Ann Foster, created Letter Box with a mission in teaching kids to read, write and spell with confidence. Ann tutors children who have difficulties in reading, writing and spelling. We asked Ann for some tips and advice on how to keep children’s brains busy during the school holidays!
In the past we thought that intelligence was controlled by genetics, but the latest research informs us that we are able to change our brain. Wow, what great news for those who thought that they could do no better. We now have in the palm of our hand the ingredients for an effective recipe to improve outcomes for life. We no longer need to contemplate a given pathway into the future, we can design that pathway.
To clear the pathway there are a few very simple tweaks that we can implement on a daily basis to prepare children for the future.
We are what we eat
Eating well is good for mental as well as physical health. The brain requires nutrients just like the heart, lungs or muscles. But which foods are particularly important to keep our grey matter happy?
These foods can be placed in the school lunch box so that the brain is being fed constantly thorough out the day.
- Walnuts provide oxygen efficiency to the brain (if allowed)
- Berries such as strawberries and blackberries build healthy brains
- Sardines and salmon improve focus and memory and act as brain boosters
- Dark chocolate improves mental acuity and blood flow to the brain.
- Cinnamon -A whiff of cinnamon boosts your brain. Even cinnamon-flavored gum enhances memory, visual-motor speed, recognition, attention, and focus. Apples and cinnamon for a snack-especially for your kids during school time and homework.
- Water Dehydration impacts on the ability to attend, short term memory, the function and recall of long term memory and decision making ability. Therefore, simply having water throughout the day will support learning in the classroom. Teachers are now more open to allowing water bottles in class.
Consider the brain as a muscle, and find opportunities to flex it – we began with a nerve cell, which starts in the embryo as just a sort of sphere. It sends its first branch out to overcome ignorance. As it reaches out, it is gathering knowledge and it is becoming creative.
- Read, read, read – anything that stimulates the brain to think
- Read stories to your children
- Communicate with your children
- Watch less television, because your brain goes into neutral
- Walk and oxygenate the brain- physical exercise decreases stress and improves oxygen to the brain
- Wriggle, scrunch and stretch toes and activate the nerves that stimulate the brain and internal organs
When children socialise, they exercise their brain and while socialising, children are learning appropriate social behaviours such as sharing, cooperating and respect for others and property. Social interactions are the driver of communication and the ability to communicate is the foundation of all learning which keeps the brain strong and healthy.
If children have stinking thinking (negative thoughts) then they are at severe risk of experiencing brain disruptions that can cause all kinds of unwanted emotions. These brain disruptions limit the ability to attend. Stinking thinking must be nipped in the bud as soon as the negative thought appears. If the thought is allowed to grow, like a weed in a garden, it is more difficult to eradicate it.
Feed the brain to sustain focus, drink water to hydrate, exercise to oxygenate the brain for optimum performance, socialise to communicate effectively and clear the brain of negative thoughts to eliminate disruptions. These simple, effective routines will support your child in powering along the pathway to a brilliant future.
By Ann Foster