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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Using Perceptual Thinking to Help Children and Learn in an Optimal Manner

By Andrew Loh

In the last article about "Perceptual Thinking", we learnt how children use the power of perception to create learning patterns that eventually helps them streamline learning process. We also learnt about three different channels to facilitate effective learning. However, children should deploy all these three channels either concurrently or as stand-alone to boost learning process. Three specific learning channels occur as soon as children perceive that there is something to learn.

First, when children perceive something, tiny bits of data starts pouring inside the brain sectors. Children must absorb these tiny bits of information and remember them just long enough in a subconscious channel. Now, the child will need to make out the area where it can fit inside the brain and in what manner he or she can fit it with information pool which he or she already know that it exists in their mind. In other words, the flow of information will occur from a conscious channel and to subconscious channel and later in a back and forth manner. This flow and exchange of information between these two channels will help children to make it as a part of life. Now, children will be able to see at a detailed image for further processing.

However, the most critical aspects of these flows of information is the manner in which the channels work and in what way children's brain work to move around these three channels. What exactly stimulates children's mind to kick start learning? What exactly stimulates these three states of mind and which type of trigger children need to sharpen the entire learning process.

In life, children use three types of triggers or stimuli to activate each brain channel. These three stimuli are as follows:

Bodily or kinesthetic stimulus: This relates to bodily or motor awareness. In other words, children use bodily and physical movements to learn something.

Visual or eye stimulus: Everything that relates to visuals, images, pictures, and words play an important role in learning.

Auditory or hearing stimulus: Verbal instruction, oral orders, songs, syllables, sounds and other similar stimuli play an active role in perceiving flow of information.

According to Dr. Jones S. G (please refer to this treatise), every child creates its own Sensory Perceptual Strategy program to communicate between different learning channels within the brain. These techniques depend on communicator's perception styles and they are segregated as primary, secondary and tertiary means.

A child could be a Visual-auditory-kinesthetic (VAK) in nature or he or she could belong to any one of the six strategies although there are innumerable combinations that define a learning strategy. These three perceptual thinking strategies are:

V-A-K Visual-Auditory-Kinesthetic
V-K-A Visual-Kinesthetic-Auditory
K-V-A Kinesthetic-Visual-Auditory
K-A-V Kinesthetic-Auditory-Visual
A-V-K Auditory-Visual-Kinesthetic
A-K-V Auditory-Kinesthetic-Visual

Let us now reveal how these different perceptual thinking strategies work in life. Each one of these strategies relate to all three stimuli in a specific order. Lets us assume that your child belong to AKV category. Here her perception pattern is triggered or catalyzed by the following manner:

  • Conscious channel is triggered by auditory mode,

  • Subconscious by kinesthetic and

  • Unconscious by verbal mode

In the example given above, parents may need to follow the method given below to boost learning:

Listening to some sound syllables like music or stories would guide the child to his or her conscious channel, some physical movements or exercise would lead to the entry of subconscious state and verbal instructions or orders would finally drive the child to unconscious state of the mind. Likewise, all other five types work in a similar fashion. If you are careful in deploying them in your children, you can facilitate better learning and understanding of lessons and projects.

Here are some simple tips to empower your children's perceptual thinking:

1) If your children are visually strong and perceive visual signals better, then you may need to provide them enough stimuli to catalyze learning abilities. They are more experts in storing information in their conscious area of the brain. In a subconscious level, they can fiddle with available visual data and create long lasting perspectives of learning in an enhanced manner.

2) If your children are strong in learning through bodily and physical movements, then you may need to allow them to absorb data and information by activities that relate to exercises, sports and physical movements (like tapping feet while learning). Such learners are mentally very strong in creating two perspectives in one go - bodily movements and absorption of data and information.

3) If your children perceive things and events in verbal manner, it means that they are experts on analyzing information those are generated through sounds and syllables, songs and rhymes. Learning by talking and listening comes easy to them and their perceptions of sound is far superior that eventually results in effective learning.

You may want to know how you can identify the basic perceptual pattern that your children use to gather information around them. Some children are extremely active and agile, and such children do not remain in one place because they get distracted by sitting in one place. For such children, you may need to use a combination of perceptual thinking strategies (K-V-A Kinesthetic-Visual-Auditory and K-A-V Kinesthetic-Auditory-Visual) to foster effective learning. Similarly, you may want to use other strategies to identify your auditory and visual children.


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