NOTE - TAKING: A MULTISENSORY APPROACH


Conventional note-taking can be very much like taking dictation or like mundane

copywork. Newer methods offer a multisensory approach to learning which engages the student in the learning process. Sketchnoting is one method which we will explore. This method aims to increase content retention and comprehension through visual learning. Drawing images, facts and dates utilizes a multisensory approach which enhances the way in which your student processes the content being presented. This method, or sketchnoting, helps in organizing and retaining course content. In addition, more than one of the senses is being used as they listen to their instructor while visually documenting the facts they need to learn. When engaging more than one sense, students remain actively engaged in the course. Following are some tips and strategies for visual note-taking:

  1. Go blank. Sketchnoting can be done on blank paper. Think of visual note-taking as freeing the mind of your student. You are opening pathways to learning. Use colors, shapes and symbols which will make the facts visually appealing.

  2. Practice makes perfect. For some students, the structure of lined paper and copywork is what they know when it comes to note-taking. Some may feel they aren’t good at drawing. Start slow. Use color-coded words in place of drawings or symbols then slowly introduce creating images to reinforce learning.

  3. Symbols Save Time. Traditional note-taking can be frustrating for some students who struggle with keeping up word-for-word with the instructor. Develop symbols which can be color coded to facilitate note-taking. This visual bank of symbols and/or characters will create a fun and unique way for your student to remember the information in their notes.

  4. This is THEIR masterpiece. Drawings do not have to be perfect. Sketchnoting is merely a free-form and engaging method of documenting facts. We are not looking at their mastery of the content (just yet). The goal is to use their creative minds to put on paper what they have learned, comprehended and retained.

  5. Color their academic world with them. As your student embraces the art of sketchnoting, join in. Watch the video alongside them. Do your own sketchnoting. Share your drawings, sketches, symbols and compare your notes.

Below is an example of sketchnoting:


Even with an online homeschool curriculum, note-taking is very important. The components of sketchnoting - planning, listening, processing, writing and drawing - aim to activate different areas of the brain, therefore, your student is more highly engaged and more open to learning. To learn more about our innovative approach to learning, contact us today!

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