As summer wraps up and the school year begins, it occurred to me I'd like to offer some information to help make the upcoming academic year a little easier and perhaps more successful. Even if you do not have school age children, you may be a student yourself, have grandchildren, or care for children. And by all means it always helps to "sharpen the saw", learning new facts and skills every day to keep our brains active.
Did you know that up to 20% of the calories you burn each day are allocated specifically to brain function? Wow! That makes me want to get my thinking cap on, LOL!
Below are tips we can all use to help us learn and communicate with others!
So here, for the first time, is a guest post from our colleague, Dr. Marina Chirco. She was my practicum partner at the EEG Institute and has helped me from the beginning in developing the Edge NeuroFitness practice. She currently serves as our Medical Director and recently moved to England with her husband and two children to establish our branch in the UK! How cool is that?
Here is what she has to share: (Note: Please don't be offended about that this was a "religious" broadcast, it's just some really helpful info that can be used by anybody!)
I was listening to a broadcast on Focus on the Family and the guest speaker was Cynthia Tobias who has a book out on learning styles called, "The Way They Learn". I thought that her tips were really interesting and helpful. You can listen to the second part of the broadcast from the Focus on the Family website. Here is a summary of what she said:
There are three main learning styles:
- Visual : Needs quiet and has to have the time to actually picture the content in their mind.
- Auditory : Talks a lot. They need to hear themselves saying the content.
- Kinesthetic : Needs movement. Will tap pen, bang feet, move around while studying.
These three types can then either be :
Global : Needs context for the information they are memorizing or learning. "Why are we doing this?" How does it fit into the things that I am interested in?
Analytical : Needs detail, lists, order and organization.
Most classroom curriculum is tailored for an analytical learning style but only 50% of the population learns this way!
If you have a child who is struggling in school, take a moment to figure out what kind of learning style they have. Listen to how they talk.
The visual learner will use lots of visual words, such as, "Can I show you this? Will youlook at this a minute? Can I see that?"
The auditory learner will use lots of auditory words such as, "Can I talk to you a minute? Will you listen to this? Can I just say something?"
The Kinesthetic learner will use mostly action words, "Let's just do this. Let's go!"
Once you have figured out how your child learns, ask him/her where the ideal study spot would be. What would the ideal time be? Even if it sounds strange let them try it out and if they can prove that it works then, why not?
Choose your battles!
Be honest with your child and let them know that this is difficult for you, too.
A very powerful tool is to let your child know that you acknowledge how difficult studying is for them. You also need to let them know what it is you like about them. Try to figure out how to take that strength and use it to do better in school.
If you have a teenager who is struggling and just doesn't care anymore, there is a lot of emotional tension:
Focus on their strengths - "What I Like about you is..."
Don't constantly hassle and criticize them because they will naturally go elsewhere to seek acceptance.
Marina Chirco, MD (IT)
Here's a little tip from me, Becky Bassham, NeuroFitness Coach, methods I have found to help me study or help others study/learn new things:
For the visual learner: Prepare flashcards and visual aids
For the auditory learner: Repeat facts out loud or read study notes, text to yourself or to anyone willing to listen! I have a friend who brings his therapy dog into schools so children to read to him!
For the kinesthetic learner: Try studying or reciting facts/flashcards while doing jumping jacks (great for kids and countting, ABC's), marching, walking, or riding an exercise bike.
When I was a kid, I used to study vocab words while riding and reading them to my horse! A little of all three, perhaps I'm a slow learner? Now my favorite method is flash cards and reading on the exercise bike, it's safer!
I'm thinking this also has its applications in communication, like when giving instructions...
Some people are good with verbal directions or instructions. Others do better with lists, and some do better when they are shown how to do something or learn by doing. Just a thought!
Did you ever try to communicate with someone and it doesn't seem to get through? I have!
Now keep in mind, if you or someone you love is struggling in one or more of these areas, we have technology and tools that can help! Did you know that we can actually strengthen these areas of your brain just by playing or special video game or watching DVD's in our office?
Call today to find out how! (928) 486-5414 or now toll free at (866) 380-4537
Stay tuned for the next post in our back to school/learning series. Hint: After reading it, you will want to go to sleep!
As I always say, "Unlock Your Brain's Potential!"