Debra Lambrecht, Founder, Caulbridge Education | October 28, 2017
When viewing these colored images of a brain, it may not be obvious if we’re looking at a child or an adult brain. The centers that control critical thinking, spatial movements, language or executive functioning are developed at birth. What are NOT developed are the neuropathways and connections between the centers. Neuropathways are developing at an astronomical rate before the age of 5, are not fully developed until the age of 25 and continue being regenerated throughout our adult life.
While it may seem counter-intuitive, healthy brain development does not require stimulation of those control centers, but rather the development of the neuropathways. Three factors critical to building healthy neuropathways are: Movement of the body, Nature and Human interaction.
Factors that interrupt or interfere with healthy development are an OVER or UNDER stimulation of the senses, often through too much technology, trauma or toxins. These factors rarely occur in isolation, for example, childhood stress and anxiety becomes toxic to the body and brain development.
Neuropathways begin as spider-web like connections that with repetition can build to stronger networks which may look more like a thin cord. Your child’s neuro-development becomes their unique signature that is the basis upon which future behavior and learning will be possible.
Caulbridge School resists the trend to skip over this essential brain development for more short-sighted goals. It may seem logical that exposing children to as many experiences as possible would foster curiosity in children; however, we find it can have the opposite effect of overloading the senses and destabilizing children. Instead, we pay attention to fostering healthy development through movement of the body, time in nature and respectful social interaction. When the young child develops a foundation for trusting themselves and their world, curiosity naturally unfolds.