What if there was a way to train yourself to think faster, react quicker, remember more and literally make yourself smarter? Chances are, you’d give it a go. Now imagine the potential this could unleash in our kids, and that’s educational dynamite right there, according to advocates of whole brain learning here in the UAE.
Mum-of-two Tamam Baroush Tabari gave up a successful career in corporate law to found the company Bright Minds, tapping into exactly this potential. “The majority of people start becoming left-brain dominant from around the age of six and most academic systems promote left-brain learning skills such as numeracy, literacy and science,” she tells us.
“We know the right side of the brain is responsible for creativity, confidence and intuition, while the left side is in charge of logic and problem-solving, and so whole brain training works on activating the right side of the brain and helps children utilise it for longer. Thereby developing their intuition, improving attention span and memory.”
A recent US study found that less than six hours of brain training games played over the course of ten weeks enabled lower-achieving primary school children, with patchy attendance levels, to catch up with their regularly attending peers in Maths and Languages. A second study found that computerised brain training in young adults significantly enhanced their ability to detect patterns, reason and learn, meaning that practising these games was actually increasing their intelligence.
“Bright Minds classes include various activities designed to promote right and left brain stimulation in children aged six months to six years. So, while the class is a lot of fun for the children, it is also quite fast-paced and each activity is specifically included for a particular purpose,” Tabari explains.
Classes begin and end with a song and each session is packed with various right brain activities, such as imagination development exercises, memory games and activities that teach children to make decisions based on their gut instinct as opposed to logic and rationale.
There are also eye muscle development games – which helps with reading at a later age – flashcards that aid a child’s photographic memory, and different types of literacy, numeracy and problem-solving activities.
Meanwhile, over in Motor City, The Heguru Centre Dubai, a brand-new facility specifically focusing on right brain-training, has just opened. Principal Wilson Lee explains: “The Heguru concept was introduced 30 years ago by Japanese educators Hirotada and Ruiko Henmi as an innovative and effective way to educate children in the foundation years. With proven case studies and testimonials from parents and children alike, the Heguru method has now spread across 12 countries, with more than 30 centres globally.”
The KHDA-approved enrichment centre is aimed at children up to six years old and its class timings mean it’s suitable for children in nursery, kindergarten or pre-school. It’s also complimentary for home schoolers.
With proper right-brain stimulation, Lee explains, the programme seeks to equip children with skillsets such as improved concept comprehension, better concentration, photographic memory and visual imagination, that will facilitate their lifelong learning journey.
“With regular training, such skills will remain with the child, so a six-year-old who has been attending right-brain training from a young age, for example, might show great imaging abilities, creativity and intuitive senses and he or she will also have the potential to process massive amounts of information at a high speed. This is combined with great memory retention and language acquisition abilities, compared to a child who hasn’t done any training.”
If we look at the pace at which the education landscape is changing, it seems like our kids are going to need these skills younger than ever to keep up. And if they can do this while having fun, surrounded by their peers, it sounds like a win-win situation to us. Where do we sign up?
www.thebrightmindsintitute.com and www.hegurudxb.ae.
Ways to train their brains
Logic, planning and reasoning all come into play with this classic game, as do deductive powers, problem-solving and memory. It’s also a good way to add an educational element to playdates.
Brain Training for Kids
A collection of fun brain teasers to help train memory, speed, flexibility and attention in the form of 13 fun and challenging neuro-psychological tasks and games.
Available for iOS.
Kids Brain Trainer
Almost 150 games designed to exercise and develop motor and cognitive skills, such as visual attention, visual-spatial relations, short-term memory, visual-motor coordination and tactile skills.
Available for iOS and Android.
Sea Memory Game
Race to match the underwater sea creatures in pairs and see who can turn over the most in twos before time runs out. A fun and lighthearted activity that will exercise the right side of the brain.