August 6, 2012

Back to school: What classes should my child take in school?


  • No matter whether you are wondering what classes your child should take in elementary school, middle school, high school, or even college, there is a secret ingredient to making the most knowledgeable decision – the corpus callosum.
    In 1989, Dustin Hoffman won an Oscar for Best Actor at the 61st Academy Awards for playing the role of Raymond Babbitt in the1988 movie Rain Man. Dustin Hoffman’s leading role was inspired by the real life story of Kim Peek who was an autistic savant and had no corpus callosum.
    Even though neuroscientists have clearly linked the thickness, timing, and structure of the corpus callosum to academic performance, dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, emotional disabilities, and autism, most educators and parents are unfortunately not aware of the importance of the corpus callosum when it comes to choosing a student’s academic courses.
    In contrast to many other countries, most schools and parents in the United States emphasize a left-brain hemisphere focused curriculum including Math, English, Foreign Languages, Science, History, and other logical, analytical, sequential, rational, and objective courses.




    As described in the movie, Raymond Babbitt was a savant in most of those skills. He was able to instantly tell how many matches had fallen out of a matchbox, how patterns of numbers related, and what baseball player had what score in what year.
    What Raymond Babbitt could not do because of his missing corpus callosum, was relate emotionally to his brother Charlie Babbitt (played by Tom Cruise). Without a corpus callosum, accessing the right brain hemisphere is a daunting task since it is the part of the brain responsible for emotions, holistic and creative thinking, music, art, nonverbal tasks, randomness, and intuition.
    The corpus callosum is the structure in between the left and right hemisphere and it consists of a very thick bundle of nerve fibers. Most of the information that is processed by the brain has to cross the corpus callosum along those nerve fibers. A curriculum that focuses mainly on left-brain activities diminishes the use of the corpus callosum and its nerve fibers. As with any fibers or muscles, “if you don’t use it, you lose it.”
    Choosing balanced courses for students at any grade level is crucial in order to exercise both brain hemispheres and in order to ensure a healthy growth of those nerve fibers. Providing a child with a curriculum that consists of not only Math, Language, History, and Science classes but also Drawing, Painting, Music, Dance, Yoga, or other right brain oriented classes is one of the best investments parents can make for their child’s future... READ MORE >>

    Image courtesy of imagerymajestic /

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