Friday, 17 June 2011

Factors influencing learning to read (Part 5 of 5)

Is Left / Right brain dominance important ?

One day I was reading about brain gym and read about the idea of brain dominance.  Basically we have two hemispheres, the left and right.  In young children these have equal dominance but somewhere around the age of five to seven the two sides argue about who is in charge and one side wins making it the dominant hemisphere.  This is an important step in learning to read.  If there is no dominant hemisphere the brain argues with itself as to who is in charge of this thing called reading.  Once you have brain dominance the brain happily assigns responsibility and learning to read becomes an easier journey.

Easy test for brain hemisphere dominance

  • To test for dominance get your student to stand with feet together, arms at side and eyes closed
  • Keeping their eyes closed, get your student to Lift their arms shoulder height
  • With their eyes still closed get them to bring their hands together in the front but not touching.

 I asked my rose Miss J to do a photo story illustrating the method.



  • If dominance has occurred one hand will be slightly higher than the other. 
  • If equal dominance is present the hands will be perfectly alined.

Where did all this information leave me ?

I felt so much better equipped to teach my children and more relaxed over reading skills. Learning to read was dependent on so many more factors than me doing daily drills, or the perfect curriculum.

It depends on the individual child's physical, emotional, psychological readiness to read as well as whether or not they have learned the necessary tools to decode the words on the page.

This is bit a small summary of the many and varied reasons for why some take longer than others to learn to read.  There is a ton of information out there today.  This is all I was able to find out 13 years ago.

If you know of anything of interest I would love to hear about it so leave a comment.






A side note: Some children have very special learning needs (such as dyslexia) in their individual path to reading and will cost a lot of time in research but the time invested is so worth the dividend of being their at their personal ah ha moment when all the pieces fall into place and they read to you for the first time.

If you have had an experience with teaching special needs children to read, blog about it and send me the link and I will and add it here.

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      1 comment:

      1. I have heard and am under the belief that a child NEEDS to be able to SKIP to learn to read. Once they can skip - they are ready to learn to read. Something to do with a developmental thing.

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