How to Support Childhood Cognitive Development

Jan. 1, 2019

We’ve got neurologist Josh Turknett, MD back on the podcast today to talk about “unschooling”, a homeschooling method in which the direction of education is strongly influenced by the student’s interests and choices. It is becoming a popular alternative to traditional schooling, which forces kids to stay indoors, sit still, and be quiet for hours every day, while limiting access to activities they are developmentally wired to appreciate, such as art, drama, and music.

On this podcast Josh and I talk about how best to support a child’s natural cognitive development, specifically using the principles of unschooling. Josh describes this emerging paradigm and explains the benefit it holds for all children - not only those struggling within the traditional school system. We also discuss the best resources we’ve found for educating our own kids and encouraging their cognitive development.

Here’s the outline of this interview with Josh Turknett:

[00:00:13] Previous podcast episode: The Migraine Miracle, with Josh Turknett, MD.

[00:01:10] Physicians for Ancestral Health (PAH); PAH Podcast.

[00:02:33] PAH website:

[00:05:38] Intelligence Unshackled Podcast.

[00:08:30] Book: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: And Other Clinical Tales, by Oliver Sacks.

[00:09:02] Geoffrey Hinton: This Canadian Genius Created Modern AI.

[00:09:44] Study: Richards, Blake A., and Paul W. Frankland. "The persistence and transience of memory." Neuron 94.6 (2017): 1071-1084.

[00:10:37] Book: The Forgetting Machine: Memory, Perception, and the "Jennifer Aniston Neuron", by Rodrigo Quian Quiroga.

[00:12:07] Paleo Baby Podcast.

[00:12:52] Letter To High Meadows Elementary School.

[00:16:58] Arts and music as undervalued disciplines in traditional school systems.

[00:20:15] Harder is not necessarily better.

[00:21:36] Forest school.

[00:23:12] Using the outdoors for primary education.

[00:25:32] Traditional schooling: suppressing activities that come most naturally.

[00:26:03] ADD/ADHD; sleep deprivation and nutrition.

[00:29:57] Unschooling.

[00:33:42] Learning formula: intrinsic motivation, feedback mechanism, learning constructed knowledge.

[00:36:15] Day to day unschooling schedule.

[00:37:10] The myth of poor socialization when homeschooling.

[00:39:37] Balancing interests with general education.

[00:42:37] Duolingo.

[00:42:55] Educational materials.

[00:43:07] Khan Academy; 3Blue1Brown; Smartick.

[00:45:17] Assessing knowledge and progress.

[00:50:37] Book: Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think, by Bryan Caplan.

[00:53:59] Book: Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning, by Peter C. Brown.

[00:54:12] Movie: Class Dismissed.

[00:54:26] Brainjo on Patreon.

[00:55:24] Censorship on Wikipedia.

[00:55:59] Sam Harris.

[00:57:25] Brainjo.

[01:01:40];; Brainjo Education Facebook group.

[01:03:00] Physicians for Ancestral Health; PAH winter retreat.

[01:04:01] Book: Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives, by Tim Harford.

Join the discussion on the NBT forum when you support us on Patreon.

© 2013-2024 nourishbalancethrive