Brain-Based Learning in Education
Brain-based learning: What is it?
Brain-based learning is considered a comprehensive approach in teaching based on knowledge of the brain and its function at different developmental levels. This educational discipline combines the areas of neuroscience, psychology, and education with the objective to optimize learning and teaching processes.
Brain-based learning has the potential to revolutionize the way a person studies and learns.
Brain-Based Tips for Parents
Knowing how the brain functions will help parents connect with children on an educational and emotional level. For parents, here are 7 ways to help motivate your child to learn, and to develop and achieve their full potential:
1. Nurture their self-esteem
Self-esteem can most simply be defined as one's attitude toward oneself and one's abilities. For your child, feeling secure in who they are and capable in their abilities will keep them motivated to learn, while feeling insecure about themselves and their abilities will leave them unmotivated.
Self-esteem, is mostly an internal confidence that should not be influenced by external factors (for example, how much they weigh or what grades they receive) but is fundamental for optimal learning and can be nurtured!
Nurture your child's self-esteem today by identifying and celebrating their strengths, helping them set small goals (for example, completing their homework, or brushing their teeth 3 nights in a row without being asked) and validating their needs/requests.
2. Unleash their creative genius
Creative expression plays a key role in emotional development, enhances thinking capability, reduces anxiety, and so much more!
Let your child participate in unstructured play where they use their imagination and grow in creativity. Practically speaking, this means they cannot be activities 5-6 nights a week. Most organized activities do not encourage risk-taking, or thinking outside the box, which hinders creativity. It is generally when on holidays, or during down time, that we're most creative.
Foster their creative impulses, give them freedom to experiment, and allow them to participate in activities and interests that motivate and excite them.
3. Connect with the real-world
Comprehensive learning of concepts and skill is often accelerated through experience and application. If your child can connect what they are learning in the classroom to something they have encountered, or may encounter, in the real-world, it will often encourage them in the learning process.
For example, if your child is learning about division and you are at the grocery store and see a bag of 10 apples for $5.95, why not take the time to determine together how much each apple would cost! Then take it one step further and compare this with another bag of fruit.
They will not only learn better, but will discover the usefulness (and meaningfulness of their knowledge!
4. Set the stage for quality sleep
Quality sleep is fundamental for optimal learning, memory function and performance. While a lack of sleep for you may simply mean feeling sluggish and reaching for that extra cup of coffee, sleep deprivation can make your child fatigued, distracted, irritable, hyperactive, and have a decreased ability to process information at hand.
Sleep will give your child's brain and body much needed rest and prepare it for the next day. It is also during this time that your brain processes the information learned that day, consolidates it, and stores it in long-term memory for easy retrieval later! Encourage quality sleep with your child by maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and having a relaxing bedtime routine and environment.
5. Use a brain break
Brain breaks are designed to help students focus, increase productivity and reduce stress. Physical activity is a great brain break as it strengthens the learning process by activating and oxygenating the brain, therefore improving learning capability. These little activity boosts help achieve better focus, cognitive processing and memory retention.
If your child likes to move around while studying or learning, let them do it! You can also allow for breaks to be taken at regular intervals. Any physical activity for a minimum of 3 minutes will serve as a brain break!
6. Body memory strategies (ADHD or ASD body moving strategies)
For those children who need additional help to improve their memory and recall of information, kinesthetic learners and students with unique or special needs such as ADHD or ASD, whole-body movement can be helpful to process new and more difficult information.
Memories are not only stored in your brain, but also in your body. We only need to create a pathway to access the memories stored by creating a trigger to retrieve the information. If we engage our body in the learning process (see, hear, act out) it can be easier to remember and apply.
When incorporating body moving strategies, these movements should symbolize the content being taught. For example, a kinesthetic symbol for an earthquake may be interlocking the fingers of both hands and making a rolling and shaking motion.
7. Draw it out (Science of drawing and memory)
Drawing information being studied or taught can be a powerful way to enhance memory. Drawing taps into 3 modalities of learning: visual (seeing the picture), kinesthetic (hand drawing image), and semantic (general facts and knowledge accumulated), and allows for processing of information being learned.
The strength of a memory is largely determined by the connections made to other memories.
Instead of buying or printing posters, why not get your child to create one? Your child could even create a short comic strip that tells a story or event that's of interest to them!
Knowing how the brain functions will help you connect with your children on an educational and emotional level and teach them based on knowledge of the brain and its function at different developmental levels. It's one of the reasons we love incorporating brain-based learning in our tutoring sessions at Accelerated Potential Academy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are excited to be offering a free session on "Developing Skills to Restore Calm and Help Your Kids Thrive", April 10 from 6:30pm - 8:00 pm at Hillcrest Church Medicine Hat, AB. Parents must register. For more information, or to register, Contact Us.