How your child’s body could be blocking their learning

Your child could have the best teachers in the world but if something is blocking their ability to learn, schoolwork will always be an uphill struggle – almost like trying to run a race with their shoelaces tied together.

You may be surprised to know that your child’s body could be blocking them from reaching their full potential. Experts from children’s health and wellbeing charity, the Sunflower Trust, outline some of the issues they see on a daily basis:

Posture

If a child sits with their head tilted to one side, this can be a sign of problems in their muscular structure. A tilted head will affect the way their eyes are engaged and co-ordinated and will cause muscles in the neck to become tense, affecting concentration and causing tiredness.

How you can help your child’s posture:

  • Ask your child to stand with their back against the wall, making sure their heels, hips, shoulders and the back of their head are touching the wall. Now ask them to walk away from the wall but maintain that position as they walk around the room.
  • Get your child to start the day with some big stretches up to the sky to straighten their body out.
  • Whenever possible, get your child to move around the room and stretch after 20 minutes of sitting using technology.
  • Try to make sure your child does not have to hunch over when doing their homework.

Balancing the brain

As well as being right or left-handed, a child can be right or left footed, right of left eared and have right or left dominance in their eyes. Many children are a combination of right and left often making it more difficult for them to learn.

Sunflower practitioner Sheree McGregor explains: “Right or left dominance or a combination of the two suggests the complexity of the way in which the brain and central nervous system has integrated. We do not hope to change this but we can help to integrate the brain more fully to be more able to cope with the way it has wired itself.”

Activities which can help to better balance the left and right sides of the brain include:

  • Hopscotch
  • Skipping
  • Tree climbing
  • Marching while tapping a hand to the opposite knee
  • Lifting a heel behind when walking so the opposite hand can touch it
  • Dancing
  • Music
  • Sports
  • Art and/or craft activities

Eye co-ordination

Time on screens is one of the culprits for poor eye co-ordination in children – making it difficult for them to refocus between the board at the front of the classroom and the books on their desk. Children can also struggle to move their eyes around the room without moving their head.

Ways in which you can help your child with their eye co-ordination:

  • Make sure they take their eyes away from their screen every 20 minutes and refocus on objects further away.
  • Ask your child to locate different objects around the room without moving their head or focus on a pen as you move it from side to side, up and down.
  • Try to swap some of your child’s screen time for puzzles on paper such as mazes or dot-to-dots.

If you feel your child needs extra help in any of these areas, Sunflower can help: call: 01483 531498 or email: enquiries@sunflowertrust.com

 

 

 

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