Friday, 8 July 2016

How To Raise a Compassionate, Right-Brain Child

As a right-brain educator, I'm often asked how to nurture values in a child from the very beginning stages of life.  Because the right brain is the emotional brain, and our type of learning involves sensitivity and love, this is certainly a part of what we teach.  Our TweedleWink school motto is "Relationships before results" because the right brain opens and blossoms in a loving relationship.  Simply put, children can absorb vast amounts of information when they feel happy and respected.  But we cannot teach this from our classroom alone.

Compassion begins with you.  

Each one of us, as parents and teachers, have to teach morals and values through what we do, how we treat others, as well as what and how we say every single thing to our children.

Do you want your child to be compassionate?  Then, you need to ask yourself: How compassionate am I? 

This is such an important question.  Let me share a story with you.

One day in class, 4-year-old Michael slipped and hit his head on a low bookshelf.  It was amazing to me to see the number of children who gathered around him to offer him comfort, a towel, a toy, a hug... Children are naturally compassionate creatures and he was surrounded by much comfort.  

However in another part of the room, 5-year-old Jeremy avoided the scene and kept playing, choosing toys that were finally made available by the other children's absence.  He didn't seem to care about his friend.  As the compassion of the others had touched my heart, his aloofness also made an imprint.

I knew Jeremy well.   He had been in our preschool about two years by that time.  What impressed me was how his tender heart had changed over time due to how he was raised at home.  Seeing how indifferent he was to his friend's suffering showed how it had influenced his behaviors and view of others. 

His parents had a national marketing firm and travelled often, leaving him in the care of others.  When he had just joined us, at about three years of age, his parents had dropped him off at school before taking flights away for the week.  When they said goodbye to him, he sobbed and wouldn't let go of his mother's coat.  She became impatient and angry.  "Jeremy, we went through this before," she explained. "Daddy and I have work to do in Los Angeles.  Stop crying.  Don't be a cry baby."  She unclasped his hands from her coat and left.

The teachers took turns holding him and trying to cheer him up that day, but of course, we were not acceptable substitutes for his mother.

His mother, with best intentions, was trying to prepare him for a harsh world.  However, loving-and-kind treatment would have been a better approach.  The world will always be harsh.  We can console our children and advise them as to how to navigate through it.  We can be the beacon of hope and love and protection for them.  But if we are also the source of their battering, then we handicap them from the start.

We must choose love.


Teaching children how to brighten their tiny corners of the world with love and joy is key to making the world a better place.  To teach children how to be loving and kind, we must model it ourselves.  We can teach sensitivity through respect, carefulness, gentleness, and dignity.  

Here are some examples that parents have shared in our parenting support groups.

Teach respect.
Four-year-old Geena loved to choose her own clothes each morning for school.  On one cold winter morning, she chose a summer dress.  Lisa, her mother, kindly reminded her, "Geena, there's snow outside.  Are you sure you want to wear that?"  Geena reacted by crying.  Lisa crouched down to meet her at eye-level.  "Geena," Lisa began, "I can see that you are sad.  You really want to wear this dress.  Can you figure out a way to wear it and still stay warm in winter?"  Geena sniffled and thought for a moment.  She chose a long shirt and a pair of pants to wear under the dress, with a sweater on top for a new look.  Her mother smiled and helped her get ready.

Teach carefulness.
Carol brought her young children into gift shops where fine crystal or porcelain were displayed.  She did this to help them practice their "careful" skills.  "Step slowly and gently," she reminded them.  They tiptoed through the shops, keeping their hands behind their back so that they could look at the pretty things without touching.  When done, she brought them to a noisy park where they could play.  "Why do you do this?" one of our parents asked her.  "The gift shop experiences teach the children respect for delicate objects, as well as honoring the property of others," she replied.  "Believe it or not, it carries through to how they treat each other."

Teach gentleness.
Susan's toddler son, Lucas, was a chunky, loving boy.  But, when he hugged his nursery playmates, he would squeeze too hard and hurt them.  Susan made up a game to teach him the difference between "gentle" and "hard."  She gathered teddy bears and showed him a word card that depicted "gentle."  "Gentle," she said as she gave a light squeeze to a little bear.  Next, she gave Lucas a light hug.    Then, she presented the "hard" card, giving a teddy bear a rough, tight hug.  The expression on her face was painful.  "Ouch!" she sighed.  "I'm sorry," she apologized to the bear.  She gave the bears to Lucas.  One by one, he gave them either a "hard" or a "gentle" hug, depending upon the card she raised.  He soon learned to give only gentle hugs to his friends.

