Learning to read is perhaps one of the most important accomplishments your child will master. The ability to read will encourage future success in all areas of life. Some right-brained children may find learning to read more challenging because they are more likely to look at the whole picture rather than breaking words down into manageable sounds. According to Scholastic, many schools teach in ways that foster left-brained learners, but there are strategies that will help your right-brained child learn to read.
Gather visual aids to present to your right-brained learner. Children who learn using their right brain are usually able to grasp concepts more concretely when they can see what they are learning about, says Timothy Gangwer, author of "Visual Impact, Visual Teaching: Using Images to Strengthen Learning." Consider the stories you will present to your child and collect pictures or objects that correspond with the books.
Utilize hands-on literacy activities. There are a wide variety of literacy aids that can help teach your right-brained child to read. Letter tiles can be used to sound out letters or words; use them alone or combine them to form words. Flash cards present a visual image of each letter to correspond with the sound it makes. Scholastic reports that right-brained children learn by doing; providing a pencil and paper and allowing your child to draw pictures and write letters is another way to encourage him to grasp the connection between letter sounds and reading.
Play soft music in the background while your child practices reading. Gangwer writes that music taps into right-brain functioning, and playing music without loud sounds and without words can enable your child to use both sides of his brain at the same time. Reading is an analytical process that requires the use of the left brain, and allowing a right-brained child to use both sides will increase his understanding of literacy and enable him to master reading concepts.
Incorporate art into literacy lessons. Right-brained children typically enjoy artistic endeavors and allowing them to rely on their interests is a powerful motivator, says Scholastic. Use large pieces of paper and encourage your child to paint letters very large and practice the sounds they make as you go. You can also paint large words and practice sounding them out with your child. Drawing pictures to correspond with the words can further solidify the connection so your child will remember these words when he reads a book.
Practice reading and writing together. Your right-brained child will need to engage in actual reading to successfully learn how to read. Scholastic points out that much of learning is auditory, which puts right-brained children at a disadvantage. Combine reading books with writing stories so your child is exposed to auditory and visual stimuli. As your child writes his own stories, he will begin to recognize words in the books that he reads.
- Sara Ipatenco, www.livestrong.com