I was thinking of how to optimize my kiddos’ ability to learn, but I wanted to improve the processes already in place rather than making them learn something to improve the way they learn something. Yeah, the common sense just isn’t there for me.
The two factors that I felt I could work on were ensuring their restfulness and cleanliness.
I will start with the cleanliness.
I know there’s a difference in the way my kids function when the house is messy versus when it’s spotless. I further knew that there had to, somewhere, be scientific evidence to prove it. Well, I found it, and it affects the mind more than I thought.
I discovered Robert Cohen’s The Development of Spatial Cognition and decided that deep cleaning every time is the only way to go for me. Here’s why:
“Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment”
It was a study done over two decades ago. In the gathering of information, the observers gave organized homes high scores. Organized = relevance in both location and utility according to a family’s set schedule. Conversely, low scores were given to untidy homes, where routine activity occurs haphazardly in location and timing. These scores were then applied to an assessment of children of ages 3-1/2 and 4. Check this out:
“Those [pre-schoolers] from homes that had been given high ratings on the organization measure had significantly higher IQ scores than children from low-scoring, messy homes.”
A higher intelligence quotient. Really.
I’ve always been a master multi-tasker. Objective: Getting lots of things done in a big ball of done-ness. This method has lost both its appeal and its effectiveness. I’m trying my best to get a handle on the one-thing-at-a-time approach. I guess in cleaning, I’m going from macro to micro.
I like sleep. I think sleep is amazing. But, I don’t have excellent sleeping habits. We keep our kids on schedule, but when it comes to us… occupying the back burner would be an improvement.
“It is recommended that infants (three to 11 months) get 14 to 15 hours of nightly sleep, while toddlers get 12 to 14 hours, children in pre-school 11-13 hours and school-aged children between 10-11 hours. Adolescents are advised to get nine hours of nightly sleep and adults seven to eight hours.” -Science Daily.
Okay, fine. But what happens to their minds if that doesn’t happen?
I took this directly from the Department of Philosophy at Goteborg University:
This is a brilliant summation of everything I wanted to know. What our kids feel (subjective) juxtaposed with what we see (objective) when they are not adequately rested.
Take these things into account. That’s all. Be incredibly mindful of how they’re learning first… then move on to the what. If you do, the minds of the kids in our lives will become more prepared for pretty much anything that comes their way.
I have only listed restfulness and cleanliness as external factors in our kids’ attainment of information. What other perpetual conditions can you think of for us to collectively improve for the sake of mind function?