s language, the letters and other symbols may feel like a foreign language.
If your daughter’s natural way of thinking has been a barrier, then it’s time to turn this around and use it as the advantage it is. Give your daughter the opportunity to use her imagination to her advantage. Once she understands how to deal with letters and words more easily by recognizing when her Mind’s Eye/imagination and real eyes are working together, she can use that experience and other tools to do word type tasks.
So yes, it could be a drag to put your daughter through more of what is already not working for her, kind of like rewarding her for all her hard work during the year by having her do more of the same during the summer. Instead capitalize on her natural way of thinking. It’s empowering to understand, and get tools to take advantage of, our natural way of thinking.
Give me a call at Learnings Options at 406-438-7980 and catch that wave, ride the current and go with the flow.