I was thrilled when Sandy at Hand in Hand Learning approached me and asked whether I’d be interested in trying out their course “How Babies Learn“, and reviewing it on my blog. I’ve been looking for something to “keep the cogs whirring” for a while now, and having studied Psychology at A-level this seemed like an exciting opportunity to develop my knowledge base, and one that would benefit Busby and help us understand her better.
Hand in Hand Learning are based in Norfolk. The company is run by Sandra Nunes Vaz and her business partner Adrian Scargill (you can read a little about them here). They started teaching the courses (there’s also “How Children Learn“) face-to-face, which definitely comes across when speaking to them, as they are incredibly personable and more than willing to talk through details, questions and feedback with you. They even give their contact number out to anyone who is participating on the course in case you fancy a chat!
The course costs £30 and is available online here. “How Babies Learn” is in powerpoint format and comes in six parts, with resource sheets for each session. Although powerpoint may not be the height of technology anymore, the presentations are all interactive and written in a way, that although scientific, are easy to understand. Some of the sessions have embedded video links and sound bites to enhance the learning experience, and this definitely helps make the course more interesting and varied so you’re not just reading text. The resource sheets also help you actively engage with what you’re reading on the screen.
|Screenshot from my favourite session. Bobby, the baby in the video, is so cute!|
Hand in Hand Learning want to encourage a sharing experience, ripe with discussion, and have therefore created the forum where course participants can post their findings, experience and feedback from what they’ve learnt and noticed since embarking on the course.
Session One: How do our learning experiences shape us?
Session Two: Our Amazing Human Brain
Session Three: The Growing Brain
Session Four: Nature vs Nurture
Session Five: Learning Together
Session Six: Our Amazing Human Brain (course review and conclusion)
Each session begins with an introductory slide, detailing the key points of the corresponding session, and ends with a concluding slide.
Overall, I found sessions two and four most intriguing. I learnt some very interesting facts and information I didn’t previously know. For example, did you know that when a mother kisses her baby, her lips pick up germs off her baby’s skin which her body then produces anti-bodies for in her breast milk? Absolutely fascinating! I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence in session four – Hand in Hand Learning have included a questionnaire to see which intelligence type you are: I was intrapersonal. Oh, and one final fact that I found just captivating: did you know for the first few weeks of a babies life they see sounds as well as hear them? Amazing!
Although the course is incredibly interesting, I must say I did struggle to find time to complete the sessions with a newborn. However, I would definitely recommend it to any mummy or daddies-to-be who have some time spare, are interested in psychology, and want to understand how their baby’s brain works. I do find myself watching Busby more (if that’s possible!), and noticing and analysing her actions and gestures with fascination. I definitely feel “How Babies Learn” has helped me understand her better.
If you’d like to see what “How Babies Learn” is all about then Hand in Hand Learning have included a free taster session on their website.
*Hand in Hand Learning sent me the “How Babies Learn” free of charge for the purpose of this review. All views expressed in this post are my own.*