The NeuroNet Integrated Rhythms program is a developmental sequence of perceptual-motor exercises designed to help us map our bodies in our brains. For struggling learners, NeuroNet can help them improve not only in academic learning but also in social skills, and in the ability to make good decisions and show initiative in learning.
The NeuroNet program is based on more than 30 years of neuroscience research showing how our brains create and use neural networks for attention, memory, and problem-solving. The NeuroNet process makes learning faster, more accurate, and more sustained. Children who improve their rhythm and timing can remember better what they have learned, and they can use what they have learned as tools for new learning.
Three Key Concepts
1. Neural synchrony is the neural basis of attention. The more neural synchrony we have within the vision, hearing, or balance (vestibular) system, the more quickly we can identify what we see, what we hear, and how we move. 2. Synaptic strengthening is the neural basis of memory. Anticipation creates changes in the chemical environment of the brain, and these changes in turn facilitate the formation of neural networks within and among brain areas. The rhythmic speech and movement patterns of the NeuroNet program are designed to create anticipation, which in turn improves memory for new learning. 3. Temporal binding is the neural basis of problem-solving (rhythm & timing). Using information from different brain areas (vision, hearing, and movement) gives us the ability to identify problems and to look for solutions. The NeuroNet program uses low-level multi-tasking among different brain areas to create the neural networks that we need to automate handwriting, reading decoding, and retrieval of math facts.
The Struggling Learner
Handwriting, reading decoding, and retrieval of math facts are all essential skills for independent learners. The difference between struggling learners and independent learners is often not the skills they have, but their ability to choose and use skills quickly and accurately. The struggling learner is often the child who thinks of the answer after the teacher has moved on to the next question. This is the child who looks at his handwriting and stops to fix a letter form after he writes it and sees that it isn’t correct; or a child who has to think about forming every letter so he is unable to get his thoughts down on paper. This is the child who counts on her fingers and gets the correct answer, but then forgets which math problem she was doing.
Struggling learners have skills that they don’t use because these skills are not automated. The NeuroNet Integrated Rhythms Program uses neural networks to automate basic movement, visual, and auditory skills. These skills in turn become tools for learning, and the children become independent learners.