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Here are a range of worksheets developed by the Children's Involvement Team, to aid direct work with children and young people. I’ll start off taking excerpts (in blue) from my book, The Right Side of Normal, from Chapters Four and Seven to explain the natural learning development for right-brained children using the Learning Stages chart I created. Because the left and right hemispheres of the brain are mirror images of each other, each specializing in something different, it makes sense that the educational paths for left- and right-brained learners are opposites of each other. I have identified the time frames of three stages of learning, depicted in the charts below. The first stage of learning is called the Foundation Stage because it focuses on the universal gifts and strengths of each learner (see Chapter Five). The second stage of learning is called the Transition Stage because it’s the beginning of the integration process of the two hemispheric specializations.
The third stage of learning is called the Integration Stage because the established dominant brain preference increasingly integrates the opposite brain specialties so the learner becomes competent in more subjects. If you study my chart for the learning stages above and compare it to the traits of the left- and right-brained learners I have listed on the right side of this site, I think you’ll find it quite evident that schools are truly set up for the left-brained learner to succeed.
In the early years, both learners are supposed to be able to delve into their dominant brain specialties so that they have a firm foundation in their strengths. What are these subject and creative pursuits accomplishing within our right-brained children’s minds as their foundation?
Instead of honoring this foundation for our right-brained children, we are trying to turn them into left-brained thinkers.
During the next two stages of learning, the Transition and Integration Stages, each of the two gift areas of each of the brain processing preferences get learned by the non-dominant side. Right-brained children are ready to transition to two-dimensional, symbolic work and development at the Transition Stage, between 8 and 10 years old. The Integration Stage is when the last of the subjects get integrated by each type of learner. For the right-brained learner, reading is about taking the whole word and creating a picture. Because a right-brained learner uses two entirely different processes, one to learn to read, and another to learn to spell and write, it’s not effective for a right-brained learner to learn spelling and writing at the same time he receives reading instruction. I would love to hear back from you with what you discover, Jan, as you enter this journey with your son.
That said, you could be a right-brained learner whose female traits influence your learning more to the left in certain areas.
Do you consider a synesthete to be a right brain learner, or would the child need to have other right brain characteristics as well? I think the more important thing I may have done during the high school years is to continue promoting strengths-based learning.
Instead of reverting back to making our goal about taking the traditional route going from strong grades in generalized topics during high school to applying to as top a school as possible to continue getting strong grades in generalized topics, we recognized the diverse types of higher education out there and specifically chose a school based on its good fit for each child and their goals. Yes, Sherri, those who are left-handed are right-brained (though not all right-brained people are left-handed because of the cultural influence). My six-year-old son is showing similar difficulties in school, so I’m trying to find out what options I have to help him. And, yes, it’s SO frustrating how mismatched the early elementary grades are for our creative learners. As for your fears going forward without supports, I would highly suggest reading up on the right-brained learner and their gifts.
A new way of mapping the brain’s structure reveals that it has a grid-like structure. Rather than the tree-and-branch structure previously suspected, it seems that the brain is made up of ribbons of neuronal fibres that cross paths at right angles.
Fortunately there is one area in English that follows the Messaging principle and at the same time does not overwhelm our memory. In this post I am going to introduce eleven common similes which will be presented in a mind map. First study the similes in the following mind map once you know the phrases, cover the text and produce the similes looking at the pictures only. Bruce Narramore: “The evangelical church has a great opportunity to combine the special revelation of God’s Word with the general revelation studied by the psychological sciences and professions.
Initially this argument sounds biblical, but it contains a fundamental flaw: the findings of psychology simply cannot be categorized as general revelation. Consider, then, the vast array of differences between general revelation and the insights of modern psychology. Second, in contrast to the universal audience of general revelation—consisting of all men everywhere at all times—the findings of psychology have been discovered and known only by some people in some places at some times, being relegated to only certain parts of the world over the last 150 years. Third, in contrast to how unbelievers suppress the truth made known through general revelation, unbelievers believe and embrace the findings of psychological research, being enlightened by the truth they have discovered.
