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”