Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Discovering right brain learning Part 1: Our story starts here

a mini series of blog posts exploring the differences between left and right brain  function and the impact that has on how children learn

This is the first in a series of posts about the learning differences between left and right-brained children (well and adults...we all have a brain!).
Most of us, so I am told, live in a "left brain world"....however, there are some who are in fact right-brainers.
But what does this exactly mean, and why am I writing about it?
In this opening article to kick start the series, I’m going to share a little personal background. I don’t often write personal accounts of myself and family on the blog as I don’t like the idea of the world knowing the ins and outs of our private affairs, and Islamicly speaking, I don’t believe it is appropriate.

However I am choosing to talk about this particular issue because whilst I am no doctor, education physiologist or the like, I am a mother, and I feel that discussing (briefly) my experience, it may provide some benefit in understanding the differences as to how learning can occur in our children and how we can respond positively to those differences.

 ....I've been struggling with my youngest daughter's academics for some time.
Whilst Alhamdulillah she is improving, it feels like a constant uphill battle (a mountainous battle actually is probably a better description!).
Unlike her older sister; who despite the odd melt down Alhamdulillah pretty much sat still, listened, and learned to read, write and focus easily, she struggles with these things....a lot!
difficulty writing

Despite her struggles with reading and writing, she is incredibly bright and innovative...its funny looking back now; because before I begun her formal education, I thought she would actually be easier to teach than her older sibling, as she seemed to be so much more alert and witty...with a whole lot more energy than I knew what to do with! Teaching her I imagined, was going to be a breeze!
But for as long as I can now remember, I have been scratching my head, thinking, what is going wrong? Why is this seemingly bright (almost) 7 year old not "getting it"?

Reading appears to take so much more obvious effort and thought, and writing, no matter how many times I try to demonstrate how to write uniformly, she doesn't seem to follow. ....I mean, writing in a straight line, on top of a line that is already etched on the paper is not rocket science right! ….But it seems for my youngest, it is exactly that.

Early on, I did question whether dyslexia may be a possibility. I didn't know too much about it, other than its something to do with difficulty in reading and writing.
I did a little research, and she seemed to demonstrate some early signs of dyslexia, such as late talking and walking…but I knew this could mean nothing.

She would sometimes mix up the phonetic sounds of words......one particular word we used to think was cute because she would say it so often was "family"....it would come out as "falimy" until I think she was almost 6. No matter how much we would encourage her to switch around the middle sounds, she couldn't do it...and didn't even seem to realise she was saying something different.

 I set aside these initial concerns however, because she was still very young. I understood it may have just been her age and she needed a little more time to develop. So I paused and waited to see what would happen.

learning to write as a right brain learner
Recently however, I've begun again looking into dyslexia a little more, not because I think she is dyslexic, but because I am more open to the possibility that she may or may not be, and I want to know how I can give her justice to the type of teaching and learning styles she will best respond too, regardless inshaAllah.

What I am discovering in my research is fascinating! Not only about dyslexia, but about how the brain works and that not everyone uses it in the same way subhanAllah.
Our brain's have 2 distinct hemispheres; and people tend to have one side operating at a higher function. So depending on whether we use our left or right side of the brain, effects how each and every one of us actually learn best...and that has nothing to do with being dyslexic.

InshaAllah, over the next few posts, I'm going to explain some of what I have found, and show how it is helping me to understand the learning styles to both of my children…and why I am coming to realise that actually, despite my early concerns that dyslexia may be a possibility, there could actually be a much simpler explanation to our difficulties.

1 comment:

  1. Salaam wa Lakim. I am very interested to know what you find out. My oldest daughter is just like your baby. she will be 7 this month and i am still wondering what can I do so she can "get it." I have two girls 6 & 5, My five year old is reading at a first grade level. while I'm just getting out of letter sound with my 6. It's very frustrating, she has so much energy and loves exploring the world. My mother mentioned to me to put her in public school, however there are no Islamic schools around and I won't have just anyone doing my job. I have tried may programs. So far the computer site abcmouse.com seems to be helping out the most. keeps us posted


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