Finally, the most significant difference concerns the actual content of general revelation. Information and discoveries originating in secular fields do not belong in the category of God’s revealed truth.
As Douglas Bookman observes, “To assign human discoveries to the category of general revelation is to lend God’s name to a person’s ideas.” Consequently, when the discoveries of man are categorized as divine revelation, they are by definition true and authoritative and therefore must not be questioned, but rather believed and obeyed. The end result is that the findings of psychological research not only possess a falsely perceived validity but also lack any genuine accountability, for to question them is to question the very revelation of God. I think this article is missing an explanation of whether modern psychology is elevating secular science above special revelation, or whether the two can be read harmoniously. Under this definition (Information and discoveries originating in secular fields do not belong in the category of God’s revealed truth), it sounds like no science is general revelation. In the same way, the five quotes you provide speak to *combining* modern psychology with special revelation. Matt, I appreciate your love for, and defense of, the sufficiency of Scripture for all that pertains to life and godliness.
What I like about your post, and what challenged me, is the idea that science is not general revelation. Sounds strange even when I type it out, but in my admittedly limited understanding, the sun would be considered general revelation because we can see it, and we can feel it, and it warms the earth in an undeniable way. Jesse: To address your question, let me revisit and expand on some things I wrote in the original article. The universal audience of general revelation—which is one of the reasons it is described as “general” (the other being that the content of this revelation consists of truth about God that is general rather than specific)—is seen very clearly in Psalm 19 and Romans 1. Part of what we need to keep in mind is that creation is not the content of general revelation. I think you just hit the bull’s eye by striking at the heart of the psychological fallacy-heresy. Enjoyed the article, particularly in my current context…on a break between sessions at a Biblical Counseling Conference in Lafayette, Indiana, at one of the premier sites for Biblical Counseling, Faith Baptist Church. As someone who’s taken both graduate and undergraduate courses in psychology, I fully agree with you on the dangers of some Christian folks elevating psychology more than they should. This is an intramural debate within Christendom, and I applaud your courage and the arguments you make for the position that you take.
The time frame that schools utilize in teaching various subjects aligns with the left-brained learner stages of learning.
This chapter introduces the function of each stage while Chapter Seven provides details for the content and subject expression. Left-brained learners are two-dimensional thinkers who focus on symbolic and word development. This is the time when the right-brained learner starts to utilize some of the strengths of the left side of the brain to incorporate two-dimensional thinking.
Even though each brain processing preference continues to rely heavily on its own specialization (right-brained children are still right-brained dominant and left-brained children are still left-brained dominant), each more fully integrates the less preferred specialty skills. And as the first sentence I quoted above from my book states, doesn’t it make sense that left- and right-brained people will learn opposite one another if the brain specialties are mirror images of one another, each with its own specialty?

Left-brained learners are doing that because of how schools are set up to support their strengths. The right-brained early subject strengths are areas of study that promotes creative and imaginative thinking that include history, mythology, cultures and geography, animals, nature, and science.
Who gets to decide that the subjects most conducive to the right-brained universal gifts is less important than those subjects most conducive to the left-brained universal gifts?
They are building a large library of pictorial images that they need in order to successfully  transition to the next stage … because they think in pictures. So, note that left-brained learners are naturally good at word and symbolic development, so right-brained learners pick each of those up individually at each of the next two stages.
This includes the important reading and math facts skills everyone feels is crucial to have sooner than later. Because they are whole-to-part learners, the sight word method is often a good starting place for learning to read. This is a translation process, moving from a non-gift area (symbols) to a gift area (pictures). Right-brained learners visualize a whole picture (right-brained strength), translate it into the individual word parts (left-brained strength), break these down into its spelling parts (left-brained strength), and sequence the picture scene in words (yet another left-brained strength). Because right-brained learners do best with whole-to-part learning, it’s best to master each process independent of the other, establishing the holistic, or whole skill first (reading), followed by the linear, or part skills (spelling and writing) last. Left-brained children learn best with part-to-whole sequential processes using memorization as a primary tool.
