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9 Ways to Make Your Kids Smarter  

2008-12-15 22:17:56|  分类: 外语 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Is intelligence an inherited gift or can it be nurtured and enhanced by the right environment? The answer appears to be both. While intelligence clearly has a genetic component, scientific research is beginning to show that certain approaches boost learning and mental development in young minds. The following slides summarize proven strategies for building your child's brainpower.

Make music: Listening to your child play the trombone isn't always a pleasurable experience, but music lessons can be a fun way to engage in right-brain learning. According to a study by University of Toronto researchers, organized music lessons appear to benefit children's IQ and academic performance鈥攁nd the more years the student takes lessons, the greater the effect. The study found that taking music lessons in childhood was a clear predictor of better grades in high school and a higher IQ in adulthood. So help your children release their inner Mozart, sign them up for the school band or private lessons.

Breast-feed: Mother's milk is elemental brain food. Research consistently has shown that breast-feeding has multiple benefits for growing infants. It prevents dangerous infections and provides essential nourishment. Danish researchers have discovered that breast-feeding can make babies both healthier and smarter. The study found that infants who breast-fed for nine months grew up to be significantly more intelligent than those who breast-fed for one month or less. The bottom line: If breast-feeding works for you, make an early investment in your child's health. Breast-feeding your infant can deliver long-term dividends.
Foster fitness: Studies by University of Illinois researchers have shown a strong relationship between fitness scores and academic achievement among children in primary school. Participation in organized sports fosters confidence, teamwork and leadership, according to research by the Oppenheimer Funds. This study also found that 81 percent of women business executives played team sports as girls. So instead of retiring to the TV after dinner, consider throwing a ball around or going for a walk. Even better: Encourage your child to get involved in an organized physical activity or school sport
Surprise! Play video games: Video games get a bad rap. Yes, many are violent, solitary and mindless, but stick to the ones that develop children's strategic thinking and planning skills and the ones that promote teamwork or creativity. Educational toy companies like Leapfrog are now creating games for small children and even toddlers that enhance motor skills and memory. A recent study conducted at the University of Rochester found that participants who played video games recognized and learned visual cues much faster than their counterparts who did not play video games. British teachers have begun using some video games in the classroom.
Trash the junk food: Cutting out sugar, trans fats and other junk food from your child's diet and replacing them with high-nutrient alternatives can do wonders for early childhood mental and motor development鈥攅specially in the first two years of life. For example, kids need iron for healthy brain-tissue development, as nerve impulses move more slowly when children are iron-deficient. And studies show that poorly nourished children have trouble fighting infections, which causes them to miss school and fall behind their peers. Pay attention to what your kids are eating, and improved grades may follow.
Nurture curiosity: Experts say parents who show curiosity and encourage their children to explore new ideas teach them a valuable lesson: Seeking knowledge is important. Support your kids' hobbies and interests by asking them questions, teaching them new skills and taking them on educational outings to develop intellectual curiosity.
Read!: This tried-and-true method sometimes gets overlooked in the rush to adopt the latest IQ-boosting technology, but reading is a sure-fire, low-tech way to improve learning and cognitive developing in children of all ages. Read to your children from an early age, sign your child up for a library card and keep the house stocked with books
Breakfast breeds champions: A strong body of research dating back to the 1970s shows that eating breakfast improves memory, concentration and learning. And children who don't eat breakfast tend to tire easier, be more irritable and react less quickly than those who begin the day with a solid meal. With today's hectic schedules, a full sit-down breakfast isn't always possible. But even an energy bar and a glass of milk can go a long way towards helping your kids stay focused and engaged during school hours.

Play mind games: Chess, crosswords, cryptograms, riddles鈥攖hey all train the brain to perform mental gymnastics. Games like Sudoku can be fun while promoting strategic thinking, problem-solving and complex decision-making. Keep brainteasers around the house and challenge your children to help you solve the trickier problems.

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