Prime Your Child’s Reading & Math Development with Patterns

Patterning refers to the meaningful process of organizing, coding, and categorizing information in the brain. It is through the patterns constructed and stored in neural networks that our brains recognize and find relevance in the millions of bits of sensory input received every second. Your child’s early experiences sorting, categorizing and patterning are key.

Top Ten Favorite Tips to Improve Children’s Memory

Studying for tests is tough on kids and parents. From my perspective as a neurologist and teacher, I’ve evaluated the neuroscience research about how the brain learns and remembers most successfully. This article brings together the strategies I’ve suggested, based on that research, reported by parents and educators to be most helpful.

When Children Hate School, Reignite Their Interest

Home extensions of learning beyond drill and homework gives school subjects relevance to their world so your children will want to know what they have to learn. The bridges you provide to give their school learning meaningful context not only increases their motivation, attention, and memory, but also boosts their highest cognitive executive functions!

Praise that Discourages Children

Children repeatedly praised for their inherent intelligence, in contrast to praise for their effort or the use of good strategies, are at risk for negative consequences of that praise. Children who perceive their success as a result of the intelligence with which they were born, are prone to believe that their abilities are fixed and not changeable by effort.

Build Your Child’s Divergence

In today’s global technology-based economy the best universities and employers are looking for applicants with the capacity for divergent thinking and actions. This includes the ability to look beyond a specified point of attention and perceive associated or unexpected sensory input that may reveal more then would be perceived if attention is limited to a specific goal.

Raising Kids Who Want to Read—Even During School Vacations

You can guide your children to the wonderful worlds they can reach through books traveling over the rainbow and deep into the center of the earth. Using their interests, strengths, and talents you can connect them to reading for pleasure, as they simultaneously build reading skills through this painless, argument free reading success cycle.

No More Flashcards With Memorization through Game Playing

Forget the Flashcards and Drill and Kill (interest) with The Best On-Line Games to Boost Your Childs Skills. The technological advances of online game-based practice for those dreaded facts that must be memorized is one of the greatest boons to parent-child relationships. These games can be found through easily through these information packed websites.

What to Do About Your Teenager’s “Eye-roll”

The eye-roll the equivalent of a door slam when teens have too many clothes piled on their bedroom floors to get adequate propulsion for a reverberating doorway. It helps to know it is normal for teens to behave in inconsistent and unpredictable manners- more idealistic, generous, and unselfish than they will ever be again, but also the opposite: self-centered & egotistic.

Giftedness Not Unwrapped—We All Lose

If giftedness is not carefully nurtured it may not blossom. Failing to identify and support children’s gifts can limit their access to future careers in scientific, artistic, or other academic pursuits that could give them great joy. Discovering and developing gifted children is not only critical for them, but also vital for society.

Bilingual Brains – Smarter & Faster

Recent studies of children who grow up in bilingual settings reveal advantages over single language children, including both increased attentive focus and cognition. The powerful implications of the new research are about brainpower enhanced by growing up bilingual.

Are You a Teacher Not Ready for School to Start?

School is Starting. If you are still “burned out,” your brain has rewired to survival mode—go make a “Animoto” video. Its easy, you’ll find your inner videographer, and make a powerful impact on your students. AND YOU WILL ALL HAVE MORE joyful learning.

The BIG BANG Coming in Student Testing

Prediction: Within five years in some countries (five to ten in others) open Internet access for information acquisition will be available on standardized tests. This access will significantly reduce the quantity of data designated for rote memorization.

It’s Smart to Sleep

The second best thing parents can do to promote brain health in children is to speak to them about healthy eating, exercise, and sleeping. The best thing parents can do is set healthy examples for children to follow.

Boost Your Children’s Test Success With "Neuro-Logical" Strategies

With the help of correlations from neuroscience research, you can use best brain practices, like evaluating similarities and differences, to help your children build the learning habits for durable memory and strong test taking skills. As these strengths grow they will sustain or restore positive attitudes about school and their own potentials.