Right-brained learners will more fully integrate the strengths of the left-brained learner: reading (by achieving fluency) and higher arithmetic. Just when we finally figured it out … learning difficult lessons *often for us* in a way that empowers us to feel like we know a little something.
Finally after finding this site, I recognize that my son’s struggles in school really are avoidable. I truly believe our family avoided a lot of struggle, too, though it took a LOT of deschooling from me to open up that space to happen. As it pertains to your son and which he favors, I would continue to observe throughout his 5 to 7 year development. I think it’s hard to come up with appropriate questions to really measure brain preference. The natural female gene traits favor the left-brained side, and the natural male gene traits favor the right-brained side.
I used to do so well in school and was ahead of my peers, but fell behind somewhere in high school. I wonder if some people have strong sensory spaces that are more able to inter-relate with each other. Although my children were more able and willing to do traditional topics, it still remained at the 30% level versus the 60% level devoted to strengths.
I’m always interested in how parents advocate for their right-brained children in school so that it can work better for them. Not only does it go into areas they aren’t ready to develop until later, but as you said, they neglect the very subjects they would excel in. Visual differences and auditory differences are two ways a young right-brained child can appear different when comparing him to his left-brained peers and their preferred scope and sequence.
We recognize the table in ourselves, our family member, or our children, and yet, because the school measurement doesn’t match, and we run straight into where the problem stems, we cave under the pressure and the comparison. There he suggests that learners of a foreign language should learn the whole phrases and sentences.
Then you can learn the phrases in a presentation and once you know all the similes you can test your knowledge in two quizzes.
The problem with this seemingly axiomatic assertion is not simply its ambiguity, but the way it serves as a means to justify using extra-biblical sources (such as psychology) to deal with spiritual issues. The integrationist argument goes something like this: Because God has made Himself known through two channels—special revelation (the propositional truth recorded in scripture) and general revelation (the non-propositional truth deposited by God in the created order of things)—man has a mandate from his Creator to investigate and discover truths through means such as psychological research, the findings of which should be accepted as having their origin in God.
In this way, the insights of secular psychologists are not the common possession of all mankind in the way that general revelation is.
In contrast to general revelation—which exclusively communicates truth about the nature and character of God—the findings of secular psychologists focus on the nature of man and his relationships with other human beings. By smuggling the findings of secular psychology into the category of general revelation, integrationists have elevated the ever-changing fallible theories of man to the same level of authority as the never-changing infallible truths of God’s Word, almost as if psychology were the 67th book of the Bible.
In this way, various unbiblical theories avoid the scrutiny of Scripture by hiding behind the motto, “all truth is God’s truth.” The better approach is to return to a biblical understanding of theological categories and to deny Sigmund Freud and his successors a place in the canon of divine revelation.
The elevation of science above special revelation is indeed a significant problem among those Christians who embrace some form of evolution. The only point I was trying to make in the article is that neither psychology as data gathering nor psychology as a system of spiritual thought falls into the category of general revelation. As I wrote in the article, revelation consists of that which God makes known through specific means, not what man discovers through his own investigation. The content of general revelation is the glory of God, and creation is simply the means through which that content is communicated.
I’ve noticed that right-brained learners acquire subject matter in a different learning pattern than their left-brained counterparts.
Right-brained learners are three-dimensional thinkers who focus on global and creative development. The left-brained learner begins to utilize some of the strengths of the right side of the brain to incorporate three-dimensional thinking.
My oldest son’s interest in the right-brained early subject strengths, plus his avid pursuit of drawing, was the primary catalyst for our choosing to homeschool him. Once we understand this difference, we can celebrate it and encourage it instead of fearing it and misunderstanding it. They are developing a strong visualization ability which is needed to create, maintain, and translate the images.
