It may be cliché to say that every child is special. But StudyDog truly believes that every child is a genius at something. Whether it’s math, reading, animals… or even toilets.
But scientists now know that genius isn’t innate. It develops through repetition, hard work, and early learning experiences.
That is why it’s important to enrich your child’s learning — starting as early as possible! Today’s post explains why. It then shows you some ways to enhance your child’s learning and increase their brainpower.
Start As Early As Possible
Did you know that 75% of a child’s brain growth happens between the ages of 0-6?
And did you know that your child’s brain is 1/5 the size of yours… But it has twice as many synapses?
A synapse is a connection between brain cells. It is how they send messages to each other. Whenever you learn something new, you fortify or create a synapse.
And your child naturally has twice as many as you have! This means they are born to learn. Their brains are wired and they’re ready to absorb knowledge like a sponge.
But… starting around age 11, their brain begins a process called pruning. Pruning eliminates the brain’s weakest synapses.
This is why you need to provide your child with enrichment now. If they don’t use those synapses, they will lose them.
Enriched Education is Especially Important for Gifted Students
Prior to 3rd grade, it is very hard to know where your child stands academically. There are ways to find out how your child compares to others. But it is hard to see the difference between ability and maturity until age 8.
Think of it this way: like their bodies, kids’ brains grow at different rates. Being taller than the other kids when you’re 3 doesn’t mean you’ll still be taller at age 8. They might catch up – or even beat you!
As such, most schools shy away from calling a child “gifted” before 3rd grade. This saves teachers from telling some kids that they’re not gifted, after all.
But it also means that many gifted kids aren’t challenged until 4th grade. So they get bored. They misbehave. They disengage. And this can affect their attitude about school for the rest of their lives.
It’s a scary thought!
Enriching Your Child’s Learning
Now we know why enriched education is crucial. You can’t always control what’s going on in the school. But there are plenty of things you can do to enrich your child’s learning.
Let’s talk about them!
A love for reading and learning starts at home. Model your love for reading. Read aloud to your child – even if they’re able to read on their own.
And remember: you don’t want your child to be bored. Boredom kills curiosity. So focus on exploring their passions, rather than test scores. Even if their passion is toilets.
Find programs and museums where they can learn. Supply books, videos, podcasts and other materials to fuel their passions. Kids learn best when they love what they’re doing.
On that note, let them learn through play! Blocks, storytelling and music are all great ways to get their minds going. Nature, theater and sports can work wonders. But keep an open mind!
Kids also love computer games. Most games are mindless. But StudyDog is one that kids will enjoy for hours – while strengthening those important brain connections.
And take plenty of trips to the library. Explore magazines, graphic novels, documentaries and CDs – not just books.
Above all, listen. Listen to your child when they talk about their day. What part did they love most? What part disappointed them? Why? How do they feel about their teacher? What would they change about school?
By following these tips, you can help your child increase their brainpower – literally. So try them out! We’ll be surprised if you don’t have some fun, too.
StudyDog Parents: What do you do to keep your child engaged? What interests have they had that surprised you?