Classrooms, learning skills, Unique Issues

Reading with LOCAN


LOCAN is a new method for teaching reading.

Most children who have not learned to read by the third grade are probably figurally-dominant. They are labeled “learning disabled” or “dyslexic” because they cannot read. Concrete learners will also probably struggle to progress in reading with any of the existing methods. Or, if they do learn to “read,” it will probably be reading without comprehension. All children who are preliterate or non literate can benefit from LOCAN!

LOCAN is a hieroglyphic language, making it direct and concrete. Every word in the language has its own glyph. Picture-characters (or glyphs) stand for words. One picture-character equals one word. The meaning is directly represented in the symbol. Children first learn to read logos, trademarks, stop signs, etc. It is the natural way to learn to read. LOCAN extends this natural experience into the English language.

It is easy to acquire vocabulary, and is much easier than Continue reading “Reading with LOCAN”

learning skills

SOI LOCAN: Reaching Out to Malawi, Africa

Almost exactly a year ago, my husband and I were sitting in the living room of a dear friend, visiting with two recent acquaintances. One of our new friends, a lady from Kentucky, is the director of a mission in Malawi, Africa. The other new friend is a pastor and leader of the community, church, and school in this very remote village in Malawi. Over cool drinks, we shared our various experiences, work, and dreams as our Kentucky friend translated as needed into Chichewa for our new African friend.

Both were fascinated to know about SOI and the work I have done over the past 20+ years with children who were challenged in their learning. The visitors shared their concern over what they in Malawi had come to call “the third grade dropout.” Apparently, many students in their community progress to a third grade reading level, but then, year after year, are unable to move forward. Around the age of 18, they finally give up, unable to pursue higher learning.

They were perplexed. Why would children, so intelligent in so many ways, bog down and languish for years at the same reading level, unable to progress even after extensive tutoring?

Indeed, why? The question seemed familiar. Haven’t educators here in the U.S. asked similar questions about some of their struggling students? I assured them that using the Structure of Intellect (SOI) methods, we would be able to answer that question.

A few months later, Continue reading “SOI LOCAN: Reaching Out to Malawi, Africa”


Figuring Out Figural Learners

One of the most enlightening aspects of my training with SOI was learning about figural learners.  When my youngest son, Christian, was 6 years old, I discovered through SOI testing that he had sensory integration issues and was a figural learner.

What is a figural learner?  A learner who has high figural-spatial skills, but is lower in semantic and symbolic learning and learns best by using concrete, hands-on, three dimensional information.  They see pictures in their mind and excel when they are able to learn by seeing, touching, and doing.  Most young children start out as figural learners.  My son Christian was in a Montessori environment for pre-school and excelled there.

However, traditional school environments are mostly semantic and symbolic and not a place where figural learners flourish.  Most traditional reading programs are phonics-based or whole-word reading, which is not the best reading method for figural learners. Many students who are highly figural find they do well when they are out of school.  This is when they can use their real world figural skills in careers such as graphic design, film production, interior design, art, or even in careers such as plumbing, automotive repair, and construction.

For those of us who are in an elementary environment, the issue is how can we help students who are figural learners succeed? Our school, Shady Oak Learning, incorporates strengths-based learning, where we use students strong areas to motivate them and help strengthen weak areas. In addition to strengthening semantic and symbolic skills with SOI modules and Certified Learning, here are some other resources we use to boost figural learners:

SOI LOCAN – This is a figural reading method that all of our young students enjoy!  They recognize the glyphs, play bingo and translate those later to words, sentences and paragraphs. Continue reading “Figuring Out Figural Learners”