Right-brained learners are naturally good at creative and global development, so left-brained learners pick each of these up individually at each of the next two stages. I agree that these are important skills, but what everyone is actually implying is that these need to be everyone’s foundational skills, but foundational skills are actually those skills that line up with the traits for the dominant side of the brain. Being part-to-whole learners, and being word and symbol based, left-brained learners can learn to decode and encode symbols at the same time. Notice how the skills required to do well with spelling and writing favor the gifts of the left-brained learner: a symbolic, word-driven focus and sequential processes. Because they are part-to-whole word-based learners, left-brained children can learn spelling and writing alongside reading. This is when the word focus of spelling and writing is tackled as a separate subject from reading because they use completely different techniques to achieve success. So, a right-brained dominant female may still read at 5-7 and enjoy organizing, but still love photography, cultures, animals, and think in pictures. They also chose individualized specialties within subject areas, such as animal science for a science course or Japanese history for a history class. I always told my children that if they were going to take risks and try something on their own, at the younger ages when they had no family commitments and obligations was the time to do it.
Right-brained children typically view in pictures between 5 and 7 and three-dimensionally almost primarily. My eldest son, 11, is doing okay now, but my daughter, 8, and son 6, are at least a year behind their peers.
By learning the whole chunks the students will later be able to produce the language quicker and more precisely. As they consist of well known words and they have got their rhythm they are easy to remember.
Butman: “Just as the rain falls on the just and the unjust, so too does truth, by the process that theologians call God’s common grace.
Because revelation is that which God reveals or discloses to people through specific means—not that which man extracts through his own investigation—the findings of psychologists cannot be considered general revelation.

This, in itself, precludes the possibility of categorizing psychological insights as general revelation. They may appear to be beneficial to one or another generation and thereby earn at least temporarily the designation of truth, but they must always be tentative because they lack the certitude and authority of God’s revealed truth. The lesser (but still significant) issue I’m identifying here is that of placing it on the same level as special revelation by erroneously categorizing it as general revelation.
To the extent the fields of psychology and psychiatry may be useful in data gathering—understanding the “how” of human functioning, they remain unable to answer the fundamentally more important “why” questions (What makes people tick?), which of course are related to what it means that we are made in the image of God.
The concerns I have about categorizing them as general revelation are expressd in the final three paragraphs. The entirety of Romans 1:18-25 describes general revelation as having a universal audience.
Yes, it is true that we believers marvel at the power and majesty of our God when we put His creation under a microscope or look at it through a telescope, and I would never belittle that experience. For both left- and right-brained learners, it makes sense that learning should build upon one’s strengths for a firm foundation. The Moores support my theory of a major shift during this stage in their book Better Late than Early. He was so engaged in learning and we knew schools for his age group didn’t teach the subjects he so craved to know.
And they are nurturing their extraordinary imaginations which is the base for innovation, creativity, and big picture thinking they excel at as learners. In fact, there are appropriate ways to help right-brained children learn to read that have everything to do with their brain processing traits.
For left-brained learners, the process of learning spelling and writing and reading are parts of the same coin. In order to spell a word, a right-brained learner sees a picture (right-brained gift), translates the picture to the word (left-brained strength), and then needs to decipher the whole word into its individual sound parts (left-brained strength). A right-brained learner is gifted in imaginative, three-dimensional, picture-based activities, so instead enjoys history, science, geography, social studies, (see Chapter Sixteen) and the creative outlets (see Chapter Six) as his foundation during this time. Creative thinking is integrated through higher level spelling and writing ability, reading comprehension skills, and math story problems. Right-brained children learn best with whole-to-part conceptual processes using association as a primary tool. What I discovered after the Integrative Stage was through, and after I helped my children learn how to integrate goal setting into their lives, their creative lives came back with a vengeance.
