Why We Struggle to Learn And How to Fix It

When we stop believing in a future where race does not matter, we stop aspiring to be fully human.

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There are three facts that surprise most parents about raising a successful student. Our research partners spent years gathering data about successful students and their parents. At the same time, they were engaged with neuroscientists who were asked to explain why the habits and practices of these students and parents worked. According to these neuroscientists, it was clear how certain learning skills and practices align with the biology of the brain. In order words, when learning took place the way the brain was designed to learn, learning happened. The research participants included a broad mix of racial and economic groups, as well as a range of IQs from slightly below average to gifted.

“Parental Leadership is Key.”

Research says that parental leadership in the education of their children is the single factor that could turn things around. The idea of parental involvement where schools lead has failed to produce results.

The first surprising fact about humans is that human brains are designed to forget. Your brain is focused on your survival. Most information that you encounter throughout the day has very little impact on your survival. Unless your brain sees information as important for survival, it quickly forgets it. That is why your child can sit in a classroom every day paying close attention to what is being taught and simply forgetting everything within a few hours to a few minutes. Forgetting is normal.

The second surprising fact about learning is that different people don’t learn in different ways. Learning is a fixed biological process that is immutable and unchangeable. Different interests and prior learning accounts for the differences in a person’s ability to learn one subject over another. Human learning patterns are fixed in biology. All humans have acquired and retained knowledge in the same way throughout human history.

The final surprising fact is that parental involvement in education is not the key to success. The key to a child’s educational success is that parents take the lead in their child’s education. Research has shown parental leadership is the most important factor in educational success. Children started life learning everything in life from their parents. Until a child reaches maturity, under normal circumstances, he or she is predisposed to continue primary learning from their parents. Schools are simply educational resources for parent-driven education.

Summer 2023 will be a big year for the NSABA. We will be offering our Summer Essentials Academy to advancing 6th graders across Northern Virginia. Summer Essentials Academy is a free summer-long pilot program designed to give struggling students the tools they need to excel. Trials by our research partners have shown tremendous success with struggling students with the majority achieving a two-letter grade improvement in some subjects.  The number of participants in the program will be limited by the funding we can raise by the end of spring.

If you are interested in being a sponsor of a Summer Essentials Academy student or would like more information about the program, please reach out to us at SEA@nsaba.org.