Brain Scan Now Shows How Kids Learn
At some point, most kids quit counting on their fingers and just know that three plus four equals seven. Now through Stanford University researchers, scientists have peeked into the brains of 28 children, as they solved simple addition problems, using a brain-scanning MRI machine. The findings are simply genius!
What scientists learned is something all parents can benefit from. The kids who were drilled at home to memorize their simple math tables made out the best. Dr. Kathy Mann Koepke of the National Institutes of Health, which funded the research, said the experience the child gets at home really does matter! Most children make the switch from finger counting to just knowing and remembering when they're eight to nine years old. How well kids make that shift is a predictor to their ultimate math achievement.
Those kids who are slower impair their math learning later on. The brain's hippocampus is similar to a computer's RAM or memory. This study suggests if you train the brain at an early age, it will help ensure your child is working with the fastest possible processor. So drill your kids! While the study focused on math, it also found that kids who match sounds to letters earlier learn to read better and faster.