Do You Have a Right or Left-Brained Child
I am a normal mom. I lose my cool and yell more than I want to – I expect things from my children that (while I may feel should be accomplished) never seem to occur. I love my babies and snuggle them constantly. I read bedtime stories, cook twelve different meals a day, and throw random dance parties. I also see just how unique each of my four children is – deep in their core of what makes them, THEM. I’m sure you can relate. Here’s where I’m not “normal” (I hate that word, by the way) – we are a homeschooling family. Please don’t stop reading. We are not ultra-conservative, nor are we schooling for religious reasons (nothing wrong with that though!). We are you – BBQ’ing and enjoying wine while our kids destroy our home. We chose to homeschool because it works for us. It’s really that simple. Back to the point of this article. I have been researching something that EVERY parent needs to learn about. I have been struggling with teaching my oldest to read fluidly, and I came across this TEST.
My 1st born is dominantly right-brained.
Knowing what side of the brain your child is dominate on allows you the ability to understand how to help him. It will help you teach, guide, discipline, and relate to him throughout his life!
What I have learned:
The brain is constructed of two parts – hemispheres, but most commonly labeled as halves. Children are predominantly right-brained until 3 years old, when blood flow typically shifts to the left hemisphere of the brain. Between ages 4-7, the left side takes over until about 10 years of age when the brain begins to balance itself out. This is what researchers have defined as normal – but I HATE that word. I am going to disagree completely and use my own children as evidence. Two of my oldest three are right-brain dominate children, while my 2.5 year old is left-brained. (Oh, I took those tests to prove it, just in case my own opinion wasn’t enough.) My daughter is turning seven this week and dreams of being a fashion designer. She and my second born see only shades of gray – there is no black and white to their worlds. Back to the science; the right hemisphere of the brain is linked to the creative, social, visual, and emotionally intuitive aspects of life.
- Are athletic
- Prefer to be shown rather than told
- Solve problems with emotional connections, past experience, and personal need
- Work well in groups
- Lose focus easily
- Organize materials before beginning a project
- Typically disorganized in daily life
- Tend to lie down while coloring, reading, or watching TV
- Can visualize outcomes
- Act intuitively
- Seek change
Children who are dominated by the right half of the brain tend to be passionate and follow more artistic careers. Musicians, animal involved careers, designer, craftsman, actor, the list goes on. They are more visual, spontaneous, emotional, and expressive; their senses are almost on overload.
They absorb and learn best by:
- Using visual techniques
- Role playing
- Colors and pictures linked to numbers and strategies
- Physically manipulating objects
- Constant interaction and one-on-one learning
- Seeking patterns
- Discussions versus readings
Most children reach the point of being overpowered by their left-hemisphere. Our society has created a situation to which left-brained children have the brightest future. There is a mold that is expected to be fit – BUT EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT. If you start to dig into the worldwide research of children and education, you find that most countries do not push any type of formal learning until at least 7 years of age. This aligns perfectly with the typical transition of brain hemispheres. We need to take a cue from the research and the world on this. Most learning before the age of 7 should be play-based and meant to be absorbed by the right hemisphere of the brain. Even after age 7, there should be variations of instructions meant to help each child succeed. It is not wrong to be right-brained. It anything, these are the ‘out-of-the-box’ thinkers, the ones who will change and impact the world in ways we cannot imagine.
But it is hard to fit in at times. Left-brained children:
- Tend to seek structure
- Memorize easily
- Are early readers
- Work independently
- Feed off verbal instructions
- Organize outside of just the activity at hand
- Pursue careers that require structure (science, law, finances, politics, etc)
- Enjoy quiet time alone
- Meet goals with ease
- Are natural with mathematics
- Do not need much encouragement
There are many more balanced and left-brained people in the world than pure right-brained, but it is not reason to conform your child to today’s standards. If she is struggling, look beyond the surface and find another way to teach her. Intelligence does not lie in the test scores, as a left-brained child will outscore a right-brained one.
Children with ADD, ADHD, SPD, social, behavioral, and academic problems tend to have an extremely imbalanced brain domination. Not everyone right-brain dominate has issues, but most children suffering tend to be dominate in the right- hemisphere. Our modern day education system is geared toward left-brained children. You may help your child by working one-on-one together, speaking to the teacher about small group or partner work rather than independent things, and asking for manipulatives for her to touch while learning. It is completely normal to not be balanced! The goal is to know and help guide your child. Do not try to fit them into a mold that has nothing but a conveyer belt style learning. I am taking so much away from all of this. After so much research, I found amazing curriculums that should help my right-brained children. Math-u-see is a hands-on, foundation building program, and All About Reading includes daily read alouds, coloring, writing, singing, and drawing. I couldn’t be happier with each of them! Good luck parents – who else has a butterfly chasing, princess dress wearing, disorganized child?
https://loveparenting.org/2013/03/14/left-versus-right-brained-children-differences-in-learning-styles/ http://www.funderstanding.com/theory/child-development/right-brain-vs-left-brain-children-and-creativity/ http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1997-36771-000 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27312744 http://www.brainbalancecenters.com/blog/2014/07/characteristics-right-brained-child/ http://www.funderstanding.com/brain/left-brain-vs-right-brain-function-in-learning/ http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0028393279900770 http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/content/120/6/1057.short http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4107958/