Music, movement, nutrition, supplements, and even simple crossing the mid-line exercises can have a big impact on the brain and on learning in children. I’m so glad I learned about the importance of incorporating “brain breaks” and “brain exercises” into our daily school schedule, but often times we get so busy that we run out of time for those valuable brain activities. Until lately…
Over the past few weeks we’ve been so privileged to be able to try out a new tool in our homeschool, a bone conduction headset by Forbrain – Sound For Life Ltd. The great thing about Forbrain is that it doesn’t require time away from other school subjects. Forbrain can be used in conjunction with subjects like reading, spelling, recitation, and speaking. With Forbrain’s bone conduction headset, stimulating the brain doesn’t have to be time consuming.
Forbrain is a bone conduction headset that stimulates the brain through the sound of your own voice. It uses the sound of your voice to create high frequency vibration. The device transmits this vibration to your bones, resulting in bone conduction. Bone conduction creates nerve impulses and delivers the sound to the nervous system and brain. So basically Forbrain is a sensory workout for your brain!
Forbrain can improve:
Forbrain retails for $395 and comes with the headset, USB cord for charging the headset, user’s manual, a quick start guide, and three extra foam mouthpieces. All of these items fit nicely into the sturdy zip closure case for safe keeping.
How it Works
This device is recommended to be used daily for a total of six to ten weeks. For a child under five years old, recommended usage is just 10 minutes a day. For children between the age of 5 and 15, Forbrain should be used for 15 minutes a day. Teens and adults should use Forbrain for 20-30 minutes a day.
The Forbrain headset consists of a microphone, two bone conduction transducers (the blue part that rests on the bones next to the ear) and the dynamic filter. The dynamic filter is the rectangular box containing the on/off button, volume control, and a little light.
Forbrain should fit snugly around the ears, not on top of the ears like headphones. The mouthpiece should be an inch or so from the mouth. Once comfortable, turn the device on and you’re ready to begin!
The device does have a volume control but it is already set to the most optimal level. The volume should only be adjusted for a person with very poor hearing or someone who is extremely sensitive to sound. We did not need to adjust the volume on ours. Begin speaking, reading, or talking into the device to start giving your brain a sensory workout!
How can you use Forbrain? Lots of ways! You can use it while singing, reciting poetry, memorizing any kind of text, reading, spelling out loud, or dictating.
Usage and Thoughts
When Forbrain arrived in the mail, we were all so excited! Using the quickstart guide, we charged our headset for a full 3 hours before we began using it. I simply plugged the headset into our PC, using the USB cable. The light on the headset turns red while charging and turns off when it’s fully charged. The light turns blue when the device is on.
The kids were both so eager to use the headset. They were arguing over who should use it first!
My daughter, 5, used the headset during her speech therapy sessions. Each day she wore the device for 10-15 minutes, while she worked through the sounds and words she was learning.
My daughter loved using the headset! She wasn’t bothered by it or distracted by it. It was light and comfortable for her to wear. In fact, my daughter enjoyed her speech therapy sessions more than usual. She loved hearing her voice and didn’t want to take the headset off. My daughter is a bit wiggly, and she would often bump the mouthpiece away from her mouth so that it was no longer transmitting. She would usually let me know if she couldn’t hear herself anymore and we would adjust the mouth piece back into position.
My son, 11, used the headset while he read aloud to me. He has been using Forbrain to help with reading comprehension and attention. He used the device each day for 15-20 minutes.
My son found the device comfortable for the most part. He is a little more sensitive than my daughter and for the first couple weeks the vibrations that the device creates to send nerve impulses to the brain really bothered him. He started holding a finger over his ears because it bothered him so much. I tried the headset on and I didn’t notice the vibration. We kept on using the headset and eventually he began to get used to the vibration and it didn’t bother him anymore.
Both of my kids used Forbrain daily for almost 6 weeks. I haven’t noticed any significant difference yet in my daughter’s speech or in my son’s reading comprehension, but I think it may be a little too early to expect results. Forbrain says that the device needs to be used consistently for a period of 6 to 10 weeks. Since we are just at the beginning of that time frame, it may be too early to determine results.
I am pleased that both my kids love to use Forbrain. We will continue to use the device until the end of the 10 week period. Forbrain suggests a taking a rest from the device after the 10 week period is over before picking it up again.
I would love for Forbrain to provide some kind of test so that users could determine how they are benefiting from its use. It’s a little difficult at this point to determine results without some kind of rubric. However, the fact that my kids are not only willing but ask to use this device is a plus for me. And the positive scientific results that have been achieved with Forbrain are exciting. We will definitely continue using Forbrain and hope to reap the many benefits that are possible!