Brain Training - What Is It and How Can It Help With Homeschooling?
Have you ever wondered why one child learns so easily while another struggles with each new lesson? It comes down to what occurs inside the brain as a human learns something new. As a homeschooling family, you need to understand this process so you can make the learning process as easy as possible for each of your children.
The learning process starts when your child begins reading a textbook, focuses on a computerized lesson or listens to you or another teaching verbally presenting something new. The brain relies on three types of cognitive functioning to determine what this new information is and whether it is already stored in the brain’s memory bank:
If the information is not already stored in long-term memory, the brain assumes it is new information and neurons in different areas of the brain work together to understand the information. This is where higher levels of thinking come into play. The following cognitive abilities are called upon when the brain tries to fully understand the new information and store it away in long-term memory:
Your child must take what they see or hear
and use their reasoning and logic skills to thoroughly understand the
information so it can be stored in long-term memory. If there are weaknesses
with any of these cognitive abilities, your child will struggle to learn. You
may already recognize which phase of the learning process presents a problem
for your child based on your homeschooling
If you notice your child seems to understand
new lessons when they are first taught but tends to forget those lessons
overnight, their brain may suffer from a weakness in short or long-term memory.
If they struggle to understand math or reading is difficult for them, then
there may be problems with some of the higher-thinking skills.
What Is Brain Training?
Brain training is the science of strengthening weaknesses within
the brain for faster, easier and more comfortable learning. Even children who
have no learning disabilities can benefit from exercises that strengthen all of
their cognitive processing skills. This comes down to the remarkable ability of
the brain to change and grow as new knowledge is absorbed. It is known as
neuroplasticity since neurons within the brain adapt to changes in the
environment or within the body by bonding together to create new neural
Since the brain has the ability to change
based on the stimulus processed from the outside world, you have the ability to
help your child create neural pathways that will help them excel academically.
The most efficient way to do this is through brain
training exercises that routinely force the brain to process information
and focus on problems that will strengthen your child’s cognitive abilities.
Brain Training and Homeschooling
Many charter and private schools are implementing brain training programs to help children excel, but you can do the same for your child in your home. If you notice that your child suffers from poor memory or the reasoning skills needed to understand more complex mathematics, you may develop some simple brain exercises that force them to use those skills over and over. The more repetition you provide, the stronger your child’s neural pathways will become for that skill.
The easiest way to provide this type of instruction is to use programs like BrainWare Safari. This program is set-up like a computer video game, but it actually exercises a child’s brain to strengthen more than 40 different cognitive skills. Studies conducted at charter schools have shown significant improvements in memory, perceptual processing, attention span and thinking skills.
Programs that allow your child to strengthen
all cognitive abilities can be used in addition to exercises you create to
focus on your child’s individual weaknesses. You must commit to one brain training approach for at least two or
three months before you determine how much progress your child is actually making.
That gives the brain time to make the changes needed to improve skills.
You might ask how I came to write this article about brain training. Well, I first looked into brain training for my mom (born in 1928) who lives with us. She was interested in exploring ways to keep her brain sharp as she aged. I did some research, wrote this article and purchased a 2 year brain training program (family plan for up to 5 people). Our entire family has been using it since June, 2013. We are committed to the program and try to do it every day. It is a lot of fun. We purchased the Lumosity program. You can read my review of Lumosity here. I haven't used either of the two programs mentioned in this article, but you can check them out further by clicking on their respective links above (BrainWare Safari and GeniusBrainPower).
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A Favorite Bible Verse: "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6