Balanced Beginnings article


by Gloria Crook, Founding President of The Robert Muller School

   After The Robert Muller School was begun in 1979 we were surprised to have nineteen babies come into incarnation among the families involved in the School.

   Since 1979, science has discovered information about the learning process which is actually revolutionary! Our Model of education was to include all knowledge which would improve human relationships and conditions, so we began an intense study of early brain development.

   Specifically, research has shown that infants are learning or being influenced almost from the moment of conception. More importantly, this influence takes place on several different levels at once. There is an effect of the physical environment, of course, but babies are also susceptible to the "emotional" environment in which they find themselves and the "thought" environment, too. We call these the "subtle" influences. This is besides the genetically produced effects.

   After nine years and 130,000 hours of work with our own babies, a program which we call BALANCED BEGINNINGS was completed, and has been available for sale to families among the general public ever since. There are many wonderful advantages in the program.

   We are particularly impressed that when parents understand the actual natural processes of physical brain development, which have remained unknown until recently, they can give their babies abilities to cope with life which far outweigh the abilities which are achieved incidentally by parents who have had, and used, only partial information.

   These processes are numerous, but a few examples will make apparent how valuable they are. We are talking about processes which are not normally recognized as happening in the growth of a baby, and which have incredible effects upon the later psychology and abilities of the child.

   Much of this information is widely known only among those who make child development a career, and it is definitely not widely applied among the general public. Painstaking education of the public is necessary as to the wisdom of paying attention to new scientific discoveries.

   Many parents know they have used some of these ideas intuitively--I did, myself, with my babies; but even the most sensitive parents would not have realized ALL of the many possibilities, nor the effects within the brain, itself. It is the beginning of a new era, and the future will bring entirely new education.

   Some examples of the new information which is useful and incorporated into the experiences which are part of our BALANCED BEGINNINGS PROGRAM:

+ Before a baby is born, especially during the last month of pregnancy, there is an amazing phenomenon of rapid brain growth which lasts until the baby is 3 years old. Research has shown that experience during that rapid growth period is directly related to later learning ability and adaptability.
+ The individual brains of healthy human beings would be very much alike if it were not for the system of "connections" between the brain cells which occur only through experience. Much experience happens before birth. There is now evidence that the brain is much like a gland in that it produces its own secretions. These secretions occur as we have physical experiences or when we react emotionally, or when we think. The great importance of this knowledge is that the secretions are either of a healing nature, or are actually of a poisonous nature to the system, and they are passed on to the baby by the mother during pregnancy.
+ A baby in an atmosphere of anger, emotional stress and insecurity will have connections created in the brain which will hinder later learning. Most parents have no idea how far-reaching their attitudes will be in their children's lives because this research regarding the brain, itself, is new. When a person appears not to have been so affected by his or her environment, it is due to a compensation which occurs but causes learning to be more difficult, nevertheless. In other words, it could have been much easier for the child to learn, and a handicap exists compared to what might have been if the atmosphere were peaceful and experience had been pleasant.
+ When a baby is born, all of the nervous system is intact, but there is a covering over the nerves which takes place gradually and is related to physical touch. Parents generally do not know that this covering begins growing at the top of the head and goes down and out the extremities and is directly related to the child's ability to coordinate-to use the muscles in the arms, legs, hand and feet, deliberately. This growth takes place through touch and the Balanced Beginnings Program gives instruction for the most useful and "efficient" touch to bring about the use of the small motor system.
+ Parents also do not usually know that what a baby smells is very directly related to the baby's ability to use small muscles in a coordinated way.
+ Parents may be aware that the emotional atmosphere will affect the baby's intelligence and adaptability - but few are aware that the emotional atmosphere will affect children of the next generation as well!
+ Most people do not know that all babies everywhere make the same sounds at birth, and that if they HEAR many languages during the rapid brain growth period, they will later be able to learn those languages easily and WITHOUT an accent.
+ Few parents have the knowledge that crossing the centerline of the body with the vision, or with either hands or feet, develops both sides of the brain in a way which is impossible without that crossing.

   These are just a few of the many examples which have been incorporated into the experiences of our BALANCED BEGINNINGS program. We are very pleased that the program, as it stands, is being reinforced by the very latest research as entirely valid and useful to give a baby distinct advantages over a baby who is "loved and cared for" by loving and caring parents who do not know about these processes.

   I believe babies of the future will be more greatly "loved and cared for." It is only in recent generations that early childhood has been recognized as a great foundational period for the later psychology and consciousness of individuals. The difficulties of life, along with ignorance, have a way of interfering with the best of intentions which most parents very certainly possess. Children deserve the best possibilities and the knowledge which is now in our hands will make those possibilities greater and greater as it becomes generally known and applied.

   The BALANCED BEGINNINGS program, itself, contains information and a card file of more than three hundred carefully sequenced experiences to be used during a six month period before a baby is three years old (and the rapid brain growth period has ceased). After a baby has completed BB, which takes a 6-month period, we have now produced Balanced Beginnings II that can continue until 16 months of sequenced experiences have had an effect on the baby's developing brain - before the baby is three years old.

   Doctors who have used the program with premature babies have discovered that the babies develop much faster and mature to normal, then, amazingly, surpass their own age group.

   As new science becomes available, we keep abreast, and send it with the Programs, so nothing will be left out. We are careful not to simply "stimulate" with attention to the sequence of experience in relation to the baby's development.

   I'm looking forward to the time when all children will have BALANCED BEGINNINGS.