Palme School: useful articles about teaching children the Russian language

A Bit (Or A Lot) About Investments (Russian Language Learningn As An Example)

The statement about early learning is not empty words. It's a result that American scientists from Virginia and Pennsylvania came up with. They have been studying children's mind for 40 years and found that developmental activities affect children's brain size and intelligence.

112 children under 3 months from single-parent and poor families were selected to participate in the experiment. The children lived with their families, were on full medical care, and were well fed.

The first group of children was read books, shown pictures, given educational toys and socialized five days a week. As they grew up, the program became more complicated. In the second group, the children grew up in usual conditions, without any intensive education.

Scientists monitored their lives for 40 years and then made the final conclusions. It turns out that before the age of 21, participants in the first group studied better, passed intellectual tests more successfully, were more self-confident and communicative. Career, family, science, and commerce also formed and developed better in the participants of the first group.

Why it happens

If we explain how it works in terms of neurobiology, the layman will instantly fall asleep. Let's try to explain the process with a simple example. It doesn't give the exact wording, but it explains the meaning.

A child's brain initially has more neurons than it needs. It is as if they were created “for future use.” Neurons have to connect into synapses (connections). Every second about 700 new neuronal connections are formed in a child's brain. Some neurons are programmed to assist for the heart’s work, breathing, and so on. But some neurons sit and wait for tasks. As soon as the child has a new experience, a neuron is assigned a function. The more experiences, the more neurons will be occupied.

If a child doesn't learn new information, doesn't get new experiences, then the neurons will die off because they are not needed, they are not in demand. If a child constantly learns something, reads books, solves complex problems, learns languages, reads poems, trains memory, develops attention, then the neurons do not die off.

What do we do?

It is not enough to give neurons new functions – it is necessary to keep synapses active. And that means continuing learning and development, enriching the child with new experiences. If the connection in the brain is not used regularly, the brain removes such a connection.

The older a child is, the more formed his or her brain is and the harder it is to absorb new knowledge. That's why we recruit children aged from 4 to 14 for classes, to unlock their potential and help them become successful adults.

It resembles a tree. A young tree is flexible. We can shape it, guide it in the direction we want it to grow. We won’t be as successful if we want to shape an already grown tree.