If you look under my Collaborative Learning Process tabs, I share what each stage showed me and how I supported it. If you look at what you were drawn to engage in, especially when you were young (before school and society molded you), it may show you what you favor based on your interests. There is the right-brained foundation, but every individual brings in their own nuances to the whole picture that creates YOU. Of course, most of these were interest translations, not specifically chosen studied topics. And, also, how interesting to see how he learns and grasps high level concepts, another typical trait for a young right-brained learner. They are underserved and deserve better, especially in this 21st century that is riding on the backs of the talent of these very learners. I was chatting with the student support teacher this morning and she was telling me how much my 6 year old is struggling. The view of integrationism is that only when Scripture and psychology are integrated—brought together into a unified whole—is one able to engage in a truly effective counseling ministry.
Coe asserts, “Only when all forms of revelation are taken together can we speak of the sufficiency of revelation.” Put simply, all truth is God’s truth and should be embraced as such whether it be found in Scripture (special revelation) or in psychological research (general revelation). For example, on a personal level, we are grateful for information gained from the neuro-psychologist concerning our daughter’s developmental issues. Let me ask you this: does the existence of blind people mean that a sunset is not general revelation?
If the truth of general revelation is made known to all people everywhere at all times—if it is the common possession of all mankind throughout history—then scientific discoveries such as the ones you mentioned cannot be rightly placed into this category. In fact, according to the apostle Paul, what God has revealed about Himself through creation has been known by man “since the creation of the world” (Rom 1:20). But the nature of general revelation is such that its truth continuously pours forth and declares His power and glory to all of mankind, even those who don’t have instruments to amplify what God has already made abundantly clear. They say, “Studies have demonstrated a variety of significant changes in brain maturation between ages 7 and 11.
Here is a post that talks about some of these traits that influence how right-brained children learn to read best. For right-brained children, being whole-to-part learners, and being picture based, decoding and encoding are two separate acts. The right-brained learner will shift into the two-dimensional, symbolic realm to begin learning to read and tackle beginning arithmetic. They enjoy various imaginative tools such as mnemonics and the ability to intuitively discover ideas through holistic imagery.
Just like you’re hoping, I found that my children were able to take their creative pursuits to a higher level, in a way that could shape their career choices. As I mention in my book, Linda Kreger Silverman, a person who has spent years trying to develop a test for VSLs, says that what a person is interested in is still the most predictable factor for knowing.
He is very creative artistically, and takes great interest in animals and geography, and history. When some don’t prefer the auditory input, it can be a problem in school especially, because they favor the auditory input for teaching. He may have been remediating so long in his weaknesses, that he never got a chance to really develop his strengths and gifts (or he has, and that’s great!).
This view is really an assault on the idea that Scripture alone is sufficient for spiritual growth. Thomas writes, “Any efforts to widen the scope of general revelation to include information or theories about aspects of creation, man, or anything else besides God do not have support from the Bible.” For this reason, to include the findings of social sciences like psychology in the category of general revelation is to depart from the teaching of scripture itself. But we certainly are not looking to him, or the field, to contribute necessary information about who she really is as a beautiful, precious image-bearer and how God may use her for His glory. Or, does science that studies that same sunset count as general revelation (such as the speed of light, refraction, physics and stuff)?
Again, the truth of general revelation has been the common possession of all people everywhere throughout history—ever since the creation of the world—and for this reason, twenty-first century discoveries need not apply! And here is a link to a reading resource page on this site and a page with examples on how certain reading programs can work for right-brained learners. A deeper understanding of the previous subjects occurs during this 8 to 10 year stage for the right-brained child, as well as development of higher skill levels in the creative outlets. This is where he’ll shine in our world, and I would definitely encourage you to help him show everyone where he really shines!
If we understand God’s counsel to be truth, we will be committed to pursuing truth wherever we find it. Right-brained children don’t tend to develop a more left-brained representation of these two senses (visual processing in a two-dimensional way and auditory input) until starting between 8 and 10. As a kid I remember struggling, indeed my principal told my mum I was hopeless, yet as a mature age student my average grade at uni is 90%.
That’s why Paul says that God’s invisible attributes “have been clearly seen” since the creation of the world (Rom 1:20). That’s because the process for right-brained children to learn spelling and writing is different from the process for learning to read.
That’s why the Psalmist says that “day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge” (Ps 19:2).

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