Neuroscience Insights from Video Game & Drug Addiction

Video games are not the enemy of children’s successful and motivated learning, but rather a model for best strategies to apply to all learning. The same brain processes and neurochemicals that compel video gamers can be activated to increase children’s brains’ motivation to do homework with focus, reverse school negativity, & reignite their joy of learning.

Your Bad Teacher Experiences Can Make Your Child’s Teachers Better

The greatest school fear reported by students is being reprimanded for in front of classmates. Embarassment or negative attention reduces children’s learning potentials because their brains learn to avoid participation to reduce the risk of potential mistakes. Sharing your “bad teacher” experiences can help teachers avoid making those same mistakes.

Whose Children Will Get the Best Jobs in the 21st Century?

Until the educational system changes, parents can provide their children with opportunities to analyze information, use judgment, prioritize & develop goal-planning skills. Only children who build these neural networks will succeed at the best, most creative, and personally rewarding jobs available only for those who are prepared with 21st century skillsets.

Inoculate Against Boredom

Better than Botox for Frown Lines: For the first time in our history, for students in high school, it is now more likely that their parents will have graduated than it is that they will graduate.The number one reason students give for dropping out is boredom.

What Do They Call the Person Who Graduates Last in Medical School?

The answer is, "Doctor" but are you ready for a mediocre physician to do your brain surgery? 

What to Do When Your Child Hates School

If your child hates school it is probably not his fault, nor that of his teacher. Rather, it can be evidence that his brain is functioning appropriately.

Want Children to “Pay Attention”? Make Their Brains Curious!

Recall how, as a child, you felt about radishes as garnish on your plate. Now, imagine walking into your childhood classroom and finding radishes on all the desks.

Why Healthy Teenagers Die

Teenagers are three to four times more likely to die during those years than at any other point past infancy, until they become elderly. The causes of death are largely attributed to their higher risk-taking and accidents.

Recurring Final Exam Dream:

If you've had 'the dream' related to school, you know exactly what it is. This is the dream where it is the day of a final exam, and you realize that you forgot you were taking the course and therefore had not attended any of the classes, did not do the reading, and you are certainly are not prepared for today's test.

Your Most Embarrassing Mistakes Do You the Most Good

Dogs learn pretty quickly not to chase skunks and children rarely put their hands into fire more than once. The brain has a special system that lets it learn from mistakes.

"Dad, Mom, MUST You Drink That Wine to Feel Good?"

The last part of the brain to mature its neural networks is the prefrontal cortex, the center of highest thinking and executive functions. This is the part of the brain that is used for judgment, risk-assessment, critical analysis, goal-planning, and conscious decision-making.

Your Brain Owner's Manual

One ten-year-old boy said, "I didn't know that I could grow my brain. Now I know about growing dendrites when I study and get a good night sleep. Now when I think about watching TV or reviewing my notes I tell myself that I have the power to grow brain cells if I review."

Brain Toxic Classrooms

The toxic NCLB pressure resulted in teach-to-the test curriculum with its drill-and-kill worksheets and memorization. The cost is the loss of a golden opportunity to build on curiosity and enthusiasm. 

Top Ten Necessities for Education Reform

For the first time since the institution of public education in the U.S., students currently in high school are less likely to graduate than their parents. We are the only industrialized country where that is true. Here are my recommendations to change the appalling dropout rate and prepare students for the 21st century.

Top 10 List to Improve Your Child's Memory

Brain imaging shows what you can do with your child to boost memory for test study. Check out the top ten tips to cut your child's study time, increase test success, and let you avoid the unpleasant, high-drama of test time.

Dr. Judy Willis’ RAD Teaching Connections from Neuroscience Research to the Classroom

I left my neurology practice and became a teacher. Ten years ago I went back to university for my teaching credential and M.Ed when the number of referrals I was getting to evaluate kids for ADHD or  petit mal seizures sky-rocketed. I found the toxic cause of the misdiagnosis in the classrooms using teach-to-the-test, rote memory, stuffed curriculum. The kids were fine - their classroom instruction was toxic. Since then I have written books and given presentations to parents and educators worldwide about what strategies are most neuro-logical based on brain research.