My experiences as a creative person, tutor of children, and teacher of creative writing

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Helping Your Struggling Student - Questionnaire

Helping Your Struggling Student
What is your child like?

Does your child have trouble in school? Do they hate math, spelling, reading, and writing?

Can he add up the same math problem and come up with a different answer each time?

Is her spelling “creative” and unfathomable?

Does his handwriting look like a dizzy chicken wandered across his page?

When he reads aloud does he often skip or substitute words?

Does he have trouble following oral directions?


Does he find places by using landmarks instead of an address?

Does she whine, fight, feign helplessness, or cry when confronted with homework?

Is his desk, book bag, and room a mess, but somehow he can find what he wants in it?

Does she have trouble sitting still on a chair when doing schoolwork?

Does he draw pictures in the margins of his papers?

Does she doodle while the teacher is talking?

Does he question everything, including rules?

Will no amount of pressure, pleading, or rewards make your child do something they don’t want to do?

Does she want to be shown, not told, how to do things?

Do they remember faces but forget names?

Will he throw away the instructions and build his model just by looking at the picture on the box?

Is her speech so fast that it is nearly incomprehensible?

Does she jump quickly from one idea to another, often leaving out important details?

Does he often daydream?

Does she lose track of time?

Is he full of ideas on how to improve things?

Is she creative?

Is he good at puzzles and building things such as legos etc.?

Does he like to write stories, invent, and learn new things?

Does she enjoy color, humor, rhythm, music, and pictures?

Does she become exhausted or sick when she has to do routine sequential tasks for long periods, such as a long list of math problems?

Is he enthusiastic about things that interest him?

What the Results of this Questionnaire Mean

In Elementary School most teachers use an auditory-sequential approach. They present information, usually orally, in a careful, orderly manner until they build to the whole concept.

If you answered, “Yes!” to most of these questions, then you do not have an auditory-sequential learner– you have a visual-spatial learner. This is why they are struggling in school.

There is an old truth that anyone can learn if they are taught in the way they learn.

Research has shown that the closer the student’s learning style matches the teacher’s teaching style, the higher will be the child’s grade in the class. A child who is not an auditory-sequential learner will have difficulty learning in school unless they are allowed to learn in their own way. Anyone can learn if they are taught in the way they learn.

If your child is a visual-spatial learner, that does not mean that the child is “slow” or “deficient”, only that they do not learn in the most common manner. They are simply different, and they are in good company, for most of the creative geniuses throughout time have been visual-spatial learners. Often they struggled in school, their gifts only becoming obvious in later life. A few visual-spacial learners are Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, Hans Christian Andersen, Alexander Graham Bell, Winston Churchill, Bill Cosby, Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Steven Spielberg, Robin Williams, and Woodrow Wilson.