Right Brain Learners – A Reason Your Child May Have Trouble Learning
By Melanie West – Educational Psychologist

As an educational psychologist, I have been working with children for many years, most of which have trouble learning. Based on my many years of experience, I know how difficult it is to see your child struggle and how painful it is when learning is such a challenge. I also know that as a parent you might have feelings of inadequacy because you don’t know what to do or how to help your child. Maybe you’ve even been told that the situation is helpless. Well, I’m here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, there’s a good chance that your child is a right brain learner. And although very little is written about right brain learning, it may be creating havoc in your child’s life.

The Signs of a Right Brain Learner
Allow me to ask you a few questions. Have you noticed your child grabbing things out of your hand in order to show you something? Or maybe your child has poor handwriting or weak spelling skills? Possibly your child struggles with mastering basic reading and/or basic math facts. Perhaps you’ve observed your child making careless errors or simple mistakes. Have you noticed your child talking a lot with their hands and moving around a great deal when they speak? A right brained reader may also display sensitivity to light, sound or smells. These are some of the signs that could very well mean your child is a right brain learner. However, this child has creative abilities that are often overlooked in the school environment, which means they are being held back because of something they can’t help.
The Definition of a Right Brain Learner
What exactly is a right brain learner and is there something you can do to help your child? I say with an emphatic YES, there is something you can do. Let me start by explaining a little about the right brain learner. Until only recently, very little has been known about a right brain dominant child, yet this child learns differently. They have difficulty grasping and retaining new concepts. This happens when the brain is not effectively passing information from the left hemisphere (the language center) to the right hemisphere (conceptual processing). A right-brained thinker often struggles with learning from traditional workbooks, class lectures or independent reading because the right hemisphere requires strong visual images in order to conceptualize new concepts. This type of learner will struggle when "more words" are used to learn "new words”. A Right Brain Dominant child may be missing pictures for new concepts, key vocabulary words, and abstract words (such as "a", "the", "of ", "is", etc.), stopping the brain from experiencing conceptual meaning and understanding.

Do Not Disregard the Value of Strong Right-Hemisphere Thinking

While the logical, language-based elements of the left hemisphere of the brain are as important as ever, in our fast-paced world, we can no longer afford to disregard the value of strong right-hemisphere thinking. Our modern economy demands that your child capitalize on the ingenuity inherent to the right side of the brain, therefore learning large amounts of information through the manipulation of visual images, making split-second decisions, and taking risks in the learning process are increasingly becoming more valued skills. Traditional, left-hemisphere teaching methods are simply not adequate to develop cutting edge, whole brain thinking. In other words it is critically important that this type of learner feels a sense of confidence in his or her ability to approach the learning process in a way that matches his or her inherent learning style. What has been missed until now is that a right brained child is able to make new leaps in the learning process and expand to meet the needs of a new world, a world filled with multiple visual stimulation and instant decision making. These right brain learners have the ability to process visual and kinesthetic information at an unbelievable rate, strengthening the natural abilities of the right hemisphere of the brain.

If you Suspect that Your Child is Right Brained Dominant

There is no longer any reason to let traditional left-hemisphere teaching strategies hold your child back or make them feel incapable of learning. If you suspect that your child could be right-brained dominant, there is a way for you to tap into new learning strategies that make learning fun and exciting. Redesigning how a child approaches the learning process is the foundation needed for future school success. To learn more about whether you child is right brained dominant; a simple free test found at www.therightsideoflearning.com/rightsidetest.html will reveal the answers.

Author's Bio: 

About the Author
Melanie West is America's leading authority on “Right Brain Learning” and the founder of The Right Side of Learning program. As an Educational Psychologist and expert in her field of endeavor, Melanie has helped thousands of children and families get back on the educational track. Not only does she teach children how to survive in the learning environment, but she also empowers them to truly excel in school. Melanie is available for consultations and can be contacted through her website at www.therightsideoflearning.com .