A newborn’s brain is incredibly complex and flexible. Every stimulus received over the next critical months will either aid in or detract from the child’s optimum development.
Every sense and experience — whether seeing one’s first rainbow, crawling across the floor, experiencing language, or smelling a rose — excites certain neural circuits and leaves others dormant. Those that are consistently used will be strengthened, while those rarely excited may be dropped away.
Some scientists believe certain critical periods correspond to a period of synaptic excess known as the “exuberant period,” occurring between infancy and early school years when the brain overproduces connections far more than will be preserved in the average adult. During this critical period, a child’s experience — sensory, motor, emotional and intellectual — determines which of these synapses will be used and therefore preserved.
At the peak of the exuberant period, the cerebral cortex portion of the brain creates an astonishing two million new synapses every second! With these new connections come a baby’s many mental milestones, such as colour vision, a pincer grasp, and first words.
By two years of age, a toddler’s cerebral cortex contains well over one thousand trillion (1,000,000,000,000,000) synapses. The number of synapses remains at this peak, over-abundant level in all areas of the cerebral cortex until about age eight. Thereafter, the number of synapses gradually declines until the end of adolescence, when it reaches adult levels.
The Rainbow Cultural Garden nurtures and promotes children’s linguistic, emotional, physical and problem-solving potential during the most critical learning period of their lives. We believe during this period – when the synaptic garden is at its greatest abundance – children have the greatest potential to capture a more robust foundation that will serve them for the rest of their lives.
Through careful, progressive exposure to multiple languages, cultures, representational systems and aesthetics, the Rainbow Cultural Garden seeks to inspire and capture the miraculous, creative, learning lives of children. This cumulates in pre-adolescents fluent in four to seven languages and cultures, having a deep experience of aesthetics, and possessing the fundamental qualitative and quantitative building blocks on which advanced learning will stand.
These children of the world will have an inspired love of learning, the skill of how to think – not what to think – and a deep sense of what it means to be human, independent of culture.