Higher Learning

Well it’s almost here again….Hopefully you and your family have survived the hot spell we certainly have had over the past few weeks. Some of us can find school holidays a little more hot under the collar anyways as it is often a big time of transition and change. Having the kids at home every day is another big ingredient in the blender of life however, for us and many others that blender will change for a different reason. 

Merissa and I are a little apprehensive as our little man is off to day care at the end of the month. It might not be as big a deal as his first day of school, but it’s still a big change for us. Many of you could be going through something very similar with preschool, primary school, high school or even university- times are a changing.

In the office the other day I was speaking to a friend, a teacher who runs her own tutoring company, Brains & Brawn. She is a mother in a similar transition with her young son and we were talking about how we could best help our kids. Here is our top 4 things that we came up with to help them out:

  • Be supportive– it’s a change for them too, especially emotionally. They might need a little more positive reinforcement, encouragement and maybe even more down time to cope with their changing emotional needs. The emotional spoke in the wheel of health is absolutely essential.
  • Teach– Our teachers have a lot to do and a child’s education doesn’t stop at 3pm. The benefit of home education is multi fold as it keeps their brains and bodies active, it stimulates brain and nervous activity and it can even bring you closer together. It doesn’t have to be math- one mother got her kids enrolled in “Apple camp,” another did martial arts, while a father used this time of year for more beach time and bushwalking with the little ones. We all learn differently including our kids, so try to engage the brain and make it fun.
  • Move– Unfortunately there is one negative thing that starts happening around the age of 5 or 6.  Kids start to sit for a lot longer. Now we may think that they run around enough at recess and lunch, but seriously most kids older than 7 have lost that perfect squat they had when they were 4. That change in posture actually slows down brain activity, makes is harder to concentrate and increases their irritability. Getting your kids adjusted helps to unlock that pelvic mobility, likewise different regular upright exercises like running, gymnastics, martial arts or surf livesaving are great ways to promote multi directional movement.
  • Fuel– From what I have heard and I’m sure I’ll figure out in a few years, kids are always exhausted from those first few weeks of “big school.” This is not something that I’ll even pretend to be an expert in, but I know the more fresh fruit and veggies the better. This combined with good sources of fats and protein provide optimal energy and also brain support. For more helpful hints and advice on this check out our dietitian, Sasha’s work.
So there it is, hopefully a few helpful tips you can implement easily. As I am now starting my 12th year of practice I certainly see the world differently to the way I used to. As Charlie Chaplin used to say, “a day without laughter is a day wasted.” I think a day without learning is a day wasted. Each of you have contributed to my learning process so thank you, it’s been a privilege. Hopefully I have been able to help you learn a thing or two too….