Organizational Skills for Visual-Spatial Learners
Most, if not all, visual-spatial learners (VSLs) are accused of being hopelessly unorganized. However, it has been my experience that these right-hemispheric learners (think "absent-minded professors") truly can find a needle in a haystack. My son, Matt, for example, whose room on any given day may look as though multiple tornadoes have hit, never ceases to amaze me in his ability to locate just the perfect LEGOTM piece he was searching for.
It is important to note in the illustration above that, as long as each person is capable of finding precisely what he or she needs, in a reasonable amount of time, neither one's method of organization is better than the other's. This is an area where, "to each his own" is the rule. If someone (likely a teacher or parent) were to force the child on the right to "organize" the way the child on the left has done, he would likely never find another document again. His new system, or structure, of organization would be completely foreign to him and he would not be able to imagine, or see, where his belongings were.
Organization for many VSLs is a stumbling block. If your visual-spatial children find that they are losing important paperwork (like homework!), or toys or money, they need to start developing and implementing some system of organization. The new method must be their own, though. It simply will not work to try to become organized under somebody else's (like a parent's) system. If you think green folders are appropriate for all science work, for example, but green is meaningless to your children in connecting papers to science, then they can't use that system. They must create their own meaningful strategies that they can understand and remember. Here's how to help get them started:
Be sure to visit office supply stores and other places that carry a variety of products designed to help with organization. Color-coded envelopes, files and pocket folders are perfect for storing specific papers. Colored index cards are a great tool for note taking, and the use of a Day-Timer or Palm Pilot to record due dates and appointments are all tools available for the visual-spatial learner. Do you ever wonder why so many organizational products have come on the market in recent years? These must be the inventions of the visual-spatials among us to help themselves and others like them.
Reprinted with the permission of the Visual-Spatial Resource. © 2004-2007, Visual-Spatial Resource. All rights reserved.
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