Changing learning blocks into stepping stones to success.

It is a familiar scene in many families. Your child seems to be stuck at school, in a particular subject, task or skill. The school gives extra work to do, you push your child at home, you child does its best and despite all these efforts, there is little progress to show for it.

When doing more and more of the same does not work, a radical change in approach and attitude may do the trick. Break the pattern by following this new pattern:

Place – where is your child studying? Some children do much better in an uncluttered and quiet environment with minimal distractions. Others actually learn better while lying on their bed with music in their ears while multitasking between messaging friends and studying. Observe what works best for your child and do not impose your own learning style on your child.

Approach – what is your role? Do you push your child and determine the number of daily study hours, or do you leave it up to your child? Most children thrive when given clear boundaries, but also listen to your child as they can tell you what works best for them. Always be supportive and loving, acknowledging their feelings while encouraging them in their study efforts.

Temperament – recognise your child's uniqueness. No two children are alike. Some are very sociable and need the company of others, some are energetic and thrive on physical activities, others are introverted and need emotional support, while yet others are relaxed and quiet and look for more responsibility.

Time – few can concentrate for hours on end. Actually, for most of us ten to twenty minutes is the limit, after which attention wanes and information retention rapidly diminishes. Break study time up in manageable chunks, with short spells of relaxation, fresh air, physical activity or snack time in between.

Energy – we learn with our brain and although it's only about 3 pounds in weight and has no moving parts, it consumes about a quarter of all our energy. It needs an intake of healthy food and lots of water for optimal performance. Trying to study after a heavy meal is a waste of time and effort, but some fruit and a glass of water in between study chunks can make a real difference.

Responsibility – do you determine what, when and for how long your child should study? This may lead to resentment and an oppositional reaction. Instead, brainstorm with your child how to tackle homework. Acknowledge their suggestions and incorporate them in a plan of action. Give your child a bit more responsibility and support them on their quest to independence.

Neuro-sensory brain training – make use of the latest scientific findings of how the brain works and how we learn best. Give the brain a healthy workout and activate learning, strengthen language processing and build confidence.

Neuro-sensory brain training is no miracle cure, but a simple to apply programme developed by Dutch born education specialist Steven Michaëlis. Having lived in the U.K. for most of his life, he has travelled the world to discover effective methods to activate the potential in our brains. Sensory Activation Solutions now helps hundreds of children each year to perform better and succeed at school.

To finish here's a free tip for when everything else fails. Try brushing your teeth using your other hand. That will break a pattern of a lifetime, activate those grey brain cells and make new connections in your brain – worth a try !

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