Updated: May 18
Every now and then, you may hear the term 'multisensory' thrown around. Maybe you've heard teachers' talking about it or other parents? Have you always wondered what on earth they're talking about and why is so good?!
Well, at #learntoshinetutoringuk we understand the desperate need for #multisensory education and learning. Not only does it encompass all learning styles and individual needs of the child, but it allows for creativity, free thinking, open ended tasks to take place and allows children to extend their own learning!
So, what are our top 5 ways to help your child?
Children who display additional needs and difficulties, such as dyslexia, find this way of working extremely beneficial as it helps them to bridge gaps and create new neural pathways to assist them in their learning.
USE YOUR BODY
BUILD A PICTURE
Mnemonics are a way of building memory. At Learn to Shine Education Ltd we say silly rhymes to help the spelling of words stick in a child's head....we take the lead from the child, a rhyme that works for us won't necessarily work for them! We hear a lot of 'Silly Ants In Dresses' (SAID) and 'Cats Or Long Dogs' (COLD)...they're just a couple of examples. Try coming up with some yourself...I bet you'll remember the spelling of a word so much more easily using a mnemonic!
Colour is beautiful - don't you agree? I feel like my childhood was filled with colour. Isn't that how we want our children to remember childhood? Yet, when they go to school, yes...there might be coloured chairs but what else is there to engage them and allow their minds to open and explore learning. Simply writing in colour can make such a BIG difference to how well a child learns something! When I was teaching in schools, we were told not to print in colour...saving money on ink! This meant the children were immediately bored by what was in front of them, and I could see why. As soon as I got into tutoring, I brought back colour!!! Do you remember holding 5 pens at a time and writing...DO THAT MORE!! Use colour, the more the merrier! Let children build fun into learning, let their brains really see the word. Give it a go!
Time to go BIG!
Use chalks outside on the pavement, paint the fence using water... encourage your child to move when they write, draw, spell, learn!
If there's a difficult part in a word or a maths problem, write it BIG...be the elephant!
Next, what do we have with us all of the time? Our bodies...of course! So, why are children encouraged to sit still, stand still, not talk, not use their fingers to count (madness!) when they're trying to solve a maths problem? Why can't they tap their feet to the rhythm of the word? They're doing it naturally so they must need to do it to help their brain form connections! Don't get me wrong, they also need to follow certain classroom rules and be respectful when a teacher is teaching, but surely that doesn't mean they have to forget they can use their body to learn...it just makes sense to use it!
Clapping syllables has been around for years, as has patting knees or jumping to times tables...here are some other ways your child can use their body to learn: sing; click; hum; spin; wave; touch their cheeks or chin; squeeze; nod...the list is endless! Learning kineasthetically (by doing and moving) is so important and is drastically missed from education in schools. At Learn to Shine Education Ltd we make sure children have space to move and the freedom to choose their resources.
Finally, we come to 'building a picture', you can be as literal as you like with it! Multisensory learning is about bringing our senses together to create an image or memory. If you read the word 'scruffy dog' what image pops up in your mind? If you read 'golden star' what can you see now? To a child (and some adults), these images are distorted or not linked correctly to an image - so writing or associating words that are being read makes no sense, it feels impossible! What can you see if you read the word 'purple frog house'? It's not so easy any more, is it! Imagine if you were asked to write about it and it was expected that you fully understand what is being said simply because it's been said (see GIF!)
Try to help your child to build connections using images in their head. Draw a picture if it helps! Lots of vocabulary books now focus on building an image around a word but they're very focussed solely on vocabulary and it's rarely in context. At school, children are expected to just understand, just do it, just write about it...but it really isn't that easy for some!
Our tutors are so careful to understand a child's level of vocabulary and ability to understand and use words in an abstract way.
Let your child get hands-on and really involved with their learning. Education isn't about sitting and writing!
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