Cognitive fall back is not a technical term. In this article, I use it to describe the phenomenon experienced by many school-aged students over summer break. The excitement of a never-ending summer without teachers and homework often overshadows any notion of studying while on vacation from school.
Why Students Decline Over Summer Break
According to the Brookings Institution—a nonprofit organization that conducts research about problems facing US society—during the summer, students' achievement scores decline by about one month’s worth of school year learning. Children who have a better chance of avoiding the summer setback are those with access to resources such as libraries, activities with educated family members, or quality summer programs.
Alice Cooper has set the stage and summer break has arrived. That means long days in bathing suits, drinking water from the hose, lemonade stands, and of course, music. Whether your children prefer a hot day at the beach or a calm afternoon in with friends, did you know that practicing a musical instrument, or even just listening to music, can promote strong cognitive development and sustain cognitive function—even when school is out?
The average summer break for American students is about 70-90 days. According to some linguists, that’s enough time to become fluent in French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, or Swahili. If you spent 10 hours per day studying one of these foreign languages, you could achieve basic fluency in just 48 days. Extra time is required for more difficult languages such as Chinese or Arabic.
One of the main principles of Forbrain is retraining. When Alfred Tomatis was developing his ideas more than fifty years ago, there wasn’t the neuroscience research there is today, but today’s science has proven that Albert Tomatis was right – the brain can be retrained. This principle of neuroplasticity is now a key understanding of how the brain works – it is being retrained constantly.
This month I had the pleasure of speaking with Charlotte Davies, founder of a company called Fit-2-Learn, fierce researcher, and educationalist in England. In the first few moments of speaking with Charlotte, it was clear that she had a deep passion for helping people, especially children, reach their cognitive potential.
We are constantly programming our brains. While the brain is the main computer that drives so many functions of mind and body, it is also a computer we train with our thoughts and actions, mostly unconsciously.
Researchers are able to determine how well parts of our brains are functioning based on our handwriting. When there is a disruption in this process, clues to what’s happening in the brain can be seen in a person’s ability to write or draw. When a trained professional looks at a person’s handwriting and detects certain errors, a diagnosis of dysgraphia may be made.
A child is born and the one sense they have myelinated and ready for use is sound, so they turn their head to a sound and their limbs move automatically as a reflex action. Over the next 7 years the child will, hopefully, pass through the stages of development to gain conscious control of all their motor skills – it is a very busy time in a child’s life.
Short-term memory is the type of memory that holds onto information while we process it.
For example, while reading, we need to be able to remember the information at the beginning of a sentence in order to make sense of it once we get to the end.