Archive for July, 2013

Recognize the Good!

Thursday, July 25th, 2013 by admin

Do you notice that your children use negative self-talk? Do they call themselves dumb or stupid? Children are not wired to bad-mouth themselves. It is an unhealthy habit, but one that can be broken!

The good news is that simply starting fresh can change this behavior! Help your children start anew by giving them positive feedback for a job well done; for an answer they pulled from the back shelf of their memories; for the joke they were able to tell start to finish; or for remembering to return their books and movies to the library. Teach them that it’s time to start saying “Good for me!”

And to make it stick, use this little physical movement in addition to the positive self-talk. When your children have done something desirable – behaved in a positive way, kept quiet when they would normally have made a unwelcomed comment; or remembered something important for the day, teach them to kiss their hand and tap their head – up where their brain lives. Yes, kiss the brain for a job well done! Give this strategy a go and see how the brain responds. You all may be surprised when you notice the desirable behavior continuing to improve! Positive strokes are important for our emotional and mental health. You can help your children do this – and modeling is a great way to start – go ahead, kiss that beautiful brain of yours!

Take a Look at a Book!

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013 by admin

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”    Dr. Seuss

When traveling around this summer, make sure that your children have a stack of books – hard copies or audio CDs – within reach! We all know reading is important, but reading over the summer is even more vital to your child’s success in the coming academic year! The University of Tennessee History Center provides us with some recommendations to get your children jump-started on their explorations, adventures, and imaginations:

New Readers:
“Dodsworth in Tokyo” by Tim Egan
“In Andal’s House” by Gloria Whelan
“Let’s Go, Hugo!” by Angela Domingues
“A Long Way Away” by Frank Viva

Elementary Readers:
“Racing the Moon’ by Alan Armstrong
“I’m Not a Plastic Bag: A Graphic Novel” by Rachel Hope Allison

Middle Schoolers:
“Chomp” by Carl Hiaasen
“Fenway Fever” by John H. Ritter
“Summer at Forsaken Lake” by Michael D. Beil
“The Plant Hunters: True Stories of Their Daring Adventures to the Far Corners of the Earth” by Anita Silvey

Young Adults:
“Endangered” by Eliot Schrefer
“Meant to Be” by Lauren Morrill
“Wanderlove” by Kirsten Hubbard

When choosing books, teach your children how to use the 5-Finger Rule to determine if a book is just right for them:
1. Open to any page
2. Start reading that page
3. Hold up ONE finger for every word that you don’t know or have trouble pronouncing
4. 0-1 fingers, book is TOO EASY; 2-3 fingers, the book is at the INTEREST level; 4 fingers, the book is at the CHALLENGE level (you can read it, but it should make sense); 5 fingers, the book is at the FRUSTRATION level and is not a good choice for now.
5. Ready to READ!

And remember, you can add vocabulary words from the more challenging books right into your Brainjogging word lists and they will not be frustrating for long! Happy Reading!

Declaration of Independence

Thursday, July 4th, 2013 by admin

As we celebrate the July 4th holiday in this country, we emphasize freedom, independence and the right to so many opportunities that other countries do not provide. We experience these freedoms due to the persistence and determination of many others before us.

Children with learning disabilities and other neurological disorders face many obstacles, as do the parents and caregivers who support them. The challenges are numerous with each new day, but the children persevere! They go to school; they face those teachers; they engage with their friends; and they participate in sports and other extracurricular activities! They are strong through their challenges.

Researchers have found that kids who exhibit certain characteristics are more likely to succeed in life. Some of these characteristics include self-awareness, proactivity, perseverance, goal setting and using support systems and emotional coping strategies. These characteristics can be taught and nurtured over the summer. Allow your child to spend time alone in nature to become aware of their surroundings, their thoughts, and the way their bodies work (walking, running, biking, climbing trees). Think ahead by making grocery lists or packing lists for outings. Learn how to do something new and keep at it until it becomes natural. Set some personal goals – or make a Summer Bucket List – to accomplish by the time school begins. Continue seeing your support personnel, like the therapist, the psychiatrist or the pediatrician to check on physical growth and other changes taking place during the summertime! All these activities support growth in the area of Independence!

The best way to motivate your child is to help him/her experience success – a great way to do that is through Brainjogging! Declare Independence from tutors, tantrums, and the torture of watching your child struggle! Give the office a call or drop us an email! Make it a better summer for everyone!