Learning With Today's Child
I spend most of my time working with students who are severely struggling in school. And most of this time is spent teaching correct processing skills. The information does not seem to move through their bodies and brains as it does in most people. And yet, there seem to be so many of these children. I have ideas about why there are so many children today who don't seem to be "wired" correctly. I also know that it takes a lot of work to "rewire" the brain to work correctly. Yet, once this is done these students learn, succeed , and thrive in a world that was once dark and bleak.
We live in a fast paced society. Children today rarely have to wait for anything. They have instant access to information, fun, food, etc. Video games are graphic and fast paced, and often violent. Television commercials flip on and off at a frenzied pace. Computers have been designed to be faster and faster, and we get impatient when we must wait a few seconds. Most people have high speed internet connection. And, yes, our children live in this society.
So what does this have to do with learning and processing information? Well, the fact is that since these young children don't have to wait to see images, their brains, in effect, become lazy and don't develop properly. Think back to your childhood. We did not have all of this technology. We waited for almost everything, and we were quite active. (Sometimes I wonder how we even survived). But, our bodies, which are connected to our brains, were developing properly. We were outside hanging upside down out of trees or playing kick the can. We learned to read, write, do our math and school work. Our handwriting was legible. Our bodies developed gross motor skills and then we were ready for the fine motor skills required in school. We were "connected" and there were very few children who required help or assistance. Attention Deficit Disorder had not even been heard of at this point in time.
Well, what can parents and teachers do to help develop these lost skills? There are many programs, activities, and exercises available. Following are some basic suggestions that may help you if you have a student who is struggling in school.
1Make sure the student is active. A sport that involves the crossing of the vertical midline is best. Karate, baseball, and golf all fall into this category. Cross crawls are great. Have the student march, placing his right hand on his left knee and then switching, placing his left hand on his right knee. Have the student do this to music while looking up and to the left.
2Limit the use of video games, television, and computer time. This can be harmful to a child with learning problems.
3Do some basic eye exercises with your child. Get a patch and put it on one of the child