Teach dignity.
Two-year-old Joseph was angry.  He wanted to put potato chips into the DVD player. When Lisa, his mother, placed it up high on the shelf, out of reach, he lost control of his temper.  He started to hit Lisa.  She tried to distract him with another toy.  When he did not get the DVD player back, he spit into his mother's face.  Lisa immediately stopped distracting him.  She looked at him, squarely in the eyes, and used a low tone of voice.  "Spitting hurts my feelings," she said firmly, but gently.  "You may not hurt mommy like that."  She showed him a sad face, took his potato chips, put him in his "time out spot" and went to wipe her face.  While she was at the bathroom sink, she felt little hands hugging her from behind.  She turned around and knelt down.  He gave her an "I'm sorry" sign language signal she had taught him earlier.  They shared a heart-to-heart hug.

The most compassionate children have these very important influences in their lives.

Model compassion.

Share your faith.

Eat together.

Treat others with respect.

Compassion begins with you.

Friday, 8 May 2015

3 Ways to Boost Right Brain Photographic Memory with Kids

In a world of TV, DVD, computer and video games, it's important to know which images will help—and which could harm—your child's brain development.  What your child sees and hears can enhance future learning.  Here are three ways to boost your child's overall memory.

Did you know that every child has a photographic memory?  It's true.  Photographic memory has to do with the right hemisphere of the brain.  Contrary to the logical left hemisphere which consciously reviews all incoming information, the right hemisphere takes images in quickly—at a rate of more than seven images per second.  This information is stored in long-term subconscious memory.  When the images stored in the subconscious memory are pleasant, then the child can retrieve the information easily.

Teaching photographic memory techniques is a joyful process.  It is done simply through playing games.  However, sometimes there are blocks to a child's ability to recall information.  Particularly when they have been exposed to hours of TV, DVDs, computers and video games.  When working with older children who have already been exposed to many, many images, sometimes you need to download other overriding images first.  If a child is given time and space when relaxing before any type of learning experience, these images will immediately come to mind for processing.  A parent or teacher can patiently listen while the child independently pulls each image up.

Here are three steps to boost your child's photographic memory:

   Step 1: Relax
   Step 2: Download
   Step 3: Play

It really works!  Here's how...

    Benjamin was a cheerful red-headed six-year old.  As soon as he walked into the classroom, his youthful presence energized the environment.  His mother, Jennifer, followed.  Benjamin scanned the shelves full of colorful play pieces designed to teach right brain lessons.  It was his first lesson and he was ready to sit down and begin.   

    Step 1: Relax

    Ben settled onto his mother’s lap as we guided both he and his mother to a gentle relaxation sequence.  Jennifer's breathing slowed.  Her hands and arms relaxed around Ben's waist.  Ben, on the other hand, was fully awake.  His eyes were still darting about the room.  He began to wiggle around on Jennifer’s lap.

    Step 2: Download

    "Close your eyes, Ben." Jennifer whispered.  Ben closed them.  He sat still for a moment and then his eyes began to move once more—this time while closed.  He then began to recall moments from past vacations, an afternoon with a baby-sitter, a few TV shows, a horseback riding lesson and a few other emotion-filled experiences—both pleasant and unpleasant.  As soon as Ben’s mental “slate” was cleared, his breathing became regular and slow.  Ben was ready for right brain play.

    Step 3: Play

    We flashed a card with 6 pictures on it for one second.  Ben closed his eyes and recalled 4.  We flashed a card with 6 pictures once more.  This time he recalled all 6.  Then we spread 15 picture cards of familiar object on the floor mat.  Ben looked for one second, closed his eyes and recalled 8 images.  When 30 new cards were spread out, he recalled 21.  In four short games, Benjamin increased his memory “digit span” from 4 to 21.

As soon as Benjamin was able to release and download the emotional images that were at the forefront of his memory, he began to shine.  And, get this: 

    - Children who watch less television have less images to download before accessing their right brain memory.  (One more reason to give your family television plenty of rest!)

    - Children who have some type of nighttime routine where they can process their day with a parent move right into right brain learning with minimal effort!

Help your child access their right brain abilities by providing a diet rich in beautiful, loving images—and if their right brain is already overactive, make sure that these images are calming and peaceful.

Once you start playing simple photographic memory games, you kinda get addicted!  We now play photographic memory games using everyday objects and cards from every subject—math, science, art, vocabulary and more!

Start enriching your child's mind with no-stress photographic memory games.  You will be giving him/her a great mental boost!

Blessings for your day,


Friday, 20 June 2014

How to Calm Right Brain Melt-Downs

5 Steps to Calm a Tantrum

"Wahhhhhhhhh!  I don't want to leave!"  It’s happened to every parent at one point or another. You’re leaving the house, or school, or a fun playground and, all of a sudden, BOOM! your over-tired, unhappy child flips into a hitting or screaming tantrum. Or a creative combination of both!  

You stand there—perhaps next to your husband who has a clueless look on his face (sorry, Dads!)—and wonder what to do.  You feel helpless.

How do you help your child stop and regroup? What do you do? 

