A child’s brain activity is most rapid under 5 years old. Kids of this age form about 700 neural connections every second that is whopping for an adult human being. Early childhood experiences influence the way our brain develops.
A brain is an incredible mechanism that controls every single thing we do. Without it, we wouldn’t be the superior beings on the planet. Without it, you wouldn’t be the same person.
A brain starts its development even before we are born. Later, it continues to change depending on our age and the activities of our lives. There is no function of the brain that wouldn’t be important in the course of our lives. That is why it is so important to see that a child starts “building” its brain from the early age. While babies are in the womb, we cannot do much to influence the process. However, the minute they are born, our hard work begins.
The easiest trick to implement is learning. Do you know that brain activity can actually show how smart you are? Our brain cannot be the same all the time. Various tasks impact its activity in different ways. So, it means that people displaying the same activity when working on complex tasks are more likely to complete the task faster and more efficient.
Mental tasks are the easiest way to shape our brains, especially when students are young. Student service helps youngsters to increase brain efficiency and to fill them with the necessary information.
Here comes the time for brain based learning that is meant to use the knowledge of the brain’s functions and how it works to aid the teaching methods for kids. This may be a new discipline, but it has already proven effective when done the right way.
The Peculiarities of Brain-Based Learning
When working with kids, it is important to find the right approach to every single individual. Such necessity comes from the fact that just as our bodies our brains are different. We cannot tell for sure the maturity of the brain that affects the readiness to study. That’s why it is important to understand that each kid is unique and the whole classroom of still-developing brains cannot be ready for the same task equally.
All children still have to be challenged and encouraged to keep their development on the steady rate. For teachers, it may be especially hard to do it in big classrooms where you cannot possibly pay enough attention to each kid. That is why schools at all times have had behavior problems caused by different levels of brain maturity.
Brain research shows various factors that we have to pay attention to in term of learning.
Brain plasticity and neurogenesis are the most important discoveries about the way our brains work. It means that each human being has their own plasticity which corresponds with the ability to adapt and change. Also, we develop neurons and connections at a certain rate according to the plasticity.
Emotions are mostly an unexpected factor that should be taken more seriously when it comes to teaching kids. They play a great role in our cognitive process. This is one of the key aspects of the brain-based learning. Learning and the brain are connected through emotions that are usually of great help in improving academic abilities. Learning to recognise and control emotions stabilises the process of studying and creates favorable conditions for the experience.
Genetics versus experience. It is important to understand that brain functions and activity are not only determined by genetics and are easily influenced by the life experience of each individual. Both of them are fundamental to our development.
When implementing these factors into the real life, it is hard to match them to the current system. How do we manage it all in a regular class? Should there be individual mentors for each kid for them to perform at their top?
The school system cannot change overnight—changes have to come gradually. However, there are certain do’s and don’ts in working with kids’ brain development. Let’s start with the positive things we can do and implement even today.
Things You Should do When Educating a Child
Remember that kids learn at different rates
Remember that each kid is on their own stage of brain maturity and cannot learn the same rate the majority does. Some kids need more attention, others are quite independent and do not need much time to solve a mental task.
Be mindful of past traumas
Always take into account any childhood trauma, be it a physical illness or a mental distress. Such factors influence every kid and have an impact on their studies. To benefit the situation, certain measures can be taken. Some illnesses would not be a bother when placing a kid at the front of the row. Other commotions require special attention and more encouragement from teachers. Changing the activity and showing other peers how to understand the kid’s situation is of great help as well.
Include plenty of variety
The variety of activities and tasks is actually beneficial for all children. A young developing brain craves learning and exploring. Tasks that utilise multiple senses are easier for them than for adults. It is surprising how children lacking in one area can improve their skills in it through other activities. That is why giving a brain a constant push towards exploring something new should solve many learning problems. Do not make children read the encyclopedia the whole day; give them a physically active task so they can return to the book with the new strength.
Arts and creative thinking stimulate more elements of brain functioning that the regular tasks. So, adding such activities to the school routine encourages kids and stimulates their brains by engaging the areas that normally stay turned off. It extends a child’s sensory, emotional, physical, and cognitive learning. Crafts and media are a necessary addition. And while we have some creative activities implemented, they are usually not enough.
Things You Shouldn’t do When Educating a Child
Don’t assume disability
Do not be fast to assume disability when a kid is behind in some classes. The development of cognitive skills is uneven among peers and the kid will catch up some time during the following years. Do not give up on a kid and discourage them by telling that they are the worst and have no future in any subject.
Don’t label intelligence based on age
Do not organise learning groups based on age. This is a great program that we cannot banish right now but have to try. This is probably the most damaging practice of kids’ development. We constantly look at the young ones through the prism of their age and assume they should have certain skills and knowledge. Yet, that is exactly what is wrong with our education. It has been mentioned before that our brain development timeline differs from person to person and age has nothing to do with it. To make education useful for brain activity, take into consideration the present knowledge rather than the “standard” one.
Do not limit the social aspect of learning
This is the part of brain development that is just as important as the academics. Our “school brains” are filled not only with the lessons and homework. They are full of new people, experiences, and social situations that form our brain and personality. Often, social situations are more challenging and cause greater brain activity than daydreaming in a class. Besides, this is just the other side of the education we get.
Do not neglect at-home activities
A developing brain is ready to learn at any time. Feeding it with useful nutrients at home is also important. Otherwise, we limit its functions and put education into strict confines. To encourage brain development, education should be constant.
Education and Intelligence Are Intimately Intertwined
The functioning of our brains is a complex scientific issue that has been under surveillance for decades. While our brains are recognized to have an ability to develop throughout our whole lives, children are the most dynamic in this aspect. Thinking about the correlation between learning and brain development has brought us many useful studies showing just how important this partnership really is. Just like our bodies, our brain also requires nutrient and they are not limited by actual vitamins or minerals.
Feeding our brains at an early age improves cognitive abilities later on. When brain development is constantly stimulated, children grow up healthy, both mentally and physically. Our public education system is far from ideal. However, we can implement a few changes to base education on the peculiarities of brain functioning, and the idea that every kid is unique and learns everything on their own rate.
The issue, of course, is further research to implement the knowledge of our brains into the real education process. However, we already get positive results from the private establishments that embrace the practice of individual learning schedules for each child.