November 27, 2012
Making plays together: a way to stimulate children’s imaginations and performance skills. It’s also a way to get family members communicating and interacting creatively. I can see some hazards–parents have to be willing to hear tough truths about their children’s perceptions and experiences–but when it’s done in a spirit of warmth and respect, playmaking can be transformative and pleasurable. I’d be careful about using this without professional help in a situation of serious trouble in the family, but for most families, I think it’s a simple, delightful and brilliant idea:
thank you to Rebecca McMillan and the Brain Cafe for one more great idea!
November 26, 2012
Neuroscience is one of the most exciting frontiers in our world today. Discoveries are being made that can transform our understandings of learning, teaching, resilience, and recovery from trauma. The concept of neural plasticity, for example, with discoveries of the extraordinary capacity of a brain to find work-arounds and continue developing across the lifespan–in spite of any previously diagnosed limitations of a person’s potential–supports optimism and continued efforts for parents and educators committed to the optimal development of all children.
But there’s a lot of opportunistic misinformation, toys, electronic games, and gimmicks for sale being dressed up in the guise of neuroscience. Daniel Willingham suggests care in buying into stuff and educational practices that proponents describe as supported by neuroscience–currently there’s a lot more junk than treasure out there being called ‘neuroscientific’:
November 8, 2012
New evidence supports the importance of rote learning demands in education. It’s all about balance– yes, kids need creative problem-solving and autonomy and engagement in their schooling, but they also need to acquire basic skills that are best mastered through memorization and repetition. Multiplication tables, word roots, and penmanship are best learned the boring old-fashioned way. Once mastered, these skills provide a foundation for more interesting and engaging learning.
In another great thought-piece, ‘ Why Kids Should Learn Cursive (and Math Facts and Word Roots),’ Annie Murphy Paul discusses these ideas:
November 6, 2012
There are a lot of reasons people are feeling more stressed right now than usual–Hurricane Sandy, economic worries, political uncertainty, and also (in the northern half of the northern hemisphere) the fact that it’s November and the light is decreasing every day.
If you’re a parent–specially of a small child–it becomes even more important to manage that stress well. Little ones absorb our feelings and worry when we worry. Here are five great ideas for coping, and reducing the likelihood of the added stress burden leading to further problems:
5 ways to increase happiness.
via 5 ways to increase happiness.