Monday, March 30, 2009


Oh the things I am learning from this book!!

Your brain cells are like rubber bands. Some are large, and some are small. However, even the small rubber bands can be stretched to match the size of the large ones. You are born with brain cells that are, literally, large or small. The size of your brain cell determines how easily things come to you. For example, Einsteins "science" brain cell was HUGE. Those who are musically inclined have big "music" brain cells. As you exercise this brain cell (i.e. practicing), it grows. The more you use it, the bigger it gets.

This is very important to know! That means that our small brain cells, or the things that are very difficult for us to do, WILL BECOME EASIER as we "stretch" our brain cell. Practice really does make a difference. One of my "small rubber bands" is writing a paper. It is excruciatingly difficult for me to write a paper. But...there's good news. The more I write, the easier it becomes because those brain cells are being stretched to become bigger.

Our brain cells are the easiest to stretch when they are small. When our children are small, they should spend time doing things that are more difficult for them. This will make those brain cells bigger and make difficult things come easier.

One of her theories she calls her 80/20 Theory. She describes girls and boys as 80/20. Meaning: if you observe a group of boys, 80% of them are doing one thing, and 20% are doing another. Same goes for girls; if you observe girls, 80% are doing one thing, and 20% are doing another.

80% girls mostly do the following:
FINE MOTOR TASKS: painting, drawing, typing, zipping
AUDITORY TASKS: books on tape, rhyming, reading poems and stories aloud
SEQUENTIAL/DETAILED THINKING: hidden word puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, putting things in order, alphabetizing
CONNECTING WITH OTHERS: cooperative play, volunteer work
EXCELLING SUBJECTS: English, History, Writing, Creative Writing, Journalism

20% girls mostly do the following:
FINE MOTOR TASKS: skipping, riding a bike, climbing
SPATIAL TASKS: puzzles, tangrams, carpentry, orienteering
STRATEGY AND PROBLEM SOLVING: team games and sports, checkers
RISK TAKING: doing anything that takes a bit of courage on a particular girl's part
EXCELLING SUBJECTS: Math, Science, Auto Shop

This has been studied in a general sense, and there is variance all over the place. These, as Dr. Deak describes, are general trends. I know that I can see bits and pieces of both 80 and 20 girls in Sariah. For example - she zips and unzips anything she can. From dad's backpack to her own pj's, this girl can unzip anything! She also will climb anything I will let her, and is not afraid to take risks (which can be a little scary for mom sometimes!).

It will be fun to see where her strengths develop, and where she will need a little more help in. If she struggles in math early on, I now know that she won't grow into it...but will need help and practice to overcome that "small rubber band."