Reading - bring the brain into balance
Try this balanced approach to reading—start with a picture book. If your child is
struggling with reading, then find funny stories, funny pictures and comics and
you will be amazed at how the brain works to find the words that would otherwise
be difficult to read.
Often characters in comics face situations which children relate to and sometimes they can find an answer in the comic. This helps expand their imagination to think of ways to change situations.
All children want to learn, they don’t want to be left behind, and comics are a
potent and effective way to recharge their interest, using both sides of the
brain. An added benefit of comics is, when the humour is there, the laughter
comes and it releases the stress and frustration of reading.
There are not a lot of quality comics with great messages are not around at the moment, but the market will grow. The Adventures of Tin Tin is a long standing favourite and free downloads can be found on the internet.
Other ways to bring the brain into balance prior to reading by;
• Breathing: To balance your brain, simply breathe by holding one nostril closed and breathing in and out through the other nostril for 4 breaths, change over nostrils and breathe in and out 4 times. After only a minute or so your child will feel refreshed and balanced.
• Creativity: Creativity is vital for the development of imagination and balance. If a child spending all his/her time focussed on academic learning, then it is time to stop, and do some drawing, painting, cooking, sewing. Any creative activity is good.
Creative children also need to balance their creativity with their left brain, and be careful not to feel stressful and fall into their mid-brain and come out fighting or be withdrawn.
• Draw a lying down 8 (an eternity sign) and use a pencil to continually draw this shape for a minute or so. This also enables the brain to balance itself.
• Movement: Switch hands for a while. If your child is usually right handed, ask them to do something with their left hand. The brain has to switch over to the other side.
• Brain Gym® movements that switch on your body for optimum learning, focus and concentration. There are many excellent sites for the movements, go to google, put in Brain Gym and follow the trail.
Parenthood Emotions - when to say yes...and when to say no
Parenthood, emotions, when to say yes… when to say no… Anyone who has gone through the fascinating task of raising a child and has done it to the best of their abilities deserves a Nobel Prize, I would say.
Being a parent myself, I was able to discover that helping a child in their growth and development is probably one of the most difficult tasks one can undertake in life. It requires dedication, discipline, know-how and most importantly, patience and love. The rewards of a job well done should translate into a well-balanced and mature individual that can do well at school, in their careers and able to develop healthy relationships.
This is easy to say but it is not always simple to do. Raising children involves learning as you go. Each child is different, they have a unique brain and personality traits so the hints and tricks you get in a book and family advice is often not enough to be a good parent. We must work on ourselves as individuals to improve our skills, our intuition and our awareness if we are to do a good job.
Experts in the field say that if we want to predict how our child is going to turn out when he/she grows up - it is not an achievement or an IQ test that will give us the answer - it is how the child gets along with others, how he/she behaves socially. And this depends significantly on how we relate to our child as caretakers.
How parents deal with conflict with their children has proven to have an important effect on the child’s emotional abilities, including the ability to connect, understand and empathise with others.
New research presented at the Paediatric Academic Societies in Denver in 2010 showed that children are more likely to be aggressive towards others if their parents frequently feel angry with them or feel their child bothers them a lot.
These findings are useful in helping us understand the importance of noticing when we are angry or frustrated ourselves. It is essential that we manage these strong emotions effectively instead of dumping them on the child.
The ability to notice and understand our own emotions is called “emotional awareness” and fortunately it is a skill that is now starting to emerge as a life skill worthwhile to develop.
Dr. Ben Palmer, an Australian PhD from Swinburne University developed a model of Emotional Intelligence which consists of 7 essential skills that can be learnt independently of age.
Emotional awareness is the first of these skills. Once we understand how we are feeling then we can apply some strategies to diffuse the strong emotions that could affect the way we speak or deal with our child.
The topic is incredibly interesting to explore and it is useful to take away 3 tips that you can apply at home to increase involvement with your children:
1) Take the time and be open when talking and sharing ideas with them.
2) Listen and acknowledge their own ideas and build on them without saying: that idea will not work or it is not possible.
3) Meet as many of their friends as possible. Be involved and interested in what they do and who they share their time with.
Author of ‘What Did Your Parents Teach You about Emotions’
- What did your Parents teach you about Emotions.pdf 93 Kb
- Adobe PDF Reader required, download it here...
A Love of Learning
Everyone has a love of learning, especially children, whose natural curiosity causes them to continually ask that question “Why?” So, 'why' do we feel that many children just don’t want to learn..and many of them will tell you “I don’t want to learn”.
Ignore that statement!, and discover ways to engage their interest and they will want to learn more. Children can find a game challenging on the internet. Many of them can play for hours, perfecting their technique, and at every stage they are learning. The challenge is to make it useful and valuable learning. The aim is to find out what engages their interest and to transfer this to reading and writing. Children love to learn through play, through excursions in nature and through experiences. School work can be made more interesting if you take the time to be inventive in the ways you encourage them to learn.
Once you have captured their attention with a subject that interests them, then it is easier to get them to read and write about the subject and this leads on to new discoveries, such as the enjoyment of reading and researching more.
To encourage A Love of Learning
1) Have pictorial books around the house (especially on subjects that interest your child).
2) Let your child see you reading for enjoyment.
3) Read to your child. Even if they can read well, the enjoyment of someone reading to them is great.
4) Take your child to the library and let them see the range of books on the subjects they like most.
