“Moi Rebyonok” (“My Child”) Magazine No. 9, 2003 (Abbreviated)
Physicist Leonid Bereslavsky spent 15 years of his life creating the methodology behind developing the intellectual capabilities of children. Today, his streamlined system includes over 250 games and 3 000 exercises targeted at specific skills and mental functions. The method excludes the idea of coaching, where the teacher speaks, and the children are required to listen. During lessons, the kids’ attention is kept by the teacher by offering new games without any pressure. The children are absolutely unaware that, during the games, they are learning to classify objects by their attributes, they are training their memory, developing mathematical capabilities, and developing their ability to form spatial representations via perception of graphical images. However, what is most important is that here, children are taught to think creatively, to “think outside the box,” and to associate each lesson with something joyful and interesting.
You Never Dreamed of Something Like This!
The Method is aimed at advanced training. A child in his early years can develop the skills which will be necessary in the future- both in school and in adult life. Thus, opportunities (so-called windows) for the development of certain mental functions and logical devices are opened at a specific age…What a child can learn at 3 years of age without difficulty becomes, at 12, more difficult, and as a result, a lack of desire to study manifests itself. Doctor A. Shepovalnikov (MD) discussed the areas of a child’s brain, the so-called ‘waiting areas,’ which are ‘waiting’ to receive and take in information. If these are not activated on time, a process of atrophy begins.
This is specifically what is targeted by the Bereslavsky school: the maintenance and perfection of the process of instilling in every child the ability to think independently. It is on this advanced approach that the training is based……
Thinking logically consists of 8 logical operations, each of which has its own window. 3 of the 8 (their precise taxonomy was Bereslavsky’s discovery) are best developed from the ages of 2 to 4, and the more advanced ones, from 5 to 6. If a kindergarten has, on average, 15 subjects geared toward preparation for primary school (letters and numbers skills), Bereslavsky has many more. In the future, they foster the development of interest in areas such as physics, chemistry, economics, etc.
“My children love to study, and I don’t have to force them” says Bereslavsky. Sooner or later, they’ll have to study biology, physics or chemistry. If they have no desire to do so, they will still be forced to in school. But let’s agree: there is a difference between being forced to do it and the ‘can-do’ mentality, where they can expend less energy and brain-power and still master complex science. That means the child is not so overloaded, and is able to get pleasure out of life.” The transfer of any knowledge to small children is impossible without emotional contact with the teacher. Thus, the culture of success we have developed is quite important.
A Simulator for the Brain
If a child studies dance, the child usually develops good posture. Same with the brain. If it is conditioned from childhood, the brain will be “charged” by constant hard work, and the child will not feel overworked by his studies. Bereslavsky developed an electronic device-a simulator, which when used by a child, develops his brain. The Intellectual Simulator is a patented invention of Bereslavsky’s. Thanks to its multifunctionality, and the presence of an operative memory, teachers can set their own programmes for kids of various developmental levels and ages. The child uses the Simulator to draw his own patterns. What is especially important is that it reinforces the idea that intellectual activity should bring forth positive emotions.
Special rehabilitational games correct psychological issues associated with delayed development and hyperactivity. There is great effort put into giving the children the chance to overcome their illnesses. “We teach them how to overcome difficulty. That ability can be transformed into a skill” says Bereslavsky. And that is especially important for problem children…The schoolteachers always share their joy with the children, praising them. Going forward, the child will strive for success. This is one example of the pedagogue’s influence.
Here is one exercise: The understanding of “outside” and “inside.” (for children 5 and older)
Draw a rectangle (or a circle/an oval) on a piece of paper. Within the borders of the shape, draw black circles, and outside, coloured ones. Ask which circles are outside the rectangle, and which are inside.
And now a chess exercise.
We train the memory and learn decisive mental action. (children 4 and older)
The rook is sailing to his dock along squares with houses on them. If, on the way, he meets a white pawn, he can take it, and occupy his square. However, the rook cannot take squares with houses on them, as they are located on the shore. He must determine the path to his own dock. How can he get there with the least amount of moves?