How Healthy Eyes Contribute to Your Child’s Effective Learning

children learning with sight

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” – Benjamin Franklin

It goes without saying that the education of our children is important. What they learn and the experiences they have at school will help shape them into who they will be for the rest of their lives. As parents, it’s our responsibility to ensure they have every opportunity possible to effectively learn. That includes going to school with healthy eyes.

Eyesight & Learning

Of course eyesight is helpful, in an obvious way. When sitting in a classroom and absorbing information from the teacher standing at the front of the room, vision plays an important role in processing, comprehending, and remembering information.

But eyesight can also be helpful, in a less obvious way. It’s science. Research indicates that exposure to daytime light, more specifically blue light, can boost learning. “When light enters our eyes, it also engages a non-visual system that affects the timing of our sleep-wake cycles and our cognitive performance,” according to neuroscientist Melina Uncapher.

Since our eyes are connected to the part of the brain which signals melatonin and cortisol secretions, the types and amount of light our eyes are exposed to directly correlates with our ability to sleep (melatonin) and be alert (cortisol). When we are well-rested, our alert or “wake” windows can become more productive, yielding better academic performance. 

How Teachers Can Help

  1. Allow as much natural light into the classroom as possible – keep those windows exposed!
  • Encourage children to use Harmon Distance (elbow distance) when doing “close work” – research shows that this is the optimal distance for reading and writing
  • Consider offering slant boards to students – placing “close work” on a work surface that is slanted at a 20-degree angle allows the surface to be more parallel with the face, decreasing eye strain

Think your child may have a vision problem that is preventing him or her from learning effectively in the classroom? Give us a call to schedule a comprehensive eye exam.