How curiosity makes learning easier

New research in the Oct. 2 issue of "Neuron" explains why the more curious we are about something, the easier it is to learn it.Why? When our curiosity is stimulated, the brain circuit related to rewards has more activity. The researchers also found that when the study participants were curious, they had more activity in the hippocampus (which deals with forming memories) and more interaction between the hippocampus and the reward system....more

Learning a New Language

Under Rocks

There are certain sayings that you repeat in conversations with people. Personally, I have my favorites and I cycle through them. Lately, I notice I've been mentioning how "I live under rocks". ...more

Homeschooling Workstations: My Favorite Part of the Day

     One of my favorite things to do is set up workstations for my kids.  We just call them "stations" and my kids really look forward to days when we do them as well.  Over the next few weeks, I'd like to share my favorite stations.  Maybe you will find a way to incorporate them into your school day as well.  Stations are designed to encourage independent learning, creativity, and build certain skills you want your child to continue to improve on.    ...more

No Summer Slide Here - 5 Tips For a "Smart" School Break

As the school year winds down, most kids (and parents) want nothing more than the freedom to dump their battered book bags in the closet and not think about school or teachers or tests for the next 75 beautiful summer days. In many ways, I am definitely that parent, cheering just as loudly as my kids when they come running off the bus for the very last time. But, in other ways, I see summer as my opportunity to expose my children to what I really believe learning is all about – self-directed exploration, quiet time to read a variety of books, and lots of hands-on adventures....more

Improving Your Child's Education through a Musical Education

Encouraging your child to pursue music education can not only help encourage their hidden musical talents, it can also provide them with a lifetime worth of benefits. These benefits include an appreciation for music and the arts as well as improve their learning in other subjects. Music education awakens different senses in your child, often together or simultaneously....more

Letting Go: Do You Want Me to Hold Your Hand?

She’s older this year, a completely new person really. It’s amazing the difference six months makes in one so young. Last year I had to help her with everything, and this year she wants to do things on her own. In the weeks since the snow has melted and we’ve been able to use the play set, she’s mastered the ladder steps. After the first couple of trips up, I realized I could step back, remove my hand from her back, even be across the yard, and she could make it to the top on her own. ...more
wlee222 And thank YOU for the reminder that just because my kids are growing doesn't mean this ...more

Why kids struggle with tests; It may not be test anxiety

I just ran across this short video (like 1.5 minutes) about children who experience test anxiety. A woman named Studley Robson (cool name!) of LearningRx in Staunton explains that it may not actually be text anxiety but rather weak cognitive skills, which causes the child to draw a blank. brain skills she mentions are short-term memory, long-term memory and processing speed. ...more

The flip side of workbooks

     Some kids like to do workbooks and worksheets. Their parents stand by proudly, proclaiming to all that will listen, "My child likes to do schoolwork...for fun!" Then they smile, pitying the poor parents of kids who just want to - gasp! - play.   But why do some kids like to do workbooks? I always did. It made me feel grown up, it made me feel smart, and I, quite honestly, I liked the attention it got me. "Oh, look, she wants another workbook! How smart she is!"...more