How Brain Gym® is incorporated in Homeschooling in South Africa
Article compiled by Sonia Hawkins [email protected]
‘From school to homeschool’ course on 17th August 2017 in Johannesburg.
What are the schooling options parents have in South Africa?
As parents, we want our children to enjoy the best opportunities to ensure a good future for them. The mainstream options are as follows:
A local learning centre for children with special needs shows attention is needed for the following:
- Cerebral palsy;
- Alcohol syndrome;
- Down syndrome;
- Brain damage due to:
- Medication during pregnancy;
- Other types of syndromes;
- Some can’t read;
- A few can’t write; and,
- Low self-esteem.
Thanks to Brain Gym® training and philosophies, these have changed how the principal runs her Learning centre.
Now when she is faced with a challenge, she feels more positive in handling it, because although there might not be a 100% recovery, (for instance with cerebral palsy), she knows that any change or improvement means a 100% difference for that particular child, and the parents.
One of her learners with autism is 7 years of age.
“He can’t talk and can’t do most of what's expected of him on an educational level. I never thought that he would allow me to touch him. But once he watched me doing Brain Gym® on one of the other learners, he couldn’t wait for his turn. He now allows me to work with him, and he enjoys it so much,” says the principal.
Another student found out that he was adopted, and this resulted in him having a lot of anger. He also suffered from Shearman’s disease. After starting Brain Gym® exercises he now experiences less anger and rejection.
“It gives us hope; we are touching people’s life forever. I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity to study Brain Gym® from December 2017 onwards!”
It has made a big difference for learners and parents who are challenged by:
- Overcoming learning barriers;
- Sleeping disorder;
- Reading and writing problems;
- Teenagers who feel depressed.
This centre’s first Brain Gym® client is 11 years of age. She suffered complications before birth and was born 2 weeks premature by emergency caesarian. Shortly thereafter, she started with epilepsy, especially at night. After starting with Brain Gym® at the end of December 2017, there is a big difference in her life.
The specialist in charge of her care is busy weaning her off her medication. She is able to do maths now, which previously was not possible for her to do. Her reading, concentration and sentence construction has Improved to the point where she now communicates more easily.
“There is a lot of overall improvement in all the learners’ ability to read, do maths and concentrate.”
A second example is an aftercare learning centre in that opened in2013.
“Children need to study in the field of their interest from a young age and have the opportunity to enrich their talents. In the past, my one student had difficulty hearing all the letters in words. This made it difficult to read or spell correctly,” says the owner.
“With Brain Gym® activities and regular practice over time, we see lots of changes in his schoolwork. His ability to remember has improved. His behavioral patterns have changed a lot and he is now able to cope with life.”
“In general, the children engage more in sensible social activities and actions with one another. I feel it is because of a greater sense of self-worth.”
A third local learning centre owner describes the needs of the children at her centre:
“The primary needs of the children at our centre are focus, concentration and emotional development.”
“Brain Gym® training and learning philosophies have equipped me to better understand how to approach children and what to do with them, without them being able to explain. My Centre is more calm and happy which creates a stable learning environment. The children now look forward to studying….. as they do not see it as a huge “mountain” in front of them anymore.”
“Brain Gym® movements have calmed the children and helped them to achieve better marks in the subjects they battle with.”
“We have also had improvements in sleeping patterns. The children are more focused and not so tired during the day anymore.”
“We do Brain Gym® movements with the whole group to get them focused before they start doing their homework. The children’s marks went up and in some cases by up to 20%. “
“Neatness in their work also improved, and their core posture is much better.”
Benefits of Homeschooling include:
Homeschooled children have more flexible hours than school going children. They mostly spend between 2-6 hours a day doing their schoolwork. Primary School age learners spend about 2hrs, High School learners between 4-6 hrs per day.
Home learners do need to interact with their siblings and/or any other children as well as the parent who accompanies them when on outings.
There is more one-on-one time available and discussions are encouraged and can continue throughout the day, as time allows.
Homeschooled children have more opportunity to observe adults socialising; this gives them the practical exposure to guide them in their own socialisation.
Homeschooled children don’t necessarily escape bullying etc. although they are exposed to bad behavior a lot less. The parents are normally close by, so matters tend not to escalate as easily.
Homeschoolers tend to be more active and independent. (Although, parents need to guard against excessive use of cell phones and computers.)
In times past when formal schools did not exist, homeschooling or children learning at home, was the logical and indeed, the only choice. Time may have clouded the object and process of learning but homeschooling has definitely become a viable and in many cases, logical option.
The success achieved in many lives in countries worldwide bears witness to the place homeschooling has earned in education.
Adding the benefit of a proven practice, in this case, Brain Gym®, has increased homeschooling’s effectiveness and provided a positive platform on which homeschoolers can anchor their success.
To find out about the different methods of Homeschooling, and how to match them with specific brain organisations, learning styles and personality of the individual child, be sure to attend the course.
‘From School to Homeschool’: 17th August 2018 in Johannesburg.
For more information, contact Sonia Hawkins at [email protected]
Copyright: ©Sonia Hawkins 2018