We often describe our brain structure as looking like the branches of a tree. Each of us has a trillion brain cells including 100 billion active nerve cells. In addition we have 900 billion other cells that ‘glue’, nourish and insulate the active cells. On everyone of the 100 billion nerve cells we can grow 20,000 branches. The brain like a tree develops and grows if cared for. If you don’t use it, you lose it.
We have not one, but four brains—reptilian, mammalian, cerebrum and cerebellum. There is a left and right side to our brain. These work in harmony The left side processing words, logic, numbers, mathematics and sequence. The right side processes rhyme, rhythm, music, pictures and imagination. We are predominantly one or the other. Acting like a telephone exchange millions of messages a second are shuttled between the left and right sides. Discover which side you use. There is no single form of intelligence. Gardner suggests there are 7—linguistic, mathematical, musical, spatial and visual, kinaesthetic, interpersonal and intrapersonal. Most of us possess aspects of many of these intelligences, but will favour some over others.
Your brain operates on at least 4 separate wavelengths. To access the right-side of your brain and lock into your sub-conscious creativity a state of relaxed alertness must be achieved. Termed the ‘alpha state’ this enables use to understand rapidly, day-dream and heighten your memory. Music such as Bach at 60/70 beats a minute is identical to alpha brainwaves.
The brain controls a transmission system that flashes chemical-electrical messages instantly to every part of the body. The source of this electricity is food and oxygen. A good diet and particularly water (the brain comprises 80% water) as well as exercise are essential to brain functioning. Research shows that the brain is not the only place where memory is stored. Muscles throughout our bodies have a capacity to remember. This is why movement and the use of all our senses are important learning skills.
50% of a person’s ability to learn is developed in the first 4 years of life. 30% is developed by the 8th birthday. These are the pathways on which all future learning is based. After the age of 10 branches that have not made connections die off. Youngsters are their own best educators, parents their first best teachers. We must enable children to use all their senses in the world’s best classroom— the environment. Children develop in patterned ways these can be built upon and strengthened through routines. Above all reading, writing, maths any learning should be FUN. The key to unleashing this potential to learn is family learning.
This page was last updated on 09/19/09.
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