Monday, December 27, 2010

Due to the many myths that exist on the topic of early brain development, I am dedicating this week to sharing the realities of what children need. Each day throughout the week, one myth will be clarified. It is my hope that we can quickly make truth common knowledge.
Myth #1: Early brain research has shown that children will be smarter through the use of flash cards, workbooks, language tapes, and "educational" electronic toys.

Truth:  Brain development is simply the physical growth of the brain. Science has created greater awareness of how this brain growth occurs. As a result we now understand more than ever before about how experience impacts brain growth. However, it seems that the term "early brain development" has become synonymous with meaning we need to push young children to learn more at earlier ages. 

It is critical that it is understood that academic focused pre-schools, using flash cards or computerized types of toys and DVD's are not the optimal way of supporting this growth. Hands-on interaction with real objects and people provides the brain with much more real information and ideal learning experiences. When children are directed to simply find a "right" answer this removes the wonderful benefits of discovery.  

The bottom line: Pushing learning on children does not lead to optimal cognitive, or social/emotional growth. In reality, too much activity may result in over-stimulation, which can impair brain development. Positive loving interactions and opportunities to play and explore with many senses in a relaxed environment are the ideal way to support healthy brain growth. 

Related Posts with Thumbnails