Academic success depends on solid foundations. From birth, our brain and body is growing in response to the environment around us. With the correct learning environment children can reach developmental stages, where they are able to build one skill upon another.
This is how they create the foundations for all future learning. In some cases, children have incomplete developmental stages for the first seven years, which affects their ability to learn effectively, resulting in gaps in learning.
Building Blocks For Learning
When a child’s brain directs the body to perform any motor task, it requires adequate functioning of the sensory system. The first three to develop in a child are:
- Vestibular System (Balance)
- Tactile System (Touch)
- Proprioceptive System (Movement)
These three systems must be able to acquire the information, organise it and then perform the task required. If a child is not given the opportunities to explore their learning environment, move their bodies and be outside in nature they are not receiving the opportunities for the brain to build neurological connections to lay the foundations for learning.
The final two building blocks for learning are the:
- Visual System
- Auditory System
Vision, unlike sight, is a skill we develop as we integrate our senses. We learn to make use of our visual system through movement. It teaches the eyes to respond to movements. If the visual system is underdeveloped it has a significant impact on learning. Our eyes are the most used system in school.
The auditory system works is connected with vestibular functions. The vestibular and auditory nerves join in the ear canal. Anything that disrupts the auditory system will affect the vestibular system and motor planning.
For a child to be ready for learning (reading, writing, maths etc) each component needs to be mature and be wired correctly in the brain. Immaturities or weaknesses, are likely to become evident when a child starts literacy and numeracy.