| Ten Easy Ways to Help Kids Learn: A Brain-based Learning Strategy that Really Works
By MaryJo Wagner
Jun 30, 2006, 9:21pm
Susan's a math whiz and Caleb's an artist extraordinaire. That's, great but wouldn't it be better if Caleb could improve in math and Susan could develop some artistic skills? They can and it's easy.
Researchers have recently discovered that whole-brain learning or brain-based learning is an efficient and effective learning strategy that helps kids (parents and teachers, too) learn anything easily without struggling.
One feature of brain-based learning involves using both the right side and the left side of the brain. Although nobody is just left brain or just right brain, most of us have a dominance.
Susan's math aptitude means she is probably left-brain dominant, and Caleb, the artist, has a right-brain dominance.
Learning to read and write requires using both sides of the brain. So does learning math and even doing art. In fact, doing just about anything well, including thinking clearly, and even problem solving, involves using the right and left hemispheres of the front part of the brain.
How do you accomplish this? Easy. Just move across the center mid-line of your body. Every time you move your right arm to your left side or your left arm to your right side, you're crossing the mid-line and improving learning, thinking, and problem solving. Now you're using brain-based learning.
Works for kids. Works for you. Try these parenting tips and teacher resources today.
1. Give yourself a big hug.
2. Tell kids the only rule is to cross the mid-line of the body, right hand to left side, left hand to right side. Now let them invent ways of doing this.
3. Dance the hula. Or twirl a hula hoop.
4. Take a Brain Boosters TeleClass. Sign up at www.brainboostersforyourkids.com Or a Brain Gym class. Sign up at www.BrainGymClasses.com
5. Do the twist. (So you weren't dancing in the 50s and 60s? Ask somebody to show you how to twist or get a dance video.) Twist with the kids while you listen to some old Chubby Checker songs.
6. Rake some leaves with your kids, making sure you're raking off to the side instead of straight in front of you.
7. Play a board game. (Use your right hand to move your piece when it's in the left corner and vice versa.)
8. Practice using your non-dominant hand to reach for things on the opposite side of your body. Even writing and drawing with your non-dominant hand helps. (You'll get better with practice.)
9. Do Yoga and Tai Chi. Lots of moves cross the mid-line.
10. Cross your ankles and arms in front or in back when you're doing jumping jacks. Kids can usually do this. If you can't, try it in a swimming pool.
This brain-based learning strategy really isn't all that complicated. Lots of everyday kinds of activities get the whole brain active. Sitting around watching TV, however, isn't one of them! You and your kids have to move around and cross your mid- line. It's fun.
MaryJo Wagner, Ph.D. The Learning Doctor "Helping You Help Your Kids Learn" firstname.lastname@example.org. Get the complimentary brain-based-learning newsletter, "Brain Boosters for Your Kids," Help your kids learn faster and easier. Sign up Now!
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