April 3, 2013

How Can We Do Otherwise?


NOTE:
Unfortunately, City Creek Press chose in August 2013 to
For that reason, I can no longer in good conscience recommend this resource. 


My daughter Rachel is extremely picture smart. She can study an illustration and then draw it so accurately that it looks as if she’d traced it. Images stick so strongly in her mind that movies with intense action – even just animated ones – bother her because she cannot get the pictures out of her mind. She’s constantly drawing and coloring, and she makes cartoons to remember what she learns in history and science.

For the longest time, though, she couldn’t remember her math facts, and she had a very hard time with spelling. I drilled her with flash cards until neither of us wanted to see another piece of cardstock. I tried spelling program after spelling program and finally chose one that seemed to help a bit – but Rachel still struggled to consistently remember how to apply the rules she was learning.

I wasn’t na├»ve to the possibility of a learning disability; in fact, one of my brothers-in-law wrestled with mild disabilities as a child so I knew Rachel might have a genetic predisposition. But something in my gut told me it wasn’t that.

I’d heard Dr. Kathy speak many times about a picture smart-friendly math facts memory program published by City Creek Press. I already spent too much on educational materials for my kids, so I put off considering City Creek for a long time. Finally, though, I was desperate because Rachel’s struggle to remember began to hinder her ability to move forward in our math curriculum. And – worse than that – she was starting to feel “stupid.”

I could kick myself for waiting so long. No kidding, the child who could barely remember her times-two facts to save her life mastered all of her one-through-ten facts in just a couple weeks because of City Creek’s use of pictures and memorable stories. And, if she ever forgets a fact now, all she needs is a one-word clue to remember the picture associated with the fact and she’s got it. Because we’ve tapped into her picture smart, it really has become that easy.

After our success with City Creek, I asked Rachel to make picture cards for her spelling words, a process that took weeks because she had a large collection of words she hadn’t quite mastered. She enjoyed the process – any opportunity to draw is a treat for her – though I still wondered how much it would really help.

But I should have trusted our experience with City Creek. Simply put, the difference has been amazing. Now, when we practice those words, it’s as if Rachel’s a “natural speller.” She connected the words with her picture smart strength, and the difference in her ability to spell is so significant that it seems like magic.

Some children do have legitimate learning disabilities, of course. But we ought first to really consider whether or not the child’s most developed multiple intelligence strengths are simply something other than word or logic smart, the two strengths most commonly associated with schoolwork. Once we discover that, we really owe it to our children and students to get creative about tapping into their strengths to maximize their learning. After all, if we really want them to learn, how can we do otherwise?

*****
Photo Credit: City Creek Press

CK

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