Creating a Love for Learning

achieving balance kinesiology, erin straker

When people ask me to explain what it is I’m learning and what it is I do, I sometimes find it hard to answer. Hard to answer because Kinesiology and NLP is so multifaceted and can be relevant in so many different ways to different individuals at different moments in time. Kinesiology for me encompasses everything and everyone and it can sometimes be hard to stay present, focused and grounded at all times without losing myself in the books. Surrounded by half read books because I cannot get enough, loving the content of Kinesiology as well as loving how easier it is to learn new things. Life for myself has gotten easier to learn, easier to retain content and easier to communicate and pronounce technical terms.

As I sit down to write this the school holidays draw to a close and I have enjoyed time at home to focus on the family, relaxing and reconnecting. During this time I managed to do a few basic balances with Liam – my almost 5 year old. The little balance we did together, for both myself and for him, was a massive eye opener to the magic behind the small things Kinesiology can do to make a massive shifts in attitude and skills. Change is always easier to see in someone else before you see it in yourself.

In the past Liam has been very hesitant to pick up a pencil to write let alone draw a picture. Numbers, counting and maps are his thing not pens, paper and letters. Liam can read and write his own name, he has been doing that for a long while. He can sound out letters and tell you words that start with different letters but to actually read and or write he would in the past completely shut down. The shear suggestion of writing, colouring-in or scribbling had him completely stressed.

This is Liam’s last year at home before embarking on his own journey of education and learning. Being a June baby we have kept him at home a little longer to allow him to truly come to a place where he is socially and emotionally ready to be within a classroom of 25 other students. Also, honestly a month ago he was completely not socially ready. Now a quarter of the way into the year I could have been more easily persuaded to enrol him. After 3 easy 10 minute balances I have seen him blossom, transforming from being defensive to confident. We have managed to conquer the hand writing monster on numerous occasions, Eggy Words is finally a massive hit and for the first time actual pictures have been drawn on the page instead of a scribble.

Brain gym for me makes sense. It is an extension of what I learnt as a new mother taking both babies to Gymbaroo. It is what instinctively my mother applied to me as a young child with my own reading and writing issues when enrolling me in gymnastics. It is also one of the reasons that when I stopped gymnastics in year 11 my school work fell apart. It is what all good education centres should employ into their curriculum and the reason why physical education and fundamental movement skills are considered a core subject. Kinesiology just takes all of these one step further. Through the art of muscle testing you can actually pinpoint the emotional stance that is blocking the child or adult during the learning process. Normally the fear of experiencing this emotion will result in a protective behaviour, I call this a hustle. One emotion for example maybe disgust and disgust when looking at their own work. It then becomes safer to act out defensively than to open up the chance of getting something wrong and to feel disgust. Being defensive becomes a hustle and every time the subject is approached the defensive behaviour becomes more and more anchored in to the body. Understanding this fear and allowing for reintegration of new neuropathways builds on a foundation of success and confidence rather than disgust.

Nurturing a supportive learning environment and maintaining these new neuropathways is going to change his whole approach to school and learning. Understanding that a pathway is more than the simple skills we may use to measure its effectiveness. I have included below some simple activities directly related to hand writing and letters to try, especially if you have a 4 year old like myself. The examples are only a taster to what is truly achievable, to step it up I would strongly recommend having a proper Kinesiology balance and seeing a skilled Brain Gym practitioner. Alternative I would also recommend reading Educate Your Brain by Kathy Brown.

achieveing balance kinesiologyThe sideways figure of eight, the shape to which the whole alphabet comes from. Draw a template on a chalk boards at shoulder height for the child or alternatively pin up some butch’s paper. Making an elephant trunk with your arm from your nose, holding a large chalk in your fingers so that you can just see it with both eyes. Bending at the knees and relax your hips to allow for a full body movement as you trace over the figure of eight. Keep your eyes on the chalk and the board at all times. Repeat with both hands going both directions, while even try both hands together. It is really important to keep the movement going until the whole body is moving fluently.

achieving balance kinesiology

An extension activity could easily be drawing the figure of eight with a pen and paper immediately followed by a single letter, a letter that may normally be done upside-down or back-to-front. This example I have above as he worked with the letter ‘e’ and starting in the right place. Be creative with the figure of eight shape you make, draw them in the air with different body parts, use glow sticks or streamers as visual stimulus, or alternatively get them to hold something slightly heavy to assist in muscular development to further develop pathways. When it comes to learning and trying new things it needs to be fun and creative especially free from fear and ridicule.

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