Balanced Beginnings Background

Balanced Beginnings

By Gloria Crook
Founding President of the Robert Muller School

It will be helpful to know how and why The Robert Muller School decided to publish Balanced Beginnings.

The people who developed the program are all volunteers. For more than twenty years, volunteers in Arlington, Texas, USA, have worked to serve the educational processes for children in the world. The Robert Muller School was first fully accredited from birth through Secondary School in 1985. All monies acquired by the School for materials and publications return directly to pay for future publications, etc. The School is non-profit and tax-exempt under IRS Code 501 (c) (3). Balanced Beginnings is fully copyrighted.

Collection of information from the latest scientific research on early brain development was begun in 1979. A registered nurse and staff members working with babies in the School, began to collect information on early development. It was soon found that there was entirely new scientific study going on, to do with brain development--a field which had not hitherto existed because there had been no access to the developing brain. Scientists were especially interested in the learning process because of the hope {still existing today} to develop artificial intelligence.

Gradually, as there were more babies born into the families involved in the Robert Muller School, the need was realized to incorporate as much of the useful new information as possible. Knowledge was considered useful, only if it contributed to the later learning ability of the child and was not contra-indicative relating to the child's well-being and natural development into a creative, competent, adjusted, and happy human being.

During a period of nine years, experiment was made with the latest discoveries about the developing infant brain, all the way from the unborn, to the age of three, when the rapid brain development slows to such an extent that only ten percent of the maturing growth is left to occur before full maturity.

It was discovered that each development process which was taken into account in the babies' experience, caused an obvious and prodigious ability which was lacking in their peers who had not had the experience.

Please be advised we used information from research which was fully documented and accepted in the community of scientific research. Remember that early brain development research is relatively new. This is why the new information is not known by the general public unless they have seen fit to read the Scientific Journals or have run into some of the more spectacular data in magazines or newspapers generally read by the average public. The data is often very dry and uninteresting in the scientific vernacular; however, distilled to practical use with a baby, it is exciting and results are obvious to all.

There now exists evidence that every baby is far more complicated than ever accepted in the past. From conception, and on into the rapid brain growth period which begins at the seventh month of pregnancy, the little life is being "informed" in many ways which have escaped notice of parents in general. The infant could be called a "holonomic" being, affected through and through by all currents of cosmic rays, including the more intense and present currents of emotion and thought in which each infant exists. All of the experiences which are being held by everyone and everything in the infant's environment are having subtle affect upon the infant nervous system. The baby is subject to forms of energy to which adults have become somewhat or completely unconscious through the familiarity and compensating adjustments which take place naturally as part of the miraculous ability of the human nervous system. These effects nevertheless form part of every human being's psychology and add to the ways in which everyone of us adjusts (or sometimes mal-adjusts) and contributes to life as part of the human species.

At this time, the very latest material available definitely substantiates the Balanced Beginnings Program. A copy of one such article's abbreviated useful explanation (which says it all in a nutshell) is available if someone desires to know more, any library can provide volumes of information at this time. All of it substantiates the experiences in the Balanced Beginnings Program as foundational for greater learning ability as the child grows, and, furthermore, throughout life.

The President of the Association for Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPAH), Dr. David Chamberlain, has sent us a letter declaring "pride in our infant program." His Article, "Babies Are Not What We Thought", includes 165 references which easily relate to the value of our Balanced Beginnings Program experiences. We send a copy along with every Program. Originally, it was not planned to publicize the work done with our babies. It was after a year or two of unchanging schedule of experience for each baby, that it was realized it could be "packaged" and made available for interested parents. (Plus the fact that it was shown at a Montesorri Conference where the School was invited to Present, and there was incredible demand for reproduction.) Since then, many of those original babies are older and are living examples of the inordinate learning ability and creativity which the gathered research foretold would be the case.

Programs are continually sold by the School because of "word-of-mouth" of those who have used the Program with their babies. Calls come from people who want to acquire the Program because of seeing the results with their neighbor's, or their friend's baby.

The true authenticity must rest in the use of Balanced Beginnings. You see, unless people are willing to admit that there may be some new information about how the brain develops, and how very early experience may affect learning ability for a lifetime--then there is no use trying to convince them. Some people believe that all you must do is "love" your baby and the rest will take care of itself. That is their prerogative.

For myself, I had six children, and (if I could have known what I now know) I would have made great sacrifices to have had access to Balanced Beginnings for them.

In time, all of the important information about early brain development and experience will be well known by the general public--then all doubt will disappear. Until then, all we can do is provide to those who are open to take advantage of the opportunity, access to Balanced Beginnings.

Parents worldwide, who have had no knowledge of such information, and, of course, love their children, range all the way from those who put the newborn baby in a space apart and keep everyone away and quiet except for feeding and changing, to those who involve the baby in every possible family activity and therefore (incidentally or accidentally) provide the baby with more complicated experience. No family would provide all experiences found in the Balanced Beginnings Program, however. And some are definitely important as to timing in given sequence related to brain development. No family, on a chance basis, could be expected to provide all of these experiences for their babies during the rapid brain growth period. It would be a miracle! Some would surely be missing! There are more than 300 sequenced experiences in the Program--each calculated to give the baby pleasure and reinforce new connections for later learning.

For this reason alone, any parents who know about and ignore access to the Balanced Beginnings Program are taking the chance that their baby doesn't need the experiences which will be missed. The attitude generally stems from an intelligent skepticism, and concern that since human beings have come this far without such knowledge and its use, it must be unnecessary and out of order in the scheme of relationship between parents and infants. This attitude is analogous to suggesting that human creativity is unwarranted and we could have done easily without the wheel--because it is not found in nature.

The entire key to understanding Balanced Beginning is this: there is only ONE period in individual life when the rapid brain development takes place. That is the ONLY time when experience will have LIFE-LONG effects in learning ability, BECAUSE the connections between brain cells during this particular rapid brain growth period form the matrix of pathways for all later learning. This period lasts for only the first three years.

When there is not a plethora of pathways, the person will be a slow learner. When there are pathways in only a few areas, all learning will be "shuttled," if you will, through those existing experienced pathways and some subjects will be exceedingly difficult--just as is the case with most of us. We learn fairly easily in some areas, while others are difficult and information is not retained easily in those difficult areas.

We have studied the process of retention in the developed brain, as well as the foundational research. Retention is best exhibited when there is repetition to the point of patterning new pathways in the brain. When clear motivation is added to the patterning, retention will happen with ease. This is the way most of us learn new subjects. The necessary amount of patterning will differ in short and long term retention for an individual. A brain with pathways prepared in advance of the new subject will learn and retain information easily as well as relate it to every conceivable area of connection through the existing pathways. This happens automatically or unconsciously and can be recognized in a person who is extremely "quick" or "bright."

In the past, there was the inexplicable mystery of some children being "bright" and some being "dull"--even in the same family! It is now known that while genetics plays a part in this mystery--if the general physical health of the baby is good--EXPERIENCE makes the true difference!

We are now certain also that the mother's consciousness will have definite effects on the baby's learning ability and emotional demeanor--especially her consciousness during the last month of pregnancy when the rapid brain growth begins.

Throughout the fetal development, the birth and infant life, all environmental conditions (physical, emotional, and mental) will have effect on the child's developing psychology. The future will see much change in the general treatment of infants as the scientific knowledge becomes general. Balanced Beginnings can be an assistance for those pioneers around the world who begin the effort.

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