VISUAL: THE 2nd OF THE LEARNING STYLES

This is the second of three posts about helping our children succeed in learning according to their dominant learning style. The last one was on the kinesthetic style. Check out the post here.

Our visual students are the ones who remember what they see (more than they do by hearing).  They also respond to color and tone, to pictures and visual information when they study and learn. Some visual learners have photographic memories or can visualize information after seeing it.

For something to really sink in, they need to be able to see it – or at least visualize it in their mind. Visual learners can learn best through written language and are good at writing and following directions, or they find it easier to learn through charts, diagrams, pictures, and videos.

What are visual learners like?

  • Can be good at drawing or enjoy coloring
  • Like doing jigsaws and puzzles
  • Have good imaginations
  • Can look like they are daydreaming when they are visualizing what is being taught
  • Will often say “I see” or “I get the picture”
  • Often very good at spelling
  • Tend to work best on their own

I have an earlier video on the visual learning style. Check it out here.


glasses on book - visual learners

STRATEGIES TO HELP VISUAL LEARNERS SUCCEED:

Color code.

Use different color pens and highlighters when writing. Color code different folders and books for different subjects. The different colors will help the brain sort and recognize the connected pieces of information.

Let them have their piles.

Visual learners will sort their information into piles that make sense to them. They will know what is where. 

Use timers.

Visual learners can get lost in time. Using a timer can help them to stay on task or on schedule. A timer shows the visual representation of time moving, either as a count up or count down. This helps to learn time management. 

Teach typing/keyboarding.

Yes, handwriting is important, but for visual learners, we need to make sure from a young age that they can tell the difference between some of those tricky flips, like b and d or p and q. Typing will help with that. 

Teach uppercase letters first.

When teaching children to read we often focus on a mix of lowercase and uppercase letters. I think it is important to teach both at the same time, but for our visual learners, it can be helpful to just learn the uppercase (capital) letters first to help with those tricky flips. Uppercase B and D are quite different, as is P and Q. 

Organize notes.

Disorganization is rough for visual learners. Sorting through written notes and organizing them, even into piles, helps to keep things straight. Use colors to help organize. Make outlines for the notes according to what is being taught. This is especially helpful when it comes to studying. 

pile of notebooks
organizing notes is important for visual learners

Study graphics and pictures along with the text.

When trying to absorb a lot of information it is extremely beneficial for a visual learner to not skip the graphs and pictures. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and for these learners, they are great visual triggers to information they know. When needing to sit down and read a large section of a textbook I always tell my visual learner students to look at/study the headings, graphs, and pictures first. Get the main points from those three things. Then, when you read the text, things will fall into place. 

Watch documentaries and videos.

Just make sure they are reputable and contain correct information. I suggest utilizing sites like Khan Academy because the videos really help to teach the concepts, and can be watched over and over.

Sit at the front and look at the teacher.

This is not some form of punishment. When sitting up the front our visual learners can see the mannerisms of the teacher. Who do they use their hands and faces to express different parts of the information they are presenting? This can be key! (I know for me that when I am talking to my German in-laws and friends, that I need to look at their lips to fully understand what they are saying. That is why I struggle on the phone or even on video chat when it is not up close.)

Use flashcards.

Simple and easy. These are especially good for learning vocabulary. Draw pictures to help with recognition and retention. Play memory match with them. Spread them out and visually connect the cards. Shuffle and sort. The key thing is that you are piecing the information together visually.

Use concept maps (mind mapping).  

This is a great way to see how information connects. It is a form of brainstorming. You start by writing down what you know about a topic/subject/key information area and then connect the pieces. It does not have to be neat!

example of a concept map
an example of a concept map

Parents, don’t forget to have your visual learner’s eyes checked regularly. Good vision is necessary. 


As a visual learner (as my dominant learning style) I get excited about all these tips and tools. I hope that they are helpful to you and your children. 

If you have any questions, shoot me a message or comment, because I would love to help you in any way I can.

Michayla Best

For over 30 years I have worked with children in a variety of capacities, whether as a teacher or tutor, a babysitter, a camp leader, or family advocate. I have always found a way to connect with children, to help them understand themselves and the world around.

I am Mummy to trinational twincesses who keep me on my toes with their questions, their commentaries, their shenanigans and acts of spontenudity.

Wife, world traveler, musician, crafting queen and self-proclaimed nerd; I love to take what I see, glean, know and help families to find their groove and be successful.

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