For Episode 52, we discuss how noise can effect how children learn. This article has some very interesting points of discussions. Noise is more distracting to a child’s brain than an adult. Research now shows that noise can hinder how children learn. Children hear different things than adults do in a noisy environment. They are less equipped to deal with speech yet have a greater need to understand it. Their ability to understand and process speech against competing background noise doesn’t mature until adolescence. Brief sudden noises like a cough or horn can drown out part of a sentence. For an adult, we automatically substitute a choice so we usually don’t notice. Children’s brains don’t fill in the gaps. The guys also discuss how children shouldn’t even watch TV until after 2.
Here are some tips to reduce noise and help children learn:
- Don’t leave TV, Radio, or other electronics on in the backgound. While it’s not clear whether soft music is distracting, lyrics are.
- Speak clearly and make eye contact
- When it is noisy, make sure toddlers see your face. They can pick up on mouth movements
- If the child doesn’t understand, use simpler words. One or two words is often only what is needed.
- If the child is having behavior problems in school, make sure being unable to hear in class isn’t the problem.