Let's begin with a basic concept. 
Meltdowns shut down your child’s ability to reason.  
When your child is upset, she can no longer
consciously process information.
A flip has switched in the brain.
It is time to calm her senses.
Simply stated, your child's ears are “turned off.”
The "switch" which toggles between sympathetic (relaxed and at rest) and parasympathetic (fight or flight response) is responsible for this sudden change. The brain flips that switch when it senses the extreme emotions of anger, fear, sadness, or even silliness. 
This means that your child cannot hear you or process what is happening until he is calm and “centered.” 
You can calm your child down by calming all of the senses, including the intuitive senses that sense unseen information. Here’s how. 

Your Child's Right Brain Senses 

First, it's important to be aware of the “right brain senses.” 

We have five senses.  We also have five "frequency senses"—they slightly differ from the familiar five senses, and they are oh-so-important to pay attention to, when raising right brain children. 

The right side of the brain is intuitive and creative. It senses subtle energy currents and waves. It is influenced by frequencies in the environment. (If you have children on the autism spectrum, as I do, this will make much more sense to you as you read them!)

Outer senses processes facts. Our inner senses process "vibrational facts"—information that vibrates, like subatomic particles, sound waves, color waves, and even thoughts and feelings. These vibrational facts are collected by the following sensory pathways. We label the collection of right brain senses: V-A-K-C-T, reminding us of the unseen data continually collected by the right brain. 
The 5 “Right Brain” Senses

Physical Senses

V - visual (light waves, color)  
A - auditory (sound waves, music)  
K - kinesthetic (touch, taste, smell and movement) 
Subtle Senses
C - sensitivity to chi (electromagnetic energy currents and fields)   
T - sensitivity to thought and emotion (brain activity, heartbeats) 

Want an easy way to remember this? 

Left brain ---; outer senses, which processes tangible facts
Right brain ---; inner senses, which processes "vibrational facts," or vakcts 

5 Steps to Calm a Tantrum 

Step 1: Stay calm. 
THOUGHTS-- EMOTIONS • Adjust your thoughts and emotions. This will be the anchor that will pull him back to center. Physically, your child will calm down more quickly when you can maintain a slow, steady heartbeat. Right-brain children are affected by frequency and your heart puts out a steady beat. It races when you are upset. It slows when you are calm. So, be at peace. Know that this melt-down is temporary, and what’s more, it is important for your child’s development—to experience his raw emotions with you, to learn to control them. Take a deep breath. Stay calm. 

Step 2: Find a private place. 
CHI -- ENVIRONMENT • Find a cozy, calm, private space. If you can go to nature, this is best, but of course it is not always possible. If you are in a public place, you cannot always do anything about the “feeling” of the location, so just seek privacy for you and your child, even if it means walking back to your car. 

Step 3: Hug, hold, or rock your child. 
KINESTHETIC (TOUCH) • Make sure that your hold is lovingly snug and firm—this is especially important for more hyperactive or kinesthetic children (children who need to continually move). This makes them feel safe. 

Step 4: Look and listen... and mirror back.
VISUAL -- AUDITORY (SIGHT -- SOUND) • Give full eye contact. Show concern, nodding as he shares. 
VERBAL CHILDREN - Let your child voice their feelings. Mirror back what he is saying, without judgement. Criticism will only frustrate them more and keep them in the "off" mode. 
Child: I don't want to go! 
Adult: You are having fun. You don't want to leave your friend. 
Child: Yes. (My Mommy heard me and understands.)  
NONVERBAL CHILDREN - If your child is too upset or unable to express what he is feeling, give him the words. You can intuit what he might be thinking and feeling. As soon as you hit on the right feeling, you will see an immediate shift. 
Child: [crying, kicking] 
Adult: I can see that you really didn’t want to stop playing. You are sad to leave the playground. 
Child: [stops crying and looks at parent] (My Mommy heard me and understands.) 
Step 5: Affirm his right to his feelings. 
AUDITORY, THOUGHT -- EMOTION • Use these phrases: “I hear you.” “Thank you for telling me.” “I understand.” 
They are non-judgmental, accepting ways of validating your child's feelings without agreeing with what they are saying.  It's important to distinguish between agreeing with your child's statements and honoring his feelings.  

For example, if your child said, "I don't like grandma," your first instinct might be to comment or correct. "That's a terrible thing to say!"  At this moment, remind yourself to focus on the feelings, not the issue--yet.  There will be a time, but not now.  You need to fill your child's "love tank" first.  Once they are calm, then you can teach.  So, instead of correcting, you can nod and say something like,"Thank you for telling me how you are feeling.  What happened with grandma really made you angry just now, didn't it?!"  

Here's the key reason for the affirmation process:
As soon as you put words to what your child is feeling, and meet it with acknowledgement and understanding, you free your child to change his emotion.

