Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Brain-Based Learning: Core Principle 2

The second core principle of brain based learning according to Funderstanding

Learning engages the whole physiology.

Physiology is the processes or functions in an organism (here, humans, obviously) or in any of its parts. So, all functions--breathing, eating, sleeping, heartbeats--affects learning.

This is why when Ty gets hungry, he throws himself down in an tantrum. The poor kids can't think anymore because his body wants food more than it wants to think. The mind and the body are connected. The better shape of the body and its processes, the easier and better the mind can learn.

For teachers, this is something they always knew but could never put a name with--hormones and chemical processes influence learning. The entire body plays a role in learning. More learning takes place when the body learns as well and when the processes are not overriding the brain's attempt to learn.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Brain-Based Learning: Core Principle 1

Funderstanding lists the core principle of brain based learning. The first:

The brain is a parallel processor, meaning it can perform several activities at once, like tasting and smelling.

What is his brain processing? Seeing the lights and figuring out how to blow?

This principle seems like a no-brainer because this happens all the time. For instance, Ty is crawling around on the floor right now. He is learning that pressing your knees on carpet too hard hurts them and a new Elmo song on the stereo. He's also thinking about how much harder it is to push a car on carpet than on the hardwood. 

Teachers try to take advantage of this principle. When teaching literature, they teach comprehension, literary terms (analysis), and life lessons, or themes. Students read and take notes, at the same time. This is how I utilize this principle the most as a parent too, only with 2-year old ideas.

While reading a book, Ty and I discuss colors, the pictures, and numbers, if applicable. He's almost three and I have began incorporating feelings and predictions, like: What do you think will happen? Why do you think X did that? Was that nice? Was that fair? When he gets older, I imagine I can ask him to draw a journal about what happened in the book.

Another idea to embrace parallel processing is with play-doh. The feeling of the dough along with the vast colors engages the senses. The manipulation of the dough works his kinesthetic intelligence.

Every action can work this. The question is, how much do parents and teachers have to think about this? Is it enough to just know about it? Do we need to make a conscientious effort to address this in everyday learning?

Monday, November 16, 2009

SAHM Triumph: Schedule and Money

Slowly, very slowly I am figuring this SAHM gig out. The kids and their schedules occupy my time and I have little time to write. I will juggle it all eventually, so I tell myself.

I have found a few study writing jobs and writing makes me busy. The first few weeks adjusting to working at home, before I completely acclimated myself to being at home... it was hard. They hubby and I had long and frequent discussions. So with this good news came another hurdle: scheduling.

I think (I use a qualifier as an Internet way to knock on wood) I scheduled my day in a positive way. The computer can be addicting and I don't want to sit on it all day while my kids play alone. That defeats the reason for staying home, yes? 

We get up, eat breakfast and play together. Za goes to sleep around 10 and I let Ty have quiet alone time (as quiet as a 2 year old plays). During this time, I update Twitter, blogs, write and email. phew--I never finish it all.

All the while, I am potty training Ty. This sentence is huge. This monopolizes my day and thoughts. I also nurse Za.

After Za wakens, we play and read and then have lunch. At some point, we start getting ready for nappy-poohs and wind down. The kids nap and I clean the kitchen and start dinner.

Hubby comes home about an hour after the kids are up from their naps. We eat, play, bathe and bed. Then I write some more and watch adult TV.

Somewhere in there, Ty watches his 2 hours of television a day. Normally when he wakes up for the morning and his nappy-pooh he asks for Mickey or Manny. I also shower in there. I also call doctors and insurance companies and make random appointments. hmmmm Maybe it is set everyday, but I do complete more than I did when I started this!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

SAHM Triumph (I think): Thanksgiving

A few years ago someone placed me in charge of Thanksgiving dinner. No one has looked back, so I suppose my cooking is good. My stress level raises, normally as I iron napkins after digging them out of the dryer after my last minute attempts of washing out last year's stains. Last year I was hugely pregnant and irritable. This year, my first year as a SAHM, will be organized and nice. Not Target nice, but creative and thoughtful.


Stuffed mushrooms
Crab chutney 


I put my mother in law in charge of desserts today, so that is done! 

Sweet potatoes
Green bean casserole
Turkey (the mother in law told me not to do that today, but as I type this list, my husband insisted. husband trumps mother in law)
Mashed potatoes
Homemade wheat rolls
Cranberry (the kind from the can, with the lines, chopped up in a faux attempt of fanciness. but no added strawberries or nuts)

So at the store, I will buy...

Chicken broth, cream of mushroom soup
Corn starch, yeast, flour
Canned cranberry, green beans
Potatoes, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, onions, celery 
Real milk, eggs

I also have to go to the fish dock for the crab chutney. I need to find a fresh turkey somewhere that isn't Kroger's. Next, decorations.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

SAHM Struggle: Potty Training

And, I've neglected my blog. All of my confidence about being a successful SAHM went away with potty training.

I would not be doing this if Ty didn't know what he was doing. But he does. He really really does. He can stay dry at night and in a store. At home, he gets so busy playing that he forgets to go until "the pee-pee is coming" and it is too late. I've cleaned up gross mess after another and my laundry room smells like urine.

Anyway, we are working hard this week. I also had a deadline due for a website, so I  had no free time.

Hopefully, I will return with more educational insight, confidence as as SAHM, and a potty trained two year old.