Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Kinesthetic Learning - It's All Hands On!

Kinesthetic learning (otherwise known as tactile learning) is when individuals are learning more through physical activity than by watching a demonstration or listening to a lecture. Most young children are kinesthetic learners and need to discover education on their own, while having a guide lead them in the correct direction. 

In order for a kinesthetic learner to best retain information, it is important that hands-on experience that allows for trial and error is used in his/her education instead of an environment that promotes planning out an action before initiating an action. 

In young children that have a kinesthetic learning style, most things are processed through a variety of sensory stimuli. These children also tend to be more proficient in activities that involve fine-motor and gross-motor skills. These activities include sports, dance, crafts, cooking, building/fixing things, make believe, and drama. 

In a classroom setting, having different mediums for active learning is important for maximum retention. During free time, children should be encouraged to use toys that utilize critical thinking to accomplish a task.
Activity play cubes, wire and bead toys, magnet toys, and maze toys are a great way to get these children using their hands and minds to problem solve on their own. During educational times, utilizing different teaching tools becomes crucial. 

Using a classroom rug to get the children out of their seats and moving around the room is a great way for children to learn about different topics. Since they are moving around the rug, they are more likely to stay focused on the topic because there is less pressure to focus on one concept for a long period of time. 

Classroom rugs keep the children fully engaged in the class discussion and allows for fellow students to aid in the learning of their classmates.
By using these methods, students are welcomed to a new way of learning that is active and fun, allowing teachers to gain more positive learning from a highly active age group. 

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Teach Children Organization Skills for Success

Whether your children are preschoolers preparing to bring in a show and tell item, grade school students making note of when their assignments are due, or college students gathering information for a research paper, organization skills are crucial for academic success. 

Even intellectually bright students who lack strong organizational skills will struggle throughout their academic career. To maximize your child's potential in school and other disciplines, make sure that this essential skill is deeply embedded in their daily repertoire. 

Because organizational skills often don't come naturally, it's important to work with your children to build up organization skills and habits. It's never too late or too early to start training children up in good habits. Try these tips to strengthen your child's organizational prowess:


For Toddlers and Preschoolers: 
  • Engage them with shape sorters and other toys that teach them to put similar items together.
  • Enlist their help in simple household chores, such as putting away their dishes or placing dirty clothes in the hamper.
  • At the beginning of the day, discuss with your child the day's coming events. Review what you did that day at bedtime.
  • Show your pre-school aged children how to properly store worksheets in folders and other items in their backpacks.

For Kindergarten and Elementary School Students:

  • Continue to give them chores that require sorting skills, such as unloading the dishwasher or pairing freshly washed socks.
  • For children who can read, post a list of daily or weekly chores and allow them to check off completed tasks.
  • Post a similar list of items your children need to bring to school and have them check off each item they place in their backpacks.
  • Allow them to play educational computer games that require memory and matching skills.
  • Take them shopping for organizational supplies, such as binders, folders and assignment notebooks. Let your child choose the cover design.
  • Each day, after school, review the assignments written in their notebook or planner. Encourage them to check off finished assignments

For High School and College Students:

  • Purchase a planner that includes monthly and daily calendar pages, pockets and a place to record other notes.
  • For long-term papers and research projects, help your child break the assignment into smaller tasks and make short-term deadlines for each task.
  • Model organizational skills by keeping your children in the loop with special family activities and other scheduled events. Post a calendar in the kitchen or another communal area for all family members to make notes and review schedules.

If you’re concerned about your child’s school success, start implementing some of these organization activities into your daily routine. The better your children become at organizing the various responsibilities in their lives, the more equipped they’ll be to take on academic challenges.

Author Bio

Jennie is a child counselor residing in Chicago IL. In addition to working with children Jennie owns and manages several self storage units in Chicago. When recommending storage facilities to friends and family in San Bernardino CA, she recommends Extra Space Storage in San Bernardino

Monday, October 01, 2012

Should You Bank Your Baby's Cord Blood?

Like every parent, you hope that your baby will have a long and healthy life. But you know that there will be scraped knees, bee stings, sprained ankles, and an occasional stitch or two; sniffles and sneezes and ear infections. But if something more serious comes along, cord blood just might be the solution.

What is cord blood?

The umbilical cord connects mother and child while the baby is still in the womb. Once the baby is born, the cord will be severed. Cord blood is blood that stays in the umbilical cord after the baby is born. This blood is a rich source of the baby's stem cells, which can be extracted from the cord and stored in a cord blood bank.

What are stem cells?

Stem cells are special cells that can become any type of tissue in your baby's body. As a baby develops inside its mother, stem cells change to become specific types of cells such as liver cells, muscle cells, nerve cells, and skin cells. The stem cells inside a baby's umbilical cord are still capable of becoming any type of cell in the baby's body.

What good are stem cells?

Stem cells can be used in a variety of
medical treatments. Cancers such as leukemia, blood disorders such as aplastic anemia, and immune disorders such as Krabbe syndrome have all been successfully treated with stem cells. 
Research is also underway to use stem cells in the treatment of many more medical problems, including: type 1 (juvenile) diabetes, cerebral palsy, acute spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, heart disease, and acquired hearing loss. By the time your child is ten, a wide array of medical treatments are likely to be based on the use of stem cells.

How do I bank my baby's cord blood?

Collection of cord blood is safe, fast, and painless. Within the first 15 minutes after your baby is born, a health care provider will collect the blood from the cord. The blood will be transported immediately to the cord blood bank where it will be processed and frozen in a liquid or vapor nitrogen freezer at a temperature around -130 degrees Celsius (-202 degrees Fahrenheit). There is no definitive answer on how long cord blood can be stored, but tests indicate that it may remain viable indefinitely.

If you want to find out more about banking your baby's cord blood, talk with your obstetrician about your options.