are your children big picture or detail oriented? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 10-06-2010, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am big picture, my children are big picture.

It gets me in a little bit of trouble at work because I am not detail oriented (rather I see big picture - and for some reason, people who are detail expect everyone else to be detail oriented...fair enough in some professions, but not in all).

My middle DD just scored average on a reading comprehension test because she does not notice small details - like characters age or place of birth - the teacher says she is very good at seeing the big picture, but alas, those do not count on the reading test. Sigh.

Are gifted people more likely to be whole to part learners? Asking as I am curious if this is a commonality, or is just my family, lol
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#2 of 11 Old 10-06-2010, 04:38 PM
 
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I have seen some suggestions that gifted learners are more likely to be whole to part learners, but I can't remember the source. I know that I am a whole to part learner and so is DS. DH is more detail oriented, but he is known in his company as being one of the few people to see the whole picture, so the ability with details may be learned.

Your DD is not alone. I vividly remember reading Crime and Punishment for high school and doing badly on a test because I had no idea what colour was featured in the description of Raskolnikov's room. But I could tell you exactly what emotional impact the descriptions of the room had on me the reader and how it affected my understanding of the character.

And, DS1 does badly on the exercises where they are supposed to make an inference from the text because the inference the teacher is looking for is often so close to the literal text that he assumes it is obvious to anyone reading the text what is meant. So he over thinks the question because the question doesn't make any sense to him.

Kate
mother of Patrick (7/31/03), and Michael, William, and Jocelyn (4/27/07)
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#3 of 11 Old 10-06-2010, 05:24 PM
 
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Have you looked into visual-spatial? http://www.visualspatial.org/what_is_a_vsl.htm

DH is very big picture and in his work many times have to repeat work because he's missed some small detail. That being said the end results has to be flawless so he has to force himself to go back and check things a million times (we joke that damped harmonic oscillator because it takes him awhile to converge to one answer ). But he definitely can pick out patterns that not everybody else can see.

I'm also fairly visual spatial but certainly more detailed orientated than DH. He's still a better speller than me and thinks more about grammar, go figure?
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#4 of 11 Old 10-06-2010, 11:01 PM
 
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big picture here, but can be detail oriented in certain settings.
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#5 of 11 Old 10-07-2010, 11:40 AM
 
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I don't find those reading comprehension tests to be particularly valuable. I am excellent at managing projects because I am able to project ahead and think through many details. Physical details, such as those asked about what a character wore, for example, always tripped me up. I felt, and still do, that many literature teachers thrive off the idea that they can ask students all of these inane questions to "show" them they didn't read carefully. The reality was that many students when I was in high school spent more time worried about memorizing details than analyzing the story.

It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
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#6 of 11 Old 10-07-2010, 11:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

My middle DD just scored average on a reading comprehension test because she does not notice small details - like characters age or place of birth - the teacher says she is very good at seeing the big picture, but alas, those do not count on the reading test. Sigh.
We often hear that test-taking is a skill and I think that this is one good example. I suspect that once she realizes that reading comprehension test questions are likely to ask about details, she may focus on them a little more. It's possible to train for it, by learning to slow down when reading passages, and highlighting details with a marker or underlining to improve retention.

I don't know the answer to your question about gifted vs. NTs and big picture vs. detail. If I had to bet, I suspect there's a spectrum, like so many other things, and that gifties lie along the spectrum like everyone else. I recall discussing the Harry Potter books on a gifted message board and a few parents talking about their child's amazing recall for details that Rowling had mentioned in passing in Book 3 or 4, that had subsequent importance in Book 6 or 7. Those gifted children obviously had a great eye for detail.

It is a fascinating question about big picture vs. detail-oriented though. I don't think it gets a lot of attention, either. At the risk of taking your thread OT, I'll relate a recent, interesting discussion with a friend of mine, who is a math department head at a university. He is brilliant - choice of scholarships to leading American universities (MIT, CalTech etc.). He was public school educated, without benefit of gifted programs or much accommodations. So if anyone would be sympathetic to gifted programs, self-directed learning, homeschooling etc., I thought it would be him.

Our conversation started on the topic of self-directed learning but moved on to homeschooling, because those are the self-directed learners that he sees in his program. In his experience, self-directed learners struggle with seeing the big picture. Among other issues he identified with homeschoolers in university, that was one of the most difficult for them.

I would imagine that a university applied mathematics department would have its fair share of visual-spatial learners. So I'm not sure that impacts on his observations.

