Schools taught us to learn not HOW to learn
Let’s pause for a minute and think about this sentence before tonight’s “let’s do HW”. Getting HW done at most homes is a stressful time where mom and child are both frustrated and someone leaves the table angry, sad or labeled.
Schools do not teach us how to learn, how to encode and retrieve information. They rather teach us learning as a spectator sport where one needs to sit for an hour each lesson and just listen and observe. They also teach students to remember through repetition whether a topic makes sense to them or not. Repeat until you memorize; which normally takes hours until the brain registers the information. Children come back home from a long day and we expect them to sit again and listen to us as we try to go through the pile of HW. And we then label them whether we say it out loud or think it, as “you’re not trying your best” “look at your brother” “try harder” etc….
How can we expect a child to learn when we didn’t provide him with the tools to do so? It’s not about learning it’s about how we learn. To begin with believe your child when he tells you he can’t concentrate anymore and needs a mind break. An adult attention span is 30 to 45min while a 6-year-old child is anywhere between 12 to 30min. So when he starts moving around or complaining don’t scold him it’s his brain screaming I need a mind break. Rather be a facilitator and introduce healthy mind breaks that can fire the neurons in the brain, get the left brain and right brain to work together. For example, introduce super brain yoga, which opens up your brain and makes you more receptive, hence increasing your sharpness and creativity. Super Brain Yoga synchronizes the alpha brain waves and in the process, energizes and activates your brain. It simply keeps your mind active and sharp, introduce it during mind breaks and make it fun for your kids. Not a fan of yoga? What about juggling? An oxford study shows that juggling helps make your brain more focused, sharp and increases your concentration. Juggling boosts brain development, research indicates that learning to juggle accelerates the growth of neural connections related to memory, focus, movement, and vision. The beneficial changes persist even after weeks without practice. So next time your child asks for a break throw a tennis ball or two or three at him and start juggling.
As for studying and remembering information the rote memory technique is truly not time efficient, remembering with repetition takes hours. We are visual people our brain is wired to remember with images.
The research outcomes on visual learning make complete sense when you consider that our brain is mainly an image processor (much of our sensory cortex is devoted to vision), not a word processor. In fact, the part of the brain used to process words is quite small in comparison to the part that processes visual images. There are countless studies that have confirmed the power of visual imagery in learning. For instance, one study asked students to remember many groups of three words each, such as dog, bike, and street. Students who tried to remember the words by repeating them over and over again did poorly on recall. In comparison, students who made the effort to make visual associations with the three words, such as imagining a dog riding a bike down the street, had significantly better recall.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/get-psyched/201207/learning-through-visuals Help your children make visual connections that are crazy, emotional, illogical and outstanding. The crazier the visual connection the more wired the brain is to remember it. Don’t believe me? Check out this post by the Super Brain himself Jim Kwik http://jimkwik.com/kwik-brain-008/
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