Many parents begin to teach a child from birth: in addition to developing motor skills and speech, foreign languages, painting and mathematics lessons are also used. True, the benefits of such activities are not supported by research by scientists. The founder of the network of children's centers and the author of the book on parenting, Natalya Alekhina, told Life around what potential is inherent in children from birth, how to develop it and not harm it.
Co-founder of CityKids Children's Centers, author of the book "# First365"
What is early development?
The term "early development" itself officially appeared relatively recently - in 1971. Its creator, one of the founders of Sony Corporation, Masaru Ibuka, proved the need for a conscious, focused approach to the development of children at an early age - up to three years. He opposed the generally accepted position of non-interference and confidence that in these years the child develops on his own. Over time, the term has transformed from "early development" to "accelerated development" and a fashion has emerged for learning foreign languages almost from birth, spoken accounts up to one hundred to two years, and professional sports since three years.
Do children really need it
Sometimes intensively studying children are really ahead of the school curriculum and have excellent memory, but at the same time they hardly understand and express their emotions, cannot play team games, are practically devoid of creative skills and are generally extremely unsure of themselves. Similar results forced psychologists and methodologists around the world to turn to the origins and look at the development of children from a scientific point of view.
In recent decades, scientists have been conducting various studies in the field of the work of the children's brain. Thus, studies conducted by British experts Baby Sensory, noted an interesting dynamics of the development of neural connections in the brain, which directly affect the mass of the brain. Neural connections are formed due to the acquisition of some experience in the interaction of neurons with each other. In the first three years of life, brain mass grows almost exponentially (0.5 kilograms in a newborn, kilograms per year, one and a half - in three years, while the weight of an adult's brain is about three kilograms). Moreover, the child in the first year of life has almost twice as many neurons as the average adult.
It would seem that with such dynamics the percentage of people with high IQ should be much higher. But here the simple principle of use it or lose it applies (use or lose). Neurons that fail to communicate with other brothers in a neural connection simply die. Therefore, the first three years of life, when the most active process of formation and strengthening of neural connections, is one of the most important periods in life. It was at this time that the foundation of the unborn child was laid. And the most favorable period is the first six months of life, when the body needs the least effort to form these useful connections.
Experts note that not all areas of the brain are equally susceptible to the formation of neural connections in the future. It is in the first three years that it is most effective to develop the senses, the emotional sphere of the baby, and take care of the development of his speech, motor and social skills.
With regard to the development of intelligence, the corresponding brain regions are included in children closer to three or four years of age, so it is pretty pointless to make a one-year-old / two-year-old child learn foreign languages and memorize any information; he is simply not physically fit for this yet: his body this time is learning completely different things. But ball games, which simultaneously involve both hands from the shoulders to the hands, contribute to the development of speech, and in the second year of life, the so-called Purkinje cells are formed in the baby's cerebellum, which are responsible not only for coordination of movements, but also for the speed of thought reactions.
Similar findings of scientists led to a revision of educational systems at the state level. So, in the United Kingdom, special standards have been introduced in the field of development of children from one to seven years, where the main priorities are socio-emotional, personal and physical education, as well as the development of speech. Mathematics, grammar, music and other subjects are specialized there - they are taught already after the priority areas have been mastered. In some European countries, children of three years of age have a special discipline called small talk, where children learn to start and maintain a conversation in any situation. And American parents are actively developing children's communication skills - because it depends on communication skills and socialization skills whether they will take the child to one of the best kindergartens.
In general, kindergartens in Russia and abroad offer a huge number of the most diverse methods of early development - comprehensive, general and specialized, educational. Understanding them is not always easy, we examined the pros and cons of the five most popular methods.
Most popular techniques
The Glenn Doman Technique
Glenn Doman, an American physiotherapist, worked on a whole system of early development, but the most famous and accessible element was Doman’s cards - tablets with large words (namely, whole words, not letters) and sets (rather than individual numbers).
Pros: Visual memory training.
Minuses: The child perceives words, not individual letters, which is bad for his further logical development and the ability to creatively solve a particular problem. Inadequate socialization of children.
Baby Sensory Technique
This technique was developed in the UK and quickly became popular in many countries around the world, including Russia. They begin to engage in the development of the baby from birth. Baby Sensory focuses on the physical, emotional, and speech development of the child. Classes are formed taking into account age, so you can deal with Baby Sensory from the first days of the baby's life. Children receive sensory and social experience, and mothers receive useful information for the development of the child. Kids actively show interest in other children, communicate in their own way and even make friends in their first year of life.
Pros: Excellent socialization and development of communication skills from the first days of a child’s life. Comprehensive development of the baby - creative, logical, physical and emotional.
Minuses: The insufficient prevalence of the program in Russia.
Makoto Shichida Methodology
Japanese professor Makoto Shichida believed it was imperative to stimulate the development of the child’s right hemisphere - creativity and intuition. The basis of his methodology is a slide show on various topics within 30-45 minutes. Makoto Shichida was convinced that such brain stimulation in children helps develop brilliant abilities and talents. As the participants in the experiments admitted, the whole process requires a lot of mother involvement - both at the stage of preparing presentations with slides (about a hundred slides per day), and during the involvement of the child. It just won’t work out with a child in a free play form.
Pros: Parents spend a huge amount of time with the baby, which favorably affects him.
Minuses: Too much involvement of mom in the process of preparing presentations. Little attention is paid to the development of the left hemisphere, and therefore to logic, motor skills and analytical abilities. The technique contains ambiguous esoteric elements.
The technique of Maria Montessori
The most popular methodology in Russia - it is according to it that most kindergartens and development centers work. The main goal of the methodology is the development of feelings, speech and understanding of order. The play space includes toys of various shapes and textures that the child must choose to play.
Pros:Toddlers learn to be attentive and disciplined, learn tactile perception of things. Thanks to games for the development of fine motor skills in children, the left hemisphere of the brain develops well, which further enhances their analytical abilities and logic.
Minuses:Minimal attention to the creative abilities of children and, as a consequence, poor development of the right hemisphere of the brain. Children do not develop physically - there are few sports games. Poor socialization of children - individual games are preferable to collective ones, kids become closed. For active and creative children, the technique is simply contraindicated.
The authors of the methodology are parents with many children, who primarily tried to teach children independence. At the core are simple things: work, proximity to nature, naturalness and practical creativity. The parent only creates conditions for the baby to develop, while the child has the right to make a choice, how much and what to do. The system is built on the principle of "from simple to complex" and encompasses a set of gradually developing and sporting tasks. A lot of attention is paid to the physical component - daily exercises, sports, hardening from birth are required.
Pros: Joint development of mother and baby. Mental and physical development of children.
Minuses: This is not a technique, but rather a lifestyle that cannot be maintained in an urban setting. Little attention is paid to the development of communication skills. Creativity is excluded in principle. Brutal hardening methods: pouring ice water, walking barefoot in the snow.
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