Colors are everywhere. They are part of our language and our culture, and they are a big part of what we learn. In addition, they help determine how we learn. Not only do colors send signals to the brain to make us hungry or calm, but they also have the power to distract a child or enhance a child's learning potential.
For instance, young children are attracted to warm, bright colors, while elementary-aged children prefer tints and pastels. Middle school children enjoy colors like greens and blues, while high school students prefer darker colors like burgundy, gray, navy, dark green, and violet.
Although many homeschool families can't afford to redecorate their entire house, perhaps a fresh coat of paint may be in order as you consider these facts about the human body's response to color:
• Blue increases productivity. Cool hues cause the body to produce calming chemicals that actually slow down a person's heart rate, revealing the meaning behind the hospital term "cardiac blue."
• Red stimulates brain activity, often triggers hunger, and attracts attention. However, if overused, it can be very distracting. Red is known to increase one's heart rate.
• Green is very relaxing and is associated with nature, creativity, and fertile thinking.
• Yellow is a difficult color for the eye to see. It heightens concentration, but it also can be very overpowering. Children like it as infants, but they grow less fond of it as they get older.
• Purple is not readily found in nature, but children usually prefer it.
• Black, brown, and gray are seldom chosen as a child's favorite. Fear and defiance may be indicated in a child's emotional life if they use these colors in excess.
• Black and white as a color scheme lowers a child's IQ and dulls learning.
• Bold reds and oranges may increase a child's IQ as much as 12 points by attracting a child's attention to details.
• The ranking of color preference internationally is blue, followed by red, green, violet, orange, and yellow.
• Small children naturally prefer luminous colors like red, orange, yellow, and pink.
• Reading comprehension increased 80% in dyslexic children when using a blue or gray overlay on the page.
Along with having the right color in your child's learning environment, it's also important to incorporate color into your daily lesson plans and activities. Because children remember colors better than verbal cues, combining lesson content with colorful visuals can improve your child's memorization. Choosing Christian homeschool curriculum like the brightly illustrated Horizons from Alpha Omega Publications will improve your child's cognitive retention.
In short, if you want your child to learn better, consider the power of color. Because 80% of the brain receives information visually, be sure to incorporate the element of color as you homeschool and paint the perfect picture for your child's educational future.