The brain-based learning method focuses on the way people retain and recall information supported by neurological research and developments. In the twelve principles of brain-based learning, you see how the brain functions best. However, the brain-based learning method also focuses on the incorporation of the human senses to promote a better learning experience.
Since you can’t always be in the ideal classroom environment, it’s essential to know in which other ways you can keep your brain engaged. Not only does this help you to stay active, but it also helps you to develop better learning skills when you do find yourself in a learning environment again. Here are a few techniques you can follow at home.
Channel Your Inner Artist
A 2018 research shows that drawing works better to remember and recall information than reading or writing. Drawing out the information helps because it challenges you to use semantic (language), kinesthetic (movement), and visual (sight) processing methods.
When you read a word from a book, your brain does not have many other connections to this word than the memory that you’ve read it in a book. However, when you draw, you create at least three intertwined connections which make it easier to recall this information.
Now, you don’t need to become the new Van Gogh. You can use the material you’re currently learning about to create suitable graphs or helpful doodles, even if it’s a stickman comic. When you need to study for a test, you can try to create a poster consisting of all the relevant information, or look at some notebook inspiration photo’s on the internet to create an interactive notebook.
Take a Brain-Break
Brain-breaks are short breaks in which you reinvent the way you think about everyday life and objects. While there are multiple ways to take a brain-break, a great one you can practice at home is “The Junk Bag.”
Take an everyday object, or piece of junk, like a bottlecap, or an empty marker. Then, you try to look for ways in which you could use this everyday object for something else. Perhaps you can make chainmail with a load of bottlecaps, or you can use the empty marker as a repurposed paintbrush.
By looking at things from a different perspective, you challenge your brain to get creative and to stay active. This keeps you fresh and primed for learning.
When you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed, chances are that you feel like you can’t retain any information that you’re trying to learn. A helpful way to release this build-up energy is by moving.
Take a break whenever you feel stuck and try to move, even if it’s just a few steps. Give yourself a challenge, like doing 10 push-ups or running up the stairs 5 times. If that feels like too much movement, stand up, and focus on your breathing. Breathe in deeply for three seconds and hold your breath for another three seconds. Feel the air in your lungs and your blood flowing through your veins. Then, breathe out slowly for about 5 seconds and feel the air release.
Doing these kinds of exercises helps to release tension from the limbic brain. This is the part of the brain that focuses on emotions and motivation. When the pent-up energy is released, you can focus on learning again.
How controversial as it may seem, being bored actually helps to improve productivity. Ever since the upcoming of the internet and cellphones, we are more likely to start browsing some online pages, social media, and other platforms than to just sit down and do nothing. While there is nothing wrong with browsing your phone during downtime, it may prevent you from developing your brain.
When we’re bored, we let our mind wander freely. Ideas become plans, and plans become actions. Eventually, we notice new things we want to try out or ways to increase your potential. Boredom has been proven to improve your memory since you give your brain more time to process information.
So, put down your phone and take a daily break of 10 to 20 minutes to do nothing. Let your mind wander and see where it gets you. Lay down if it makes you feel better, as long as you don’t have any other distractions around you.
So, there are plenty of ways to keep your brain active when you’re at home. By being creative, taking breaks, being active, and being bored, you increase your brainpower. However, keep in mind that some people require different stimuli to improve their brainpower, so don’t worry if you think this doesn’t work for you. Just try out various methods and see which ones work best!
We thank Roberto Sacripanti, student success coach and former research trainee at Harvard Medical School, for his valuable input in this article. His research contribution in the scientific field has been published in journals such as the Stanford Journal of Public Health, American Heart Association, and STEM Cells Translational Medicine. His venture, PTPRS Consulting, helps students manage stress through social-emotional techniques and brain-based learning. If you are interested in learning more about his work, visit at www.ptprsconsulting.com