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Cognitive Skills Training 101

Cognition requires learning critical skills, which help one better remember, analyze, evaluate, and compare information. They are important in childhood development and for learning at every stage and grade level. We focus on these skills to help process sensory information. Cognitive skills training at Brain Works focuses on these underlying skills. Traditional tutoring sessions focus on getting the student to repeat back the information and doesn’t focus on the weakness that can trigger struggles with learning and overall performance. Tutors can only be successful if they can focus on the child’s learning style and ability. There needs to be more focus than repeating the information.

5 kids ready to learn

Brain Works to Accommodate Different Learners

Brain training is the alternative learning process that Brain Works offers to Idaho resident looking to improve their learning deficiencies. Cognitive brain training programs target a student’s core mental abilities, striving to improve memory, attention span, processing speed, auditory and visual processing, and logic and reasoning. While tutoring focuses on one topic and gears towards repetition of facts from the student.

Training Takes Place On a One-On-One Basis

A training specialist is assigned to work with each student privately. The process can work for students of all ages, including those who:

  • Want to read, think, and learn at a faster pace.
  • Find homework difficult and frustrating.
  • Need to improve retention and reading comprehension.
  • Have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
  • Have a severe auditory processing deficiency.
  • Cannot concentrate sufficiently.
  • Works or completes lessons too slowly.
  • Struggles with creating mental images.
  • Demonstrates poor memory skills.
Gain a Mental Edge

Cognitive skills training can also help anyone looking to gain a mental edge. It can provide career professionals with a competitive advantage in the workforce. For example, one can identify employable skills in a job posting, and learn and/or reference such skills in their resume, cover letter, and job interview.

Targeting Parts of the Brain

Cognitive training works by targeting parts of the brain involved in attention. If these areas are under-active, proper training can stimulate them. It aims to improve attention cognitively, rather than remove distractions. The skills learned through the program can help at all stages of reading, from recognizing letter sounds and combinations to attaining fluency.

woman helping child with homework

How Does Cognitive Skill Training Differ from Tutoring?

How to improve cognitive function is a key concept in brain training. Tutoring centers often focus on basic techniques—reteaching classroom content, doing so in groups or one-on-one, and teaching classroom content missed due to absence (student or teacher), illness, or relocation. Tutoring is better suited to address such external matters, not weaknesses in how a child’s brain processes information. It only continues to re-teach the same material over and over again.

How Do the Left and Right Sides of the Brain Impact Learning?

Both sides of the brain are needed for learning. The left side of the brain controls thinking and logic more than the right, so left brain learning styles focus more on words, sequencing, mathematics, linear thinking, facts, and logic. The right brain is involved in imagination, rhythm, visualizing feelings, art, and holistic thinking. Although different functions can be found on either side, both hemispheres of the brain are interconnected by numerous nerve fibers. The functions attributed to one side or another do not necessarily impact learning style. You may be engaged in a logical task or creating something artistic. Both sides of the brain are still functioning and providing input. Even when you are doing math problems, the left brain may be crunching the equations, but the right side enables you to compare data and estimate values. A choice of left brain vs. right brain teaching techniques can assist a student who may be more analytical or visual, but everyone uses both sides of the brain when learning.

Left brain learning activities may limit auditory distractions, use word lists, include puzzles, or individual study. Right brain learning techniques often involve charts, graphs, and maps to accommodate students with visual and spatial aptitudes. They can also focus on visual reinforcements, study guides like worksheets, creative projects, group activities, and integrating music with classroom instruction. Brain training, however, doesn’t necessarily target the right or the left side separately. It is focused on cognitive development. The content learned in class isn’t the primary concern. That would be the exercises and processes used to strengthen cognition. This strategy helps get to the root of learning difficulties and address weak cognitive skills head on, so, instead of repeating a process, the results are lasting because the core skill is strengthened.

students raising hands in class

Results of the Brain Works Programs

Our results are noticeable and lasting because we can measure cognitive skills, and then provide brain training. The process begins with the Woodcock-Johnson Test of Cognitive Abilities. Developed in 1977, the test is in its fourth edition, introduced in 2014. It is a series of tests used to measure numerical reasoning, concept formation, decision speed, pattern recognition, visual auditory learning, memory, comprehension, and other cognitive skills from ages two through adulthood.

Does Your Child Need Brain Training?

If children have difficulties with learning: “it is not their fault!” Nor is the problem irreversible. We can conduct an evaluation and a comprehensive case history. Following a Cognitive Skills Assessment, we can address weaknesses in brain skills via customized exercises. A cognitive training program can work whether your child struggles, despite help from math tutors or reading tutors, or needs improvement across multiple disciplines. One-on-One coaching can improve your child’s cognitive skills, academic abilities, and IQ. Schedule a free assessment or contact us online today. To speak with our team, call our Twin Falls, Idaho, office at 208-366-4833 to discuss how our programs can effectively help your child overcome mental and cognitive challenges through stimulating hands-on mental and physical exercises.

Take the First Step to a Faster, Smarter Brain