Exercise Boosts Academic Performance

by Amy Vaughan

Exercise has been shown to improve mental focus, memory, cognitive flexibility and overall academic performance. Again. This is important information in a growing body of evidence that our children need to be moving more. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/09/exercise-seems-to-be-beneficial-to-children/380844/

 Exercise improves mental focus, memory, cognitive flexibility and overall academic performance. Let's get moving!

Exercise improves mental focus, memory, cognitive flexibility and overall academic performance. Let's get moving!

We know that experiential learning, learning by doing, is foundational to a child's development. In fact, we've known that for a long time (Dewey, 1938)  We know that physically active kids perform better academically. (Trost, 2009) (Trost& Van der Mars, 2009) (Keays & Allison, 1995)  We know that movement reduces anxiety and helps a child be more available for learning (Hannaford, 1995)  We know that movement stimulates oxygen to the brain to stimulate learning potential and prepare the brain for learning. (Jensen, 2005)  In short, it is reasonable to conclude that active learning is more effective than passive learning.

Active learning is sensory learning.

There is evidence that even 30 minutes of active exercise at least three times per week can have a positive effect on learning, including improved mood and attitude for learning, increased brain mass and brain cell development, improved cognition and ability to connect ideas, and better circulation. (Adlard, Perreau, Engesser-Cesar & Cotman, 2003) (Churchill, Galvez, Colcombe, Swain, Kramer & Greenough, 2002) (Markakis & Gage, 1999) (Sutoo & Akiyama, 2003) (Tomoporowski, 2003) (Van Praag, Kempermann & Gage, 1999)

Getting active can make a huge difference in the life of a child. Let's purpose together to make sure the children in our life have the opportunity and support to get moving! This can start as simply as taking a family walk. Regular family walks can begin to bring the benefits of exercise as well as become a tool to building relationship and targeted one on one time with your child. I'm heading out for a walk with my kids...I'll catch up with you later!


Sensory Matters...Have You Thanked Your Senses Today?

by Amy Vaughan


Have you ever learned something without taking in information in some form or fashion? Think about it. We take in information to trigger learning.

Taking in information means we are using our senses. The brain works with information that the senses bring in to learn and grow. Whether you are learning to dress yourself, learning to respond when spoken to, or learning academic information in a classroom, your brain synthesizes pieces of information brought in by different senses, processes it, and responds. That's how learning happens. The seemingly random pieces of information brought in through the senses form the background for the skills and behaviors that we develop.

Bottom line? The next time you get excited about something great that you have learned, take a moment to thank your senses. They are working hard every moment to give you the great quality of life you have.