I bought this book upon the recommendation of Barb, a.k.a. Harmony Art Mom, and have found many useful applications for one of my sons who is most definitely a VSL.
In a nut shell, VSL's are right-brained people who tend to be artistic, intuitive, musical, excellent problem solvers, and a long list of other brilliant traits. However, they do not always demonstrate their brilliance in the traditional educational setting (this includes many homeschools as well) largely because of two traits- thinking in pictures rather than words and processing information from whole to part instead of from part to whole (at least those are the two main applications I took away from my reading which have had the greatest impact on how I now teach my son).
As I read Upside Down Brilliance, I realized the concept of thinking in pictures seemed to hit the nail on the head for one of my son's biggest struggles in school, Latin vocabulary. He understood the grammar concepts- could identify parts of speech, case and declension. However, he struggled to memorize the vocabulary in every single unit. (According to the book, this is another VSL trait- being able to do higher-order work easily while struggling with rote work.)
I had tried games, relays, drills, testing, retesting... lots of interventions, lots of reteaching. But they had all dealt with words- writing words on the the board, flashcards, reciting, hangman, fill-in-the-blank...
But no pictures ANYWHERE!
And I'm just theorizing here, but I imagine he was constantly trying to translate those words into pictures but he already had words attached to those pictures- English ones. When it was time to produce the new Latin word, he pulled the picture from his mental file and there was the English word attached to it, and he had to process that before he could get to the Latin....
No wonder Latin was exhausting him to the point of tears. I'm tired just thinking about it.
So, I tried a very simple modification...
I asked him to draw pictures containing his Latin vocabulary words within the pictures themselves, like the example below.
As you can see, he did not create intricate or elaborate drawings (although as a VSL he was inclined to do so and I had to prompt him not to spend too much time on the assignment), just a simple representation of the the word which also included the word itself within the drawing, and guess what happened?
He remembered his Latin vocabulary!
That's just one way Upside-Down Brilliance has helped me as a teacher and my son as a student, and I recommend the book with one caveat.
As with most books that deal with cognitive science, there are elements of Upside-Down Brilliance that do not mesh with Christian worldview or practice. Therefore, I skipped some sections and took others with a grain of salt. However, I would not throw the baby out with the bath water here. There is some valid science within and knowing that my son sees the world in vivid pictures has helped me teach him better.
If you want to know more about teaching a VSL, you can also return to Olive Plants. I plan to share more tips soon....
Disclosure: I have not been compensated for writing this post. I am an affiliate for amazon.com and if you purchase Upside-Down Brilliance from the link I provided above, I will receive a commission.