Not All Children's Learning Products Are Created Equal
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There's a lot of children's learning products to choose from out there. But not all are designed using proper learning methods. In fact, many of these methods can actually interfere with your child's cognitive developmental progress.
So, how can you tell which are the good ones and which aren't? That's what I'm going to show you! Follow these tips and you'll be able to spot the right children's learning products every time.
By the way, here's a link to a pdf for more information and references supporting our findings.
So, here we go!
Ask yourself these questions:
Number 1: For my newborn child up to about 6 years of age: Does this educational product contain distorted, unrealistic cartoon art of animals and objects, or does it contain real-life accurately rendered drawings and photographs?
If the answer is distorted imagery, it's not suitable for your child.
Between these ages, your child is at the stage in development where their brain takes in everything they see, hear, touch, taste and smell… as reality – they can't tell the difference between what's real and what's not.
For example: If they're shown Big Bird from Sesame Street, they'll think it's a real bird that talks and dances. Their brain forms distorted memory connections of what a large bird looks like and how it acts.
On the other hand, if they are shown a photo of an emu, although ugly and relatively boring, your child's brain will have an accurate memory of what large birds actually look like.
Find materials that contain accurate depictions of animals and objects like cars, trees, etc. These will properly stimulate your child's brain at these young ages.
Number 2: For my children of any age: Does this product use music with a syncopated beat like rock & roll or does it use classical-style music?
If the answer is rock music, stay away from it, especially with young children.
Research shows most rock music can actually rewire the brain toward more violent, destructive thoughts and behaviors.
Music such as Baroque have the same beats per minute as the Alpha brain wave state, which is the most receptive alert state of mind we can be in - and is ideal for learning. It's in harmony with the natural rhythm of the human body.
Look for learning products that contain no music or use classical music in the background that's not too loud to become a distraction.
Number 3: For products that teach how to read and write: Do they use uppercase letters or lowercase letters to teach with?
If the answer is uppercase, you're in trouble!
95% of written text is lowercase. Writing in uppercase is teaching improper grammar skills because in the real world, only 5% of what we write is in capital letters.
Number 4: Does this reading product teach the names of letters or does it teach the phonetic sounds of letters?
If the answer is the names of letters, your child is learning incorrectly.
Teaching letter symbols before their phonetic sounds creates confused learning and contradicts the ways your child's young brain acquires language.
Young children first need to learn through concrete concepts such as the phonetic sounds of letters.
Only after children have mastered these sounds should they be introduced to abstract concepts such as the names of those letters.
Number 5: Does this game for my young child have too many distracting elements going on?
One example is a flash card video I saw on YouTube. If flashes animals that are surrounded by distracting elements that make the animals hard to see.
According to learning experts, everything but the subject matter should be eliminated and that object should have plenty of blank space around it. This allows the child's right brain to instantly take it in. Also, be sure the flash games you choose don't use all uppercase words as I mentioned earlier.
Number 6: Is this flash card game or video going to slow?
I've seen way too many flash card games and videos on YouTube go as such a slow pace, they nearly put me to sleep! Plus these don't activate the right brain like they should.
Flash card lessons need to play at a rapid pace… 1 object every 1 to 2 secs.
See our video about rapid flashing in our channel for more on this.
Number 7: Does this flash card game or video use a voice with a foreign accent?
Ideally, you want children's learning products that teach word sounds and reading to have the same accent your child is used to hearing.
It can be confusing to your child hearing an English word spoken with a foreign accent and not know which way to say it.
Number 8: Is the game or video you child playing contain stressful or violent images?
Stress releases the hormone cortisol in the body. Cortisol is toxic to brain cells so it interferes with core functions like memory.
Keep your young children away from children's learning products with violent or stressful videos and games.
Also, we spent many hours scouring YouTube for the right learning videos you'll see in our playlists.
So, if you want the very best learning experience for your child's cognitive development, follow our advice, check out our stores and read our blog posts!