Which brain states help a child to learn?

When it comes to learning, a child's brain state plays a significant role in their ability to absorb and process information effectively. Generally, brain states characterised by calmness and excitement are more conducive to learning, as explained in Brainbow, than those associated with sadness or anger. Read on to find out why.

Calmness promotes focus and attention

When a child is calm or in the Green Brain, their brain is in an optimal state for learning. Calmness helps them focus their attention on the task at hand and maintain a higher level of concentration. This allows them to process and retain information more effectively.

Reduced stress levels enhance memory and learning.

In the Green Brain, stress levels are low. When stress is minimised, the brain can function optimally. This is important because stress hormones can hinder the brain's ability to form and consolidate memories, making it more challenging for children to learn and retain new information. A calm state helps to create an environment where memory formation and learning can occur more efficiently.

Excitement boosts motivation and engagement.

When a child is excited or in the Yellow Brain, their brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and motivation. This heightened state of arousal can be beneficial for learning as it increases engagement and the willingness to explore new concepts. Excitement creates a positive emotional connection to the learning process, making it more enjoyable and enhancing the child's motivation to learn and discover.

Agitated or reactive emotions hinder cognitive processing.

Conversely, when a child is in an agitated, Orange Brain state or a reactive, Pink Brain state, their brain is often preoccupied with negative emotions. These emotional states can hinder cognitive processing and impede learning. Emotions such as worry, annoyance and anger can consume cognitive resources, making it difficult for a child to concentrate on the material being presented or to engage with the learning activities effectively.

Emotional wellbeing supports overall cognitive development.

Children's emotional wellbeing plays a crucial role in their overall cognitive development. When children are in the Green or Yellow Brain state, their brain is more receptive to learning experiences and can make meaningful connections between new information and existing knowledge. On the other hand, Blue, Orange or Pink Brain states can interfere with cognitive processes, making it harder for children to make these connections which hinders their overall learning progress.

It's important to note that emotions are a natural part of human experience, and children will inevitably experience a range of emotions, including sadness and anger, as they grow and learn. All their emotions serve a purpose! By understanding the wide spectrum of emotions that we experience as humans, parents can support and nurture their child's emotional intelligence using effective resources like the Brainbow.

The Brainbow was created to teach parents how to get their little crazies back into the optimal brain states by learning ideal ways to respond to their spectrum of emotions. Free with any Brainbow resouce is a BONUS side-effect for adults! By using the Brainbow to support your kids, your own emotional intelligence will improve giving your better control of your own emotions. Who doesn't need that?!!

Victoria Jenkins is an educator, facilitator, author and the brains behind Brain Essentials. She lives in Queenstown, New Zealand with her lovely husband, who thinks he's hilarious, and their two strong, active daughters who inspire all Brain Essentials products.