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Retraining the Brain

August 3, 2011

I was asked a question at work today which I’ve known the answer to for forever, it was a chemistry question and I know I know it, I’ve done the equation lots of times before. Today however I looked at the paper and went “what?”… I couldn’t remember how to do it. Even though I’ve done it before, I’ve learned how to do it, I know I know it, but couldn’t recall it.

So I am making myself do a refresher course in chemistry. Why? Because I don’t like losing knowledge. I like to keep myself on top of things. I hefted out one of the chem textbooks in our staffroom and started reading through and then had a brain drain and thought “there’s got to be a better way to relearn this stuff”…

Well actually there is.

The Khan Academy is a fantastic online website which teaches you most maths (grade 1 all the way through to university levels), chemistry, biology, physics, statistics, and a few other academic concepts. It’s amazing. The brain child of Sal Khan who a few years ago started tutoring his younger relatives via youtube. He had a lot of feedback and has now started the Khan Academy which has over 2400 videos posted to date. It’s an amazing free resource for children and adults. And he has classes online where you can test yourself with little exams etc. Can I rave on enough about this? And it’s FREE! You don’t get websites like this sharing amazing resources like this without paying through the nose for them. Trust me, as a teacher I’m always scouring the internet trying to find new ways of teaching my students and this is the BEST! Go there, test yourself, try a new way of learning something you think you remember. Learn something you’ve never tried before. The good thing about this way of learning is you can stop the video, rewind and watch it again.

Last night, after using an auditory learning therapy unit, Miss4 slept through the night. She fell asleep at 8pm (she usually stays up fighting us until 10pm) and we had to wake her at 7am. She had 11 hours sleep. In one session! And she’s not coming down with anything, she’s not throwing tantrums.

I think there might be something to this retraining the brain! I’ve now got all of my kids listening to 45mins of this stuff a night. They take it in turns. Mr4 isn’t too keen at the moment, I think it’s the type of headphones we’re using. They say 10 days worth for a first round, so 45 mins a day for 10 days. Then leave it for a week and redo. And the music is wonderful, Mozart, Tchaikovsky and others. Hubby had a go today as well. Careful world, I might be creating little/big geniuses. I certainly hope so. And if it helps me remember Chem I’ll be a happy girl.

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