KONOS-ing…..builds Bigger Brains

The first scientific proof of brain neuroplasticity came in the 1960’s and it shattered the scientific consensus that your brain was due to genetics and was unchangeably fixed.

Research showing the cerebral cortex could physically be altered to change the brain’s size by either enriched or impoverished environments at any age, from prenatal to very old age came from the published research of Marian Diamond, Ph.D., professor emerita of anatomy at the University of California, Berkley.

Enriched or Impoverish Rats

Her initial experiment, compare the brain size of three groups of rats. The three groups of rats had identical food, water, and cages, except the “enriched rats” were given all kinds of stimuli with which to experiment. The second set of rats merely watched the first group of rats interact with their stimuli, while the third group of rats was kept in another room without any stimuli and without any stimulated rats to watch. The results of this experiment found…

the cerebral cortex of the enriched rats was 6% thicker than the cortex of the impoverished rats based on different kinds of early life experiences. An enriched cortex shows greater learning capacity while an impoverished one shows a lesser learning capacity.

Stated another way, the results found increased environmental enrichment created brains that were larger and heavier with increased dendrite branching in brain cells. More dendrite branching at the two ends of each cell meant better communication from nerve cell to nerve cell.

Dr. Diamond’s results, published in 1964, not only shifted the scientific consensus of brain anatomy and capacity but helped to launch modern neuroscience.

Enriched or Impoverish Kids

What does rat research have to do with teaching your kids? EVERYTHING!!

Dr. Shirley O’Rourke, an education analyst and a public-school kindergarten teacher, affirmed the importance of enrichment experiences when she commented to Jan Healy in Healy’s book Endangered Minds.

Without experiences, there are no concepts; without concepts…there’s no attention span, because they [the students] don’t know what people are talking about.”

Dr. O’Rourke laments that today’s children come to school with fewer social skills, less language ability, less ability to listen, and less motor ability than in years past.

“Years ago, children had experiences…their parents took them places… they talked to them instead of at them… they read to them . . .  But today . . . what some adults seem to be calling experiences is to go buy a workbook,” concluded O’Rourke.

 

KONOS-ing is THE Ultimate Enrichment to build Bigger Brains

If we want a child to be an excellent writer and reader, we first start with a hands-on enrichment KONOS experiences that build concepts and hold the child’s attention. Because homeschoolers have fewer than 20 kids per class, “KONOS-ing” hands-on experiences are more do-able for homeschoolers than in a classroom.  Enrichment experiences combined with the unit’s reading and writing, locking the child’s mind on the wavelength of the unit increasing retention. How much easier it is for a child, while studying Medieval times, to write about the castle, if he has just built one with his brothers and sisters out of appliance boxes and labeled the parts with index cards…

OR….

while studying animal classification, for him to write a report on the starfish, that he not only has read about, seen on You Tube, dissected, but then dressed up as, and acted out! 

Moms have no trouble getting kids to write when kids write about subjects they are immersed in, rather than unrelated subjects out of the blue.

Do you want kids with bigger brains?  It’s simple – do “KONOS-ing” enrichment activities to stimulate your little guys brains while KONOS weaves your literature, history, science, and writing into a unit you can teach to all your kids.

TA-DAH!  “KONOS-ing”…the ultimate enrichment, builds Bigger Brains.

 

 

{The starfish costume is cut out of bedding foam egg crates bought for $5.00 from Wal-Mart.  Have the child lie down on the foam and drawn around him. Next cut out both sides and hole for his face. Then staple the front and back together. I never sew unless absolutely necessary!}