What Does It Mean to Be a Visual Learner?

By Sara Ipatenco
Many children need to see what they're learning.
Many children need to see what they're learning.

Visual learners are tuned in to details, colors and comparisons. If your child is a visual learner, it simply means that she learns best when she's able to see what she's learning. Of course, it's more complex than this simple definition, but it's wise for you to discover your child's learning style because it will help you assist your child learn more effectively.


A visual learner needs to see something to fully comprehend it, according to the Education.com website. If your child is a visual learner, she needs to see things to remember them. She can't rely on just hearing a lecture and listening to a set of facts. She must also see the facts written down or have a set of instructions printed and provided to her. Visual learners are very detail oriented and thrive on seeing images, symbols and other representations of what the teacher is teaching.


If your child is a visual learner, you'll probably notice that she uses her hands when she talks and tends to describe things based on characteristics such as size, shape and color. A visual learner might also be quite adept at recalling information if it was presented in chart, diagram or picture form, Pennsylvania State University notes. Children who notice small details are likely to be visual learners, too, since they tend to focus in on little things as being part of a whole. Older children who thrive on writing things down and taking notes, often color-coded, are also likely to be visual learners.

How You Can Help

If your child is a visual learner, it might mean that she struggles in the classroom if the teacher tends to be a lecturer or only gives verbal directions. Talk with your child's teacher if this is the case. To ensure that your visual learner is successful, her teacher might need to make accommodations to help her. Perhaps the teacher would be willing to let your child write down what she's learning or offer your child written notes about what she'll be learning about that day.

Additional Considerations

Understand that just because your child's teacher makes certain accommodations doesn't mean your child will automatically become successful. Yes, seeing what she's learning will help, but your child will also need to put forth the effort to internalize what she's learning so you can retain and retrieve it later, according to Reading Rockets, a website from U.S. Department of Education. Each child learns differently and it might take a great deal of trial and error for you and your child's teacher to discover exactly what she needs to learn to her full capacity.

About the Author

Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.