Many parents do not realise the importance of learning in the early years, especially in the first four-six years of a child’s life, as that is when the main learning pathways in the brain are formed. The top picture is that of an unstimulated brain. We don’t want that for our children … but most parents don’t know how to stimulate their child.
Play is a vital part of a child’s learning but so is parental-directed stimulation. That is what the AOHBL 3-4, 4-5 and 5-6 programs cater for.
Children need to be stimulated in order to progress, lay down and use pathways in their brains. If a child has efficient stimulation and a good diet, brain growth is rapid until five years of age and continues slowly between the age of five and ten.
Many people tend to have a left or right brain dominance, but it seems as if education in the past has catered mainly for left-brain thinkers who are logical, rational, analytical, consistent, structured, controlled, ordered, detail, fact-oriented and verbal. Right brainers are usually spontaneous, creative, big picture-oriented and, intuitive and visualize more than thinking in words. The future calls for us to use both sides of the brain. The brain works best when both sides are activated and involved in learning and activities.
So … let’s practice and encourage our children to do the same!
- Learn to juggle: use oranges or balls. Juggling involves eye-hand co-ordination and forces both sides of the brain to work at the same time
- Practice using your “other” hand in the day, for example when brushing your teeth, stirring, washing
- Play games such as chess which need you to use both sides of the brain
- Learn how to play a musical instrument: although this uses the right side of the brain, reading the music requires the use of the left brain
- Find apps to test brain skills