It’s hard to believe we are talking about back-to-school time already……it seems like our kids just got out! You’ve got lists of school supplies to acquire to make sure they are prepared for learning; but as we prepare our kiddos to hit the classroom and books again, it’s important to discuss how kids are seeing their world, and how their vision contributes to their learning.
Every child is different; this includes the way they learn. Some kids need to read information, some need to hear it, some need to teach it or experience it. For most kids, seeing is one of the most important fundamental elements in learning. In fact, teachers spend a lot of time teaching kids how to use their vision for learning. There are many ways that vision can impact learning.
1: Most of the time, when we think about vision, we think about seeing clearly. Can my child see the smart board from across the classroom…..or can she see the words in the book? Obviously, if a child can’t see clearly, he may not be able to participate fully in academic activities. Often children don’t report difficulty seeing because they aren’t aware that things should look different, and they develop ways to compensate, like sitting at the front of the class, squinting, or asking a classmate. Correcting visual clarity can help facilitate classroom involvement, but can also facilitate sports involvement. Clear vision supports safe and healthy play. Children have better and more accurate reaction times when they can see clearer.
2. Another way vision impacts learning is how efficiently we see…….believe it or not, vision, and comprehension of material are learned skills. Like walking, many children develop visual skills just by being in environments that require it. However, some children have difficulty developing accurate visual perception skills on their own. There are a number of factors that may get in the way of this development like reduced clarity of vision (see number 1), mis-coordination of the eyes (either they don’t point at the same place, or the brain can’t use both eyes simultaneously), or inability to adjust focus accurately.
Dr. Mitchell has 4 kids, and 3 of them have required very strong glasses since they were little. He knows how important it is for kids to see clear and the kind of impact vision can have on learning. Because of this, Dr. Mitchell is offering free vision screening to all school age kids as we approach the start of school in the next few weeks. A vision screening is a quick assessment that will help determine if your child may need further attention for their eyes to help in school. Dr. Mitchell will check for major vision or binocular coordination issues and will make recommendations if necessary. Regardless of insurance, there is no cost for this initial vision screening.
Make sure your children are ready to learn and call us at Mad River Eye Care today for a free vision screening. Next post, we’ll talk about screen use……..phones, computers, chrombooks and Ipads.