5) Give your child the responsibility of choosing and taking out library books.
6) Water gives the brain an extra boost of energy - ensure your child is well hydrated.
7) Fresh air is vital for the brain - open the windows and doors and let the new air in.
8) Good nutrition is important for good brain function. Give your child Omega 3 oil and organic fresh whole foods.
9) Don't sit in front of television and expect your child to read - be a role model.
10) Make reading fun, not a chore.
How We Learn
Most people fall into three styles of learning, audio, visual and kinesthetic, this means that people learn by listening, seeing, or doing. Variations occur when there is more than one type of learning preference, however one style is usually more dominant than the others.
This can be a challenge for teachers in a class of 30 children with a mix of learning styles. Around 40% of children are visual learners, 40% kinaesthetic learners and only 20% are auditory learners. An interesting thought when the traditional way of education is auditory, resulting in around 80% of students not being engaged in lessons. When bored or disinterested this contributes to behavioural and learning difficulties. And, for parents it is can be just as challenging if you have children with different learning styles.
You as the teacher or parent also have your particular style of delivering the messages. Without this understanding it can be difficult to have the perfect communication. Being aware of this is the first step and to tailor your approach for better communication.
VISUAL learners need to look at things, they see words by sight, remembering faces, having a great imagination and thinking in pictures, often expressing emotions through facial expressions. Don’t expect Visual learners to write lists and take notes, you gain better results by drawing a picture, doing a diagram, using video or written instructions.
AUDITORY learners learn best hearing what is being said, they enjoy discussing problems and learn by reading aloud or listening and express themselves best through their voice. Traditional teaching suits these children and they succeed when they hear the teacher discussing the lesson.
KINESTHETIC learners like to touch and make things. They are great at demonstrating their point of view by building and making something. They learn well on excursions and learning through drama, science experiments and hands on activities.
Neurofeedback - The Permanent Alternative to Medication
For the Treatment of ADD/ADHD, autism and learning difficulties
(by Chantal Kayem http://www.chantalkayemgazal.com.au)
Biofeedback / neurofeedback for the treatment of ADD/ADHD and learning difficulties are often not well understood, and here Chantal Kayem reports on how Neurofeedback can help your child.
What is Neurofeedback (NF)? EGG neurofeedback (or biofeedback) is a treatment for the brain disregulation that occurs in many conditions including ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities, autism, anxiety, depression, behaviour disorders, sleep disorders, headaches, migraines, emotional disturbances and more.
How Does NF work? What does the process involve? How long does it take to see improvements? What results can be obtained for ADHD, ADD, learning disabilities and behavioural problems? Are there any side effects? How effective is NF? Where can I get more information on NF? All these are answered and more when you click on the pdf file.
Back to School - our hopes and expectations
As parents there is much we can do to support our children’s education.
The first hope most have is that our children really enjoy the experience of school, that they relate to their teachers and enjoy the company of all their classmates. Too often a child can feel isolated from others in the class. If you feel this is an issue, then it may be necessary to step in and invite some of the children to your home after school. When children are able to play together in a happy environment, they forget the pressures of the playground and simply enjoy the playing.
Know what is happening at school, join the P&C, work at the canteen, volunteer for excursions and extra activities. In this way, you will learn how the whole class is progressing and see how happy your child is within the school environment.
As parents we must release our expectations and encourage the children to enjoy learning. Don’t stress over homework. When you place pressure on your child to do the homework, they may rebel and begin to dislike the learning experience. You may have a great expectation that your child will be a genius and won't achieve in life unless the homework is completed and done well. In theory this works, but in real life, when you look at the great achievers many of them did not do well in school, they spent their time in creative pursuits and were only really interested in studying the subjects they liked.
You don't have to give up your expectations, simply encourage your child to do the best they can, to be open to subjects whether they like them or not, and encourage them to know that whatever they do in life, it they really love it, they will do well. For many people finding the thing they love most is harder than schoolwork.
Let the Children Play
We see puppies, kittens and lambs playing and think how cute they are
and then tell our children to sit down and be quiet!!
Children need to play games where they make the rules and set their own guidelines.
Play is a great way for children to learn social context. It requires leadership, it requires, team work and each child has the responsibility for playing it their way. Unstructured
play helps children to build their imagination, to make decisions, to work as a
team and enjoy being with friends. These are important lessons for life and they come naturally when the games are filled with fun and laughter.
Play is the natural way for children to develop, however, today too many children miss out.
They are kept ‘safe’ indoors, sitting in front oftelevision or a computer screen. If you want
them to develop better social skills, better brain function, and take calculated risks - get the
children outside to play.
Another advantage is the close link between play and healthy cognitive growth. Play is the foundation for academic success in reading and writing and helps with scientific and mathematical concepts. Play is critical for building imagination and problem-solving skills.
Reasearch suggests that make-believe play increases empathy and reduces aggression.
Plus the fun and laughter builds the overall health of your child.
Make time for yourself to play with your child - also builds better relationships!
Play, play and more play.
More ways to gain better brain function
You've heard them before. And for good reason. They're among the most sure fire ways to ignite your brain.
Better oxygenation breathe rhythmically and deeply and do it gently
Increase hydration drink filtered water and more of it – our brain is around 90% water
Better nutrition eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to alkalise the body
Increase exercise exercise activates the brain
Take on creative pursuits use both sides of your brain for balanced learning and thinking