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


Right or Left Brain Training Conundrum - Learning Simple Techniques and Methods to Train Brain

By Andrew Loh

Do you find your right brain learner child stuck in a “left brain learning world” scenario? Usually, right brain learners like to discuss things rather than working on boring work and project books. They may love active projects that demand a “hands-on” approach. In addition, they also demand more parental time while parents also need additional maintenance time for such children. Unfortunately, almost all curricula that are currently followed and taught in schools are based on left brain and they always focus on auditory and sequential issues like writing, reciting, reproducing and rote learning. In a sense, if a child is right brain type, then he or she may feel left out from mainstream learning. In fact, they may even struggle a lot and hate to cope up with the rigors of conventional learning.

Here are some characteristics that help you identify whether your children are right brained or not:

  • They like to involve in spontaneity and they may never like planned daily schedules. They are change seekers and are never sedentary in their thinking.

  • They like to learn by recognizing color, event, patterns, images, stories, emotions and other symbolic languages.

  • They might be very bad planners.

  • They also need more parental involvement.

  • They never work in a sequential and organized manner and they might skip doing their daily classroom chore.

  • If they learn, they are very quick and agile

  • They find math learning very boring and tedious.

  • They find active projects interesting than conventional workbook learning.

There are reasons why left brain individuals tend to perform better in classroom studies. They display a series of telltale signs that point to a regularity in learning behavior. Here are some of those signs that set them apart from right brain learners.

  • They like to work on a rigid and conventional classroom schedule.

  • They are very good in rote learning - repetition is the way in which they learn.

  • They like to plan ahead for the next classroom day.

  • They are independent and like to work in a solitary manner.

  • They are the so-called list makers.

  • They also work on the basis of linking multiple pieces of information and later arriving at the solution.

  • Workbooks and event calendar are the most favorite issues for them

If your child is a right brain learner, and if he or she is finding learning difficult, then you may want to introduce necessary learning changes to allow him or her to perform better in the left brain learning world.

Who needs right brain training schedules?

  • Children who are poor in memory and retention

  • Those who find auditory processing tedious

  • Children who cannot focus and attend to details

  • Children who find writing quite difficult

  • Those children who do not like going to schools

Reasons for introducing right brain training methods

The right lobe of the brain is the area where long term memory and retention occurs. This type of memory is easily retrievable too. On the other hand, the left side of the brain acts as tool to retain information on a short term basis. It is also known as short term memory. The left lobe is also responsible for transferring this memory to the right lobe where the memory is retained for longer durations. In fact, this transfer process is automatic and we never know when it occurs and how it happens. In some cases, the left brain lobe may not work in an efficient manner to transfer information to the right lobe for longer memory retention. In simple words, the transfer process might be faulty, inefficient or not streamlined in a proper manner. Here, we can use right brain optimizing techniques to optimize the transfer process. Most of the techniques used to train right lobe involve using “visual Velcro” system that involves introduction of pictorials and images as symbolic representation of non-conventional learning system.

Here are some of the simple techniques that you can use to train right brained children:

Mastering spelling

  • Spelling bee contests are the best tools to teach spelling. Use one of these techniques to train your children in the art of spelling. Word retrieval may become very easy when you use this technique.

  • Use colorized and vibrant letters to teach spelling. Ask your children to spell as they go through colorful letters.

Mastering vocabulary

  • Use cartoons as a mean to memorize vocabulary words.

  • Let your children draw the meaning of the word. For example, children may draw a picture of tree when you ask them to write the word “tree”.

  • Use letter blocks to construct words and letters.

Mastering early math

  • Tell children about the problem in hand and teach it as a whole rather than as parts and chunks. If possible, construct a story or theme for the problem and highlight why learning math could be fun for children.

  • Use math templates that are visual in nature. Bring home plenty of such charts to teach basic math.

  • Ask your children to recite math problem while they are writing so that the recited part becomes the part of long term memory.

Mastering phonics

  • Phonics is best learned with color charts. Pictures and illustrations work best for children who find learning tedious.

  • Use longer words that are color and highlighted. Let your children read a small list of such words.

  • Phonics is easy to learn along with sounds. Introduce lesson plans with accompanying sounds.

Mastering basic writing

  • Before writing, tell your children why it is important to see the whole paper and not part of it. Let them measure the length and breadth of the paper in their minds.

  • Ask them write just two or three words in the beginning and make a sense out of it. This will enable them with a technique that helps them to look at the problems in their holistic manner.

  • Correct the worksheet and make remarks in a separate sheet so that children will read them and understand the meaning.

  • Let them reproduce smaller chunks of text from a storybook so that they become experts in writing on a sheet of paper.

Right brain training is a vast field. Its techniques are diverse and what works for your child may not work others. Hence, you may need to study its basics and simple training methods. Here are some useful resources for your guidance and advanced study:

Featured Resource

Unicorns Are Real: A Right-Brained Approach to Learning
By Barbara Meister Vitale

This mega-best seller provides 65 practical, easy-to-follow lessons to develop the much-ignored right-brain tendencies of children. These simple yet dramatically effective ideas and activities have helped thousands with learning difficulties. Includes an easy-to-administer screening checklist for parents and teachers which enables them identify individual learning preferences and determine hemisphere dominance.

Learn how to utilize colors, shapes, movement, visualizations, touch and sound to help students of all ages learn to read, tell time, add, subtract, and even spell correctly. Included are engaging instructional activities that draw on the intuitive, nonverbal abilities of the right brain, a list of skills associated with each brain hemisphere, and much more..


Raising a Left-Brain Child in a Right-Brain World: Strategies for Helping Bright, Quirky, Socially Awkward Children to Thrive at Home and at School
By Katharine Beals, Ph.D

Does your child:

  • Have impressive intellectual abilities but seem puzzled by ordinary interactions with other children?

  • Have deep, all-absorbing interests or seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of certain subjects?

  • Bring home mediocre report cards, or seem disengaged at school, despite his or her obvious intelligence?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, this book is for you. Author Katharine Beals uses the term “left-brain” to describe a type of child whose talents and inclinations lean heavily toward the logical, linear, analytical, and introverted side of the human psyche, as opposed to the “right brain,” a term often associated with our emotional, holistic, intuitive, and extroverted side.

Drawing on her research and interviews with parents and children, Beals helps parents to discover if they are raising a left-brain child, and she offers practical strategies for nurturing and supporting this type of child at school and at home. Beals also advises parents in how best to advocate for their children in today's schools, which can be baffled by and unsupportive of left-brain learning styles.


Featured Resource


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