Brain Gym: Help yourself, help others.

Last summer, a physical therapist who took my Brain Gym 101 course was quite taken with the difference in her pencil grip after a very short and simple balance for writing.  While it was a longstanding source of frustration for her, she’d not been focused on how she held her pen, but in the midst of doing the exercises, something changed.  Therapists, look at the before and after pictures:  Brain Gym ROCKS!   (The rest of us don’t see as big of a change, but the PT assured me it was a huge step in something that had bothered her awhile.)…

There’s a lot of components to good handwriting!

Awhile ago, I wrote about the effects about typing vs printing or cursive on the brain. Last time, we learned about the Handwriting Without Tears program’s neurodevelopmental approach. Today, we’re going to look at the more visible reflexes needed to have legible handwriting happen in the first place– and the benefits of having good handwriting! Almost everything with ideal neurodevelopment contributes to a torso stable enough to write (think of writing while you’re on a small ship in the ocean!) shoulders, arms and hands with Goldilocks-good muscle tone (not too high and not too low — just right!) to grasp…

Where’s the Very Beginning (with Handwriting)?

Can you imagine Julie Andrews’ bell-clear tones here? “Let’s start at the very beginning…. A very good place to start! When you read, you begin with A, B, C…..“ Apparently, when we write, we ought to begin with neurodevelopment, not learning the alphabet in order. Occupational therapist and handwriting expert Cathy Van Haute illuminated my world when I spoke with her recently.  She’s taught Handwriting Without Tears to professionals for 15 years, during which time the program has grown from 8 instructors to 78, and is now the 2nd largest handwriting curriculum in the world; first among homeschoolers.  The reason,…

Cursive, printing, or typing?

Does it matter how our children communicate?  And, what about us? Jessica Brashear is a Momaha blogger and former high-school counselor who recently wrote about an unsettling discovery she’d made:  high-schoolers’ unfamiliarity with cursive writing. An especially astute Facebook commenter asked, perhaps somewhat plaintively, “Does reading or writing in cursive make a kid smarter?….how is cursive going to affect his life in real world?” I love questions to which I have answers! The short answer: cursive is extremely helpful to the development of the nervous system and thus to our overall level of function with ease. Printing is also helpful,…