Using Visuals To Support Learning

by | Apr 28, 2020 | Family, Mental Health, Parenting with Purpose, Technology, Tips

Please share!

By Dr. Kim Grengs, Parent Coach

drawings of playdough, walking, haircut and play kitchen - using visuals to support learning
Images as Visuals

What are visuals and how will visuals support learning for my child? Visuals are pictures or images that help communicate activities or expectations. Using images, visuals, helps children retrieve and remember information.  Visuals help support learning. As a result, the part of the brain used to process images is much larger than the part used for processing words. 

So visuals are concrete whereas words are abstract. One example of how we process images versus words is how Nike uses a symbol or visual to promote their product. Like the Nike swoosh, verses just the word Nike. The human mind processes information in images and this is helpful for children to retain information. Visuals help support learning.

Using visuals At Home

Visuals will help children be successful with expectations and activities throughout the day. Ways to use visuals:

  • Organization
  • Improving understanding and cooperation
  • Allow for independence
  • Build self-steem
  • Supporting and increasing receptive and expressive communication

Visuals to use at home to support learning

  • Use a maximum of 6 to 7 in one activity
  • Identify times during the day with a transition or routine
  • Choose symbols that mean something to your child
  • Be consistent with your visuals
  • Talk to your child about the visuals and how to use them

Types of visuals to use at home to support learning

  • Object
  • Photos
  • Picture symbols
  • Line drawings

What can visuals be used for:

  • Morning routines
  • Bedtime routines
  • Daily schedule
  • Task completion
  • Getting dressed
  • Homework completion
  • Behavior expectations
  • Chores
  • Transitions

There are many reasons to utilize a visual schedule at home because visuals provide predictability for children which provides a sense of calmness for them.  Visuals are used throughout life and can support school routines.  Using them with your children will develop a habit for them to use throughout their life. Visuals will increase on-task behavior for children. Using visuals will support your child’s learning.

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illustration of a daily schedule
Example of a daily schedule.

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