Since I know any discussion of homeschooling is likely to hit a nerve and provoke some defensive responses, I'm sure that there are many "big picture" homeschoolers out there. My friend also acknowledged this. As an academic advisor, however, he's observed a pattern that raises a flag for him.
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#7 of 11 Old 10-07-2010, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
Our conversation started on the topic of self-directed learning but moved on to homeschooling, because those are the self-directed learners that he sees in his program. In his experience, self-directed learners struggle with seeing the big picture. Among other issues he identified with homeschoolers in university, that was one of the most difficult for them.

I would imagine that a university applied mathematics department would have its fair share of visual-spatial learners. So I'm not sure that impacts on his observations.

Since I know any discussion of homeschooling is likely to hit a nerve and provoke some defensive responses, I'm sure that there are many "big picture" homeschoolers out there. My friend also acknowledged this. As an academic advisor, however, he's observed a pattern that raises a flag for him.
Interesting...and having had a day or so to think about things, probably true.

DD is big picture in many areas, but can be quite detail oriented when it comes to things she loves. Example - she loves nutrition and can tell you what all those scary ingrediants on a package of Twinkies actually are. . She could literally write books on human and animal nutrition.

I think HSing and being gifted has enabled her to hyperfocus on details she wants to focus on.

I think she is big picture in general, but hyperfocuses when she is interested.

I imagine the students at university in math really liked math, hence the hyper focusing.

If I had to hypothesize, I would hazard that most HSers are a strange brew of big picture and detail oriented. From a purely academic standpoint, many HSers choose HSing because they value big picture and want to ensure it happens. Number sense over rote memorisation; understanding why World War 2 happenned instead of memorising battle dates, etc. If you grow up learning from people who are big picture, you might end up that way yourself. Of course, you might have ended up big picture anyway if it is a genetic tendancy. On the other hand, HSing allows much time for exploration of passions - hence where hyperfocusing and detail orientation comes in.
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#8 of 11 Old 10-07-2010, 12:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
If I had to hypothesize, I would hazard that most HSers are a strange brew of big picture and detail oriented. From a purely academic standpoint, many HSers choose HSing because they value big picture and want to ensure it happens. Number sense over rote memorisation; understanding why World War 2 happenned instead of memorising battle dates, etc. If you grow up learning from people who are big picture, you might end up that way yourself. Of course, you might have ended up big picture anyway if it is a genetic tendancy. On the other hand, HSing allows much time for exploration of passions - hence where hyperfocusing and detail orientation comes in.
Timely thread for us. DS's teacher approached me the other day and mentioned that ds wasn't comprehending some of the things he was reading. It was a little bit of a shocker, but this thread has brought out a lot of the reasons why. And since we are coming off of HS'ing, I have a feeling that ds isn't reading yet to answer questions or take a test at the end - especially to answer those trivial questions. I also know that it takes a bit more time for him to deeply process what he has read. DS is definitely a big picture thinker and typically extrapolates what is most interesting to him and moves quickly on to applying other knowledge, etc. Easy to accomodate while HS'ing, not necessarily a strength at school at his age.

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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#9 of 11 Old 10-07-2010, 02:29 PM
 
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I would say DD is pretty balanced. She can be very detail-oriented, but she also asks big-picture questions. We do notice that she sometimes skips questions by accident or rushes through work when it comes to school things, but I think that's more because she's 6 and is used to her schoolwork being easy.

She has an insane memory and shares the ability to notice differences and categorize with DH, who is a botanist. (Can't be a nondetail-oriented botanist!)

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#10 of 11 Old 10-08-2010, 12:15 AM
 
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I'm a big picture sort of a person, and that led me to understand the efficient way to take reading comprehension tests.

Read the questions first. Then simply scan the story for the answers to those easy questions. Only bother to really read stories that have unusually complex questions.

Scanning a page quickly for information is a perfectly useful skill, especially for big picture type people.

Timmy's Mommy WARNINGyslexic typing with help of preschooler, beware of typos
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#11 of 11 Old 10-08-2010, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by eepster View Post
I'm a big picture sort of a person, and that led me to understand the efficient way to take reading comprehension tests.

Read the questions first. Then simply scan the story for the answers to those easy questions. Only bother to really read stories that have unusually complex questions.

Scanning a page quickly for information is a perfectly useful skill, especially for big picture type people.
Good tip!
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