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How to Boost Your Child’s Self-Esteem June 15, 2007

Posted by edukfun in 9-5-4, add, add parents, adhd, alternative treatment, aspergers, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, attention training, auditory, brain, challenged, children, cognitive decline, concentration, discipline, distractibility, education, homework, music, neurogenesis, neuroscience, school, Sparks of Genius, teacher, underachieve, video games.

Self-Esteem is always a hot topic: what does it really do for people? How is it developed? Is it good to have a lot, or can you have too much? What effect does self-esteem have on school performance? It isn’t always easy to spot. Why?

“A given person with high implicit [or inner] self-esteem may be outwardly self-promoting or may be outwardly very modest,” said study team member Anthony Greenwald, a psychologist at the University of Washington.

Full Article Here

Low Self-Esteem is often confused with learned helplessness. Learned helplessness develops when a child is in school and has difficulty with, say, math. He struggles in math, possibly due to a weak teacher or just doesn’t have the same internal aptitude that others do. Maybe he was sick for a key week at school. For whatever reason, the child does poorly. Spurred on, the child decides to try his best for the next exam. Math being recursive, his lack of understanding of the prior material keeps him from really understanding the new stuff, and he gets a bad grade again even though he tried his hardest.

The child concludes, “I’m bad at math.” That is learned helplessness.

Contrast that experience with low self-esteem. A child goes to school and, despite good grades and many friends, feels like he or she isn’t any good in general.

Both conditions can lead to lack of effort in school and reduced performance, but one is based on a faulty conclusion drawn from real evidence while the other is a conclusion drawn despite external evidence (or due to internal evidence only).

The outward symptoms may look and sound the same, and the two issues are very similar, but they require a different touch to handle effectively.

This is where Sparks of Genius shines. What we do in our Electronic Playground is help children uncover hidden strengths, then we leverage those strengths to make improvements in other areas. How do we create total transformation? Through the 9-5-4 Program.

Even though there are 9 Intelligences, schools only care about one or two; Sparks of Genius taps into all 9.

  • Verbal intelligence
  • Mathematical intelligence
  • Spatial intelligence
  • Musical intelligence
  • Kinesthetic intelligence
  • Interpersonal intelligence
  • Intrapersonal intelligence
  • Spiritual intelligence
  • Naturalist intelligence

Increase three or more [Cognitive Skills] and you’ve got a Total Transformation.

There are 5 Cognitive Skills. Increase one of these, and you increase cognitive ability. Increase three or more and you’ve got a Total Transformation.

  • Attention
  • Memory
  • Learning
  • Thinking
  • Processing Speed

Finally, there are 4 Executive Functions. These are higher-order functions and essential for long-term success.

  • Organization
  • Planning
  • Prioritizing
  • Decision-Making

Students come to us, go through fancy, high-tech evaluations, and Dr. Kessler puts together a customized work-out regimen that plays on the student’s strengths and pumps up the areas that are weakest. 2-3 hours per week on a home computer, plus an hour in our high-tech, high-touch playground is usually all it takes. The results last, and they generalize to school, athletics, home, and the social realm.

Good luck!

Allen Dobkin


Video Games as Alternative Therapy June 11, 2007

Posted by schoolsnoop in 9-5-4, add, add parents, adhd, aging, alternative treatment, aspergers, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, attention training, brain, brain injury, camp, children, cognitive decline, concentration, dementia, education, ld, learning disability, medication, memory, memory loss, mTBI, neurogenesis, neuroscience, news, parenting, parents, play attention, Sparks of Genius, summer, underachieve, video games.

A new video game might prove to be a very productive use of time for young cancer patients: It helps kids fight their diseases figuratively and literally.The game, called “Re-mission,” is a 20-level journey through the bodies of fictional patients suffering from different types of cancer, and of course, it can be played by adults and healthy folks as well. But the primary idea is to give patients a sense of control over their disease.

Click here for article.

Children and adults around the world have embraced video games, with both positive and negative results. Here’s another shot in the arm for the folks who see video games as more than just an excuse to stay inside on a sunny day. Sparks of Genius uses video games as alternative therapy for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD or ADHD), Asperger’s Syndrome, Memory training, to fight off Cognitive Decline, and build any number of Cognitive Skills including executive function.

Click here to check out their new Summer Brain Training Boot Camp!

This article reprinted with permission from Rotten Apples: News from the front lines of America’s War on Education.

Get the Biggest Advantage for Your Child June 4, 2007

Posted by edukfun in add, add parents, adhd, alternative treatment, aspergers, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, attention training, challenged, children, concentration, discipline, distractibility, education, homework, ld, learning disability, medication, parenting, parents, school, social skills, Sparks of Genius, standardized testing, teacher.
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Our nation has shifted its educational focus to standardized testing performance, for good or bad. One result is that parents, schools and districts are all looking for ways to play the system. If a school can massage the numbers just right, they get more funding. If parents can have their child diagnosed ADHD or with a Learning Disability, then the child can get extra time on the FCAT and SAT, which leads to a higher score and better college prospects. Plus, a little Ritalin or Adderall goes a long way. For anyone. Are your children getting lost in the shuffle? We hope to show you a trick or two to make sure that your kid has the best advantages, no matter what gimmicks are used by other parents and schools.

Are the children getting lost in the shuffle?
We hope to show you a trick or two to make sure that your kid has the best advantages, no matter what gimmicks are used by other parents and schools.

The NY Times ran an interesting feature highlighting the advantages in redshirting: keeping a child out of kindergarten until he or she is a little older, as much as a year.

Click here for the full article.

Tool #1: Train your child to think that he or she is the boss.

This may seem counterintuitive. After all, we often fight our kids to get them to do their homework. You want to transition your child’s current thinking from the perspective of “Educational Victim” to “Educational Entrepreneur”.

Victim Entrepreneur
Homework is an imposition Homework is a challenge/tool
Teachers are authority figures Teachers are like employees
I’m never going to use this in real life How can I use this in real life?
No dreams beyond play Big, earth-shaking dreams
High level of concern with appearing smart or cool High level of concern with overcoming challenges
Parents complain about school system Parents participate in school system

The institution of education, whether by accident or design, tends to create Educational Victims. In order to transition your child to thinking like an Educational Entrepreneur, requires adult-to-adult conversation. Your child doesn’t have the tools to change their own attitudes, so you must show them the way. Here’s how you do it.First, fix the “Stinking Thinking.” When you hear your child say things like, “I’m never going to use this in real life”, or “Miss Stinkyfoot is a rotten teacher” or “I hate homework”, take ten minutes and walk through this process. First, ask them exactly what is bothering them. Make them get specific. “He’s a jerk” doesn’t cut it. Once the complaint is out in the open, you must reframe it from the perspective of an Educational Entrepreneur. Here are some common translations.

Translate Stinking Thinking
Stinkin’ Thinkin’ iThoughts
Homework is boring Let’s turn it into a challenge: how much can you finish in 15 minutes (then take a fun break).
Mr. Soandso is mean to me Let’s find a way to make him a friend…just like we would as an adult with a mean employee
I’m never going to use this in real life Sometimes the content isn’t what is important, but mastering the PROCESS is. The best businesses have the best processes, not necessarily the best products.
The subject is boring. Tie the subject in to real life and show how it is important.
I’m bored/hate school. This student is stuck in victim mode. Reframe the school experience so that the child is the boss. Consider that the child may be overwhelmed and need some one-on-one help.

To be continued tomorrow.

-Allen Dobkin