Here are six suggested accelerated learning outcomes from using structured direct instruction by showing 1-second per card flashcards or computer images for infants 3 months to 3 years with no more than a total of 15 minutes a day.
1. Creates a loving bond
This approach to learning is enhanced with emotional well-being; one of its goals is building a loving bond between the parent and the child. It builds on an already established close loving relationship. Hugs, praise, smiles, cheers, giggles and deep sighs of satisfaction accompany this method. Contrary to what some have thought, it is not a hothouse approach. Rather it results when there is a close emotional bond between the parent and the child that serves to enable the child to learn more efficiently, to use their imagination in more creative ways and to embrace a learning approach that champions what they can accomplish. In fact, if a parent pushes a child to learn this way, the loving bond is broken and the method becomes ineffective.
2. Heightens senses
Relaxation techniques begin the learning session, followed by photographic memory enhancement and input that heightens the senses. These techniques impact the part of the brain that seems to work with tangible facts taken in with the five outer senses – sight, sound, taste, touch and smell as well as the part of the brain that recognizes the subtle wave frequencies of light, sound, thought, emotion, and magnetism that are not always apparent to the outer senses.
3. Increases mental creativity
Building strong circuits of neural connections provides a child with additional memory power and integrative functioning potential. Because imagination is encouraged and strengthened, when children use the right brain pathway, they know no limits. They can invent, play and create anything their hearts desire. When you open the pathway to the right brain, you access your natural capacity for: photographic memory, speed reading, multiple language acquisition, computer-like math calculation, perfect pitch, intuition, creativity, invention and advanced visualization. The resonating quality of the brain results in an amazing, almost magical intelligence all its own.
4. Makes learning easy and joyful
Because our unconscious brain is absorbing information from the environment at lightning speed, and our conscious brain is plodding many miles behind, the experience of learning with the unconscious brain is not something we normally think about. We are mostly concerned about the few facts before us. Yet, the reality is that the unconscious brain has more to do with learning than the conscious brain. This approach works for any age.
5. Uncovers genius
Helping our children realize their highest potential, free from our expectations, is the greatest gift we can give back to life. A newfound sense of self is the goal for any age. Accelerated learning for 0 – 3 year olds embraces the same principles as for any other age, but it is not remedial at this stage. Infants are at the peak of their ability to absorb with their right brain functions. What can emerge is an ability that was dormant and might have stayed dormant without the outside stimulation.
6. Continues the work nature has begun
It is now common knowledge that learning results from the stimulation of parts of the brain that seem to activate and integrate the left and right hemispheres to work together harmoniously in ways that increase cognitive power. Nature gives every infant a head start for the first year of life. On its very own, the brain organizes millions of synapses into coherent mental patterns that account for acute vision, mobility, speech, etc. 1
Researcher Craig Ramey found that brain power would level off after age one if exposure in the environment didn’t take over and continue to provide the brain with sufficient stimulus to keep it growing and developing to its maximum capability. He found out that no amount of stimulation later in life ever closes the gap between the trajectory of what might have been with stimulation and what cognition is because of lack of stimulation. 2 That is a directive for early stimulation from a “mainstream” theorist.
Still Not Convinced?
Do you still find yourself wondering about the premise of accelerated learning for babies? Are you thinking, “Aren’t they already so accelerated in their learning that they leave adults in the dust anyway? Won’t they just develop naturally if things are left to nature to prune and shape the brain?” People often ask why would you want a toddler to read or multiply in their heads? The only answer that can be given is why not? But only if the learning that develops the reading and math skills is completely stress free and fun for the infant.
Consider the way an infant learns language. All day long he/she hears sounds – millions of combinations of sounds and somehow from this exposure day in and day out, he/she develops the ability to reproduce language correctly. Showing 15 minutes of images side by side compared with a day spent absorbing sounds in the environment seems like it should be a piece of cake to the infant mind and it is, if it is not forced on the infant.
Lifelong damage and a dislike of all that resembles formal schooling could result if the learning were forced and regimented. This means that for success to occur the adult in the equation must be totally nonattached to the results and this is not easy for some parents and teachers who want their effectiveness to be measured by how well the child is doing, and what they are learning. In the case of learning to speak, as adults, we can’t be attached to the results because we have to trust that our child will speak just like every other child we have encountered, even if they aren’t speaking to us today. It’s not unlike that with the visual image input as well. Have faith and trust in the incredible brain of an infant.
If a child can read at 3, a whole world of information opens to them. If they develop perfect pitch they will never lose it. If they can add in their heads, they will enjoy math class in kindergarten and beyond. And they will have learned these things when the brain is at the peak of absorption from the environment.
What scientists are learning is that when synapses fire over and over, they leave a myelinated sequence of connections that result in learning. So by “practicing” — by inputing information to a young child’s brain — you are assisting in the myelination process and increasing learning. That seems like working with nature not against it.
Right brain education will not be every one’s cup of tea. There is a learning curve requiring the shedding of a lot of preconceived ideas about how we teach and learn. It is not easy to become a right brain educator if you are focused on the goals of learning and not the process. It really helps if you have intuitive abilities developed yourself, are familiar with internal brain wave states, and can relax and calm your mind and approach the child with all the love in your heart. I have watched parents and teachers working with children using flashcards and other accelerated techniques and it was obvious that not all led with love and respect for the child as their primary motivator, or really understood the underlying reasons for what they were doing. So, a very important concept I would like to underline is that accelerated learning is maximized when there is a joyful, heartfelt exchange between the adult and the child.
These techniques can be misused. Do we want to create children who have mental access to a vast compendium of information but do not have a developed moral sense? From my own meditations on the question “Why use it?” the answer goes beyond the obvious one of developing the right brain abilities. I believe these abilities tie into the soul senses and create the open door for a higher expression of the frequencies of caring and support between the adult and child in learning environments which will follow the individual into adulthood.
My theory is that as trust and relaxation predominate in learning experiences and the imaging abilities are enhanced as a vital tool, the soul too takes benefit from the right brain/accelerated approach to learning. Without sounding too much like a romanticist, I believe I can foresee in the far distant future a time when this type of education will become widespread. And as a result, intuitive states will be heightened in people, meaning that there will be a friendlier, more helpful, happier and contented civilization. Smarter too.
Dr. Celeste A. Miller
- Ramey, C. (2007). Author’s notes taken at Carolina Abecadarian Project Presentation at the National Invitational Conference of the Early Childhood Research Collaborative held at the University of Minnesota Center for Early Education and Development.