Mind Mapping is a breakthrough system of planning and note-taking that cuts homework time in half and makes schoolwork fun. One of the reasons why Mind Mapping works well is that it uses both sides of the human brain, taking the slightly more analytical left side and using words and relationships. It also benefits from the slightly more creative or colourful right side, using images and colours.
Adults normally tend to use more of the left side of their brains, using more words than images, more relationships than colours, etc. Children, on the other hand, tend to work the other way around. For young children who have not been exposed to the adult way of thinking, drawing pictures still comes as natural.
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How can Parents Induct Children into Mind Mapping?
Mind Mapping cannot really be taught to children, rather it should come naturally to them. Parents therefore, need to allow the children to explore the brain-thinking on their own.
Here are some tips that can help parents to coach their children to mind map.
- Assist the children to develop their own ideas rather than imposing your own ideas.
- Tell the children that they need to draw and can be as creative as they can get. So getting a white sheet of paper and some coloured pens would be the next step.
- Take a piece from one of their school books, or tell a story, making sure you use enough image words (words that are easily transformed into pictures).
- Make your child draw while you read the story from the book.
- When you are done reading and your child is done drawing, make your child relate the story using the drawing. This way you can find out if your child has understood the concept or not.
- If there are differences then investigate together helping the child understand what got missed out.
- Repeat the steps with more complex stories, and situations. Observe how your child depicts the ideas in the form of images.
- The final step is that you step away from your child, and you let them go through a book and create the images and story themselves.
The idea here is help children achieve a goal and enjoy studying.
Benefits of Mind Mapping
Here are some of the benefits of mind mapping:
- Children can handle information in a much smarter and efficient manner that can also be fun.
- Children love to draw and this is completely in line with their thinking.
- Mind Mapping helps develop higher-level thinking and improve their reading comprehension
- Mind Mapping is the children’s secret weapon to help them remember better, come up with creative ideas, save time, get better grades, excel at school, and most importantly have more fun
Studies have revealed that children who use mind mapping techniques have a clear advantage over other children, as every task or information they have is visually linked to something that is an outcome of their own thinking.
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Examples of Mind Mapping for Children (Kids)
Below are some examples of simple mind maps created for school children to help them understand the concepts better:
The above image is to help children learn about the spring season showing information such as:
- The flowers that bloom in spring
- The weather during spring
- The activities during spring
This mind map helps children learn about a farm and all people, animals, and objects found in a farm.
Facts and Figures
Here are some facts and figures about the benefits of mind mapping:
- Research by Toi (2009)iii shows that Mind Mapping can help children recall words more effectively than using lists, with improvements in memory of up to 32%.
- Glass and Holyoak (1986)iv found that by gathering and highlighting key branches within a boundary, such as a highlight cloud, one uses a memory technique known as chunking. Our short-term memory is on average only capable of storing seven items of information and chunking can help us use this storage space more effectively.
- Goodnough and Woods (2002)vii discovered that students perceived Mind Mapping as a fun, interesting and motivating approach to learning. Several students attributed the fun aspect to the opportunity to be creative when creating Mind Maps through lots of choice in colour, symbols, key words and design.
- Mind Mapping has been shown to bring a renewed sense of enthusiasm to the classroom because it increases student confidence and sense of skill in mastering assigned materials (Mento et al, 1999)viii
Mind Vector – Your Ideal Software for Mind Mapping
Mind Vector is a mind mapping tool that makes the art of mind mapping simple and children friendly.
The easy to use UI and flexibility to add images and create simple and complex maps on the automatically expanding canvas makes it interesting for children. You can add emotions to the nodes and sub-nodes and this feature instantly attracts the children.
Children can also learn to create common mind maps as part of group study and collaborate amongst themselves using the collaboration feature. This helps to collectively gather their ideas and teach them how to brain storm.
Mind Vector can be accessed from the Web, and Apple mobile devices. The easy accessibility of this tool helps children access the maps anywhere and make changes to them.
We can therefore conclude that with easy availability of appropriate tools, mind mapping can become a fun and easy approach to learning helping thousands of children the world over to enjoy their formative years.
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