It has been fun to learn about language development as my boys have grown from delightful toddlers with only a handful of words to big kids who are learning to fully express themselves. While I love some of the cute mispronunciations that my boys make, I know how important language development is at a young age. My boys have had the typical speech issues of hard to understand preschoolers, and I have on more than one occasion wondered if I was doing enough to help them. We were provided with the opportunity to review a Forbrain bone conduction headset from Forbrain – Sound for Life Ltd and I’m very impressed with the results!
What is Forbrain?
Forbrain is a electronic headset that utilizes bone conduction to activate the auditory feedback loop in the brain. It is thought that isolating and amplifying an individuals voice can significantly improve attention, concentration, memory and in small children their pronunciation.
We generally hear sound as it enters the outer ear, travels through the middle ear and finally makes the tiny inner ear bones vibrate. The vibrations are then translated to electrical impulses and sent to the brain. Sometimes things can go wrong, causing individuals to have trouble hearing clearly or processing the information they receive from their ears.
Sound is also transmitted through the bones in our head. When the bones vibrate, sound is sent directly to the vestibule nerve in the inner ear. Because this kind of bone conduction is a different pathway for your brain to gather information, its can be utilized to help overcome hearing or processing issues. This is the basis of how the Forbrain works.
The Forbrain bone conduction headset is worn like a typical headest, except the two speakers sit on your temples rather than in your ears. The microphone is easy adjustable, allowing the headset to fit young kids as well as adults.
As you speak, the Forbrain uses a dynamic filter to isolate and amplify your voice. The sound is transmitted through bone conduction, leaving your ears free to continue to hear the sounds of your environment. This combination helps you to have clearer vocal quality, improved listening and greater focus.
How We Used Forbrain
My boys have all had the typical toddler speech issues and I was intrigued with the idea that Forebrain could help them improve pronunciation. I applied for this review with Magoo in mind because I was very interested in seeing how much his speech could improve.
Each of the boys used the Forbrain for 10 to 15 minutes a day, each weekday. Occasionally we used it on the weekends, but it was was easiest to track by including it in our school routine. We do quite a bit of memory work around here, so especially for the two little boys we practiced our oral memorization with the Forbrain headset.
With 3 year old Doodad, I was amazed at how much clearer his speech was on the first use of the Forbrain. He used the headset primarily to practice the poems I wanted him to memorize. He quickly mastered them! I did find that I had to put the microphone at least an inch or two away from him mouth or he would whisper.
For 5 year old Magoo, I also noticed an immediate improvement in pronunciation. As is typical for a 5 year old, Magoo doesn’t like to sit still for very long. While using the Forbrain, he would sit for up to 15 minutes at a time and work on oral memorization. I really think our use of the Forebrain is why Magoo was able to earn the Timeline Master award this year.
In addition to just memory work, Bebop also used the Forbrain to read aloud with me. I wanted to see how this helped his reading comprehension. While I did see improvement in reading, it was not anywhere as dramatic as the difference I heard in the little boys speech. Bebop enjoyed using the Forbrain the most, and I do think it helped him study for his end of the year Memory Master test.
Jared and I also both tried the Forbrain and its as very cool! You hear yourself in a way that sounds like a cross between having your ears plugged and listening to your voice on a recording. We both noticed above all else, the Forbrain headset forced you to slow down and focus on proper pronunciation. Jared told me as someone who gives public presentations at least once a week, this is a great tool to prepare and practice speeches. I plan to have the boys practice their presentation using the Forbrain in the future.
What We Think of Forbrain
The Forbrain headset is a very impressive piece of technology. I was impressed with both the immediate and long term results we experienced. While this is a big ticket purchace, I think for children struggling with speech or auditory processing issues, the Forbrain electronic heads can be a priceless resource.
My only criticism is I felt unprepared to use the Forbrain at first. I read everything on their website but I didn’t believe it was as simple as putting on the headset and talking. But really that’s all we did! I would love to see demonstrations from speech therapists to get ideas to fully utilize the Forbrain headset. I am also really looking forward to reading all the Crew Reviews to see the different ways other homeschoolers have incorporated the Forbrain into their lessons.