Message from the Principal: Helping Your Child Learn

Note: This was written by our previous principal Mr. Gardner, but it is still good information.

I recently attended a seminar titled the “New Science of Learning” by Dr. Marty Burns. She has a Doctorate degree from Northwestern University and is on its teaching staff. She has published over twenty-five articles on how the brain functions and she is in the process of writing a book on the same subject matter. Her credentials are impressive and the presentation was professional and worthwhile. I gained a great amount of knowledge. As educators, we try to stay abreast of the latest research in many areas. Brian research and how learning occurs has exploded over the last six years. I would like to share with you a few items from the presentation that you may find beneficial for your own children. Please share this information with someone else.

It was recommended that children not watch more than two hours of television per day. It appears this is a passive activity that actually may have a negative impact on how the brain formulates information. I would encourage parents to make this a part of their household rules. Another interesting idea concerned the viewing and playing of video games. Although the author stated that there is no evidence that this is harmful, she did state that the brain is plastic in nature in its ability to reshape how information is connected. If a child spends lots of time playing video games, he/she will become very good at playing video games. The same idea applies to other areas of interest. If we expect our children to improve in math, reading, or writing, they should be involved in these activities. Another idea was the importance of developing language for children from the ages of 0 to four years of age. The brain is forming and developing rapidly during these formative years, and the more a child is exposed to language the more likely he/she will find learning to be easier as he/she approaches school. It was suggested that parents read with their children, and that parents should have frequent conversations with their children. Please consider the above ideas and reflect on how you and your children are interacting and what types of activities involve your children.

Mr. Gardner