Learning and the Brain : Helps for Brain Gym Exercises
Help for Brain Gym Exercises : Give Me A Brain
Many parent utilize the Brain Gym Exercises approach in accelerating
their children's learning abilities. The additional activities
below (along with Brain Gym) take whole brain learning to a new level.
• In order to function optimally, your cerebrum needs a change of pace every
twenty to thirty minutes. Instead of sitting down to work on a massive
project for three and a half hours, schedule small breaks throughout
your allotted work time.
• Children need small frequent snacks while working on their lessons.
Apples, peanut butter or cheese and crackers, grapes, pretzels, etc.
can be provided as needed. Even chewing gum provides needed stimulation for
• Key to optimal brain function is adequate hydration. Have your
child drink plenty of water during the day. Some of my students would bring
a water bottle to school to sip from during the day. If the bottles tipped,
the child’s work would remain dry. (for the most part!)
• One of my favorite techniques is changing locations. When faced
with a long study period, take a break every 20-25 minutes. Walk around, go
to the restroom, get a drink. Then when you go back to your task, sit
somewhere else in the house. In a different chair, in the kitchen, on the
other side of the table or room. Your brain will think you’re doing
something different, and will re-energize itself.
This idea worked wonders in my third grade classroom. We'd start our
day with Brain Gym Exercises. Then we'd use the breaks throughout the
day. Especially during a longer lesson or a test, we’d switch
seats after 20 minutes. The children would approach the work with a
fresh, renewed attitude.
After your child has been working on a project for awhile, remind her to
take a break, or give her a healthy snack. If the project is too large to
move easily, have your child sit on the opposite side of the table.
Your child could set a timer for 20 minutes and use the sound of the bell as
a signal to stretch and break.
Try this technique yourself. It works beautifully! (Just remember that 20
-25 minutes is the maximum length of time for anyone. Don’t assume that
because you’re an adult that your brain break should occur after 45 minutes.
It doesn’t help as well when you lengthen the focused time.)
Of course, there are times when interruption may hinder or frustrate
learning. If your child becomes upset about a break, perhaps he’s on the
verge of completion or really grasping an idea. Use your judgment and allow
your child to schedule some breaks.
• We all need “down time” as a part of our learning structure.
Daydreaming, playing, walking, exploring the great outdoors all contribute
to the process of learning. Ideas and concepts “click” while our
attention is on something else. While these moments can appear time wasting,
they are vital parts of our day and necessary for brain health.
Go ahead and start your day with Brain Gym Exercises and
then use the breaks to supercharge your child's brain as he/she's working
throughout the day. You should see a big difference in motivation and
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