Wed, 14 May 2003 18:51:21 GMT

Brain Development.

Reading – Brain Development and why school is in such trouble.

Some conclusions:

  • In Chaos Theory, we know that “Initial Conditions” are important. This graph shows us why. Only 150 word difference at 2 drives over time a huge differential. The effort to change these trajectories builds on a log scale. We can do a lot with a little when we are very young but by the time we are about 15 we are locked in. Most of the remedial work is done at school where it will have little effect. Especially by grade 4. The optimal time to ensure that your kids will do well is to read a lot to them from 4 MONTHS ONWARDS. You might say that this is ridiculous. A Baby can't comprehend at 4 months. But they build pattern recognition. Their vocab is built as a direct result of the vocab that you use with them. So read up a level all the time.
  • To read to a 4 month old demands that you hold the baby as well. Touch is the other driver for development. We know that monkeys that are not touched and we know that orphans that are not touched develop very poorly. So reading to babies hits the two big drivers – vocab and touch.
  • The revolution in development will come less from a revolution at school and more from our recognition that the optimal time to learn is before 6! 
  • Infants and young children learn only one way – from play based experience – the opposite from how we teach at school.

[Robert Paterson's Radio Weblog]

This is precisely the kind of research that freaks parents out.  Apparently I'm behind in my reading to my 11 month year old and done with my six year old.  Never explicit realized the snuggling benefits of reading.  But it has to be said that while parents should be aware of early development drivers, simply doing your best is more than enough to raise great children and obsessive compulsion has a big downside.

My 11 month year old is experiencing a language explosion of Cambrian porportions.  Unfortunately or fortunately he thinks that all things dangerous are “hot.”  When he is inside, everything is “hot, hot, hot.”  When he is outside, everything is a “flower” and eats lots of dirt.

[Ross Mayfield's Weblog]

see ross's blog for more info, it seems an interesting enough topic, given the recent explosion of expectant mothers and dads.