Reviews & Publications

“Wunderkinds” For Order

Date: June 6, 2013 Author: admin Categories: Reviews & Publications

From the Newspaper “Nezavisimaya Gazeta,” November 1998

 

The methodology of pedagogue and innovator Leonid Bereslavsky aids in developing the innate talents in every child.

 

Every morning, just as she’s opened her eyes, my three-year-old daughter asks, “Mum?  Are we going to school today?” She becomes upset when I have to say to her “Not today,” as we attend the lessons at the Discovery School just two days per week. As Leonid Bereslavsky, Director of the School and author of the methodology of early intellectual development promised, after a short time, the lessons almost become like small holidays, a veritable “treat” for the mind.

 

It is delightful to watch how the kids, none older than three, after having said goodbye to their mums, all sit right down in their places, grab pencils, and start drawing in their notebooks. Then the instructor remarks, “OK, now we are going to put down our notebooks. Look at these toys and memorise them. Now, let’s all close our eyes, and wait while the monkey hides one of them. Then, we’ll open our eyes, and the first one to guess which one the monkey hid gets a sticker as a “prize.”

 

During the lessons, children complete assignments developed by the school and designed specifically to develop their memory and logical thinking ability. They learn to play chess, and do exercises in mathematics….The most significant tool in these studies is the Electronic Intellectual Simulator, which was developed by Bereslavsky himself. When you glance into the classroom a bit later, you will notice that each child has a sort of box in front of him or her, whose buttons they press with almost professorial seriousness. These are the Electronic Intellectual Simulators which contain many varied tests and games which are designed to foster logical thinking. Additionally, when the kids press those buttons, they are developing fine motor skills in their fingers which, in turn, has been shown (for a while now) to positively affect brain development. Despite the seeming outward simplicity of these machines, the Simulator is capable of teaching much. For example, the ability to think abstractly, which is never easy for young children. “Here in this house lives a matryoshka doll, and in this other one, a bunny. Make a road between them. And, by pushing buttons, the child chooses the shortest path between them, which then lights up.

 

What is most important is the basis of the methodology: positive emotions experienced by the child as he/she finds the solutions to various problems. From a young age, children learn self-confidence, and their own abilities, and all their effort in the future will be directed toward the search for success. Once in school, it will be easier for the child, and unlike his/her classmates, to solve difficult problems, which, when presented, will not cause the child to panic, but instead to calmly examine all available options for their solution.

 

And, since kids like to ‘play grown-up,’ they’re even presented with a ‘responsible job’ that they go to; not every day, of course, like their dads. At this point, twice a week for a half hour is quite enough. These brief sessions, while making the child happy, will only do that child good, and with no great load on his/her psyche to worry about (for those who may say “you’re stealing the child’s childhood”).

 

All the kids studying at the School display interest in intellectual games, puzzles, and improve their memory capacity. My own daughter has only been there for half-a-year, but this short period of time has already delivered positive results. In addition to the fact that she truly enjoys her lessons, which in and of itself is quite important, the child has become observant, and tries to offer logical explanations for all that goes on around her. At home, she often recalls what’s happened in class, teaching it to her toys. She is using this learned knowledge now in her everyday life.

 

Today, Bereslavsky has several operating branches of the school in Moscow. The teaching process requires strict standards of preparedness for the teachers. Bereslavsky trains the pedagogues himself.

 

At every lesson, the kids all receive homework assignments. In May we received a whole folder of assignments which were to have been completed during the Summer holidays.- The developing brain of a child must always be fed…always be in training. Now the most serious punishment I can give my daughter (and the other parents say the same thing about their kids) is, “If you don’t behave, you’re not going to school!”

 

Irina Brichkalevich