After Your Child is Calm...

Calmly Restate Your Position

Wait to teach, talk and firmly guide until after your child has returned to a calm state. 

Stay clear about your expectations, and please do not back down and give in. Keep to it. You can be fun and make it into a game, or laugh, joke or play with your child so that it is easier for them to obey. But, stay firm. 

Please be clear with yourself.  Meltdowns are early power struggles—which, for your child's future well-being and character, you must lovingly win. That may be difficult if you want your child to like you at all times.  (I was like that, for sure!)  So many working mothers feel guilty for the time they cannot spend with their children and so this can feel even harder to do! But, the truth is, that the more healthy boundaries that you set for your child, the more they are able to develop their own character, which includes self control. 

Stay Strong

If you give in to your child, it trains him to use these meltdowns to manipulate you, and they will only increase. So, please do stay strong! Remember what your original instruction was.  Stick to it.
If you:
(1) are firm with your instructions,
(2) follow through with each "meltdown" in a patient, loving way
... then you will find that over time your child will develop self-control. 
Your child will know that you love him and that "no means no," or "when it's time to leave, it is time to leave." Period.  

Be patient.  Know that it will take time.  But, if you are consistent, you will notice that the melt-downs gradually becoming less frequent and less intense.  Time and practice will help your child come to manage and control his own emotions and reactions.

Prevent Future Melt-Downs

As right-brain parents, there are many things we can do to avoid power struggles.  Here are a few examples:

  • RULES - set good, fair rules for your child's age/stage of development
  • PICTURES - place the rules on the wall and make a picture for each one
  • SING - sing songs that teach—"Let's put our toys away... To play another day..."
  • FUN - use funny reminders—"If you're very, very bright, you'll flush, wash, and turn out the light!"
  • STABILITY - stable/regular schedules
  • GIVE TIME - give time for transition children from activity to activity—"We'll be leaving in 5 minutes... 3 minutes.... 1 minutes... OK, blast off!  It's time to go!"
  • LAUGH TOGETHER - have a good sense of humor
  • BE CREATIVE - tap into your child's imagination with challenging tasks—"Astronauts, put on your seat belts!"

These right-brain techniques all go a looooong way to eliminate head-to-head power struggles.

Melt-downs and temper tantrums serve an important role and when they occur, they present you and your child with a vital learning opportunity.  If you can look at each conflict in this manner, then  you will be able to stay positive as a right-brain parent.

Many children can learn self-control quite early when met with consistent understanding and love.  Each meltdown is simply a raw set of emotions waiting to be understood and tamed.  When children learn to tame these emotions, there is a great inner light that literally shines through!

To you & your child!

Love, Pamela

Monday, 8 July 2013

Right Brain Children In the Womb...

5 Insights that Will Change Your Pregnancy

The TweedleWink right-brain prenatal program is now over 20 years old.  Over this precious time, we've discovered how to help mothers connect with, and educate, babies in the womb.  We do so using five gifts of insight--key concepts and abilities that are present during pregnancy.  

  1. Your baby has a voice.
  2. Your baby communicates with frequencies.
  3. Your baby feels loved when you respond.
  4. Your connection grows through practice.
  5. If you can communicate, you can educate.

Let me explain. 

INSIGHT 1: Your baby has a voice.

Every baby in the womb has a voice and has something to say.  It may not be verbally expressed.  But, it's there.  You can hear it if you listen with right-brain intuition. 

        BABY CHEF

        Sandra was a chef who had married late in her career.  When she became pregnant, 
        she was eager to cook delicious, nutritious food for her developing baby.  She began 
        right brain prenatal classes when she was only 4 months pregnant, and each week she shared 
        amazing new stories of how her baby would direct her to use certain foods and avoid others 
        while she cooked for herself.  Some of her most favorite foods were left untouched on 
        the shelves during pregnancy because she could feel that her baby would not care for them.  

        "How do you know your baby won't like them?" we asked.  

        "Well, as a chef, when I think about a recipe, I can already sense the taste in my mind." 
        She smiled, "Then I feel either a happy, excited feeling about eating, or I hear or see 
        a big NO in my mind."  

INSIGHT 2: Your baby communicates with frequencies.

Dr. Celeste A. Miller writes, “The right brain function is based on the notion that all things exist as subatomic particles that vibrate at ultra-high frequency.  The right brain is somehow equipped like a tuning fork to receive and process these frequencies which are perceived as thoughts, images, feelings colors and sensations, but not necessarily at the conscious level.”


        Camella was 7 months pregnant when she joined class.  Her child had strong opinions 
        about music.  When she went out with her husband, the baby would kick and she would
        see "red" when certain music was played in a store or restaurant.  She had to leave
        in order to feel peaceful once again.  

        "Do you see a color when your baby is happy?" one of the mothers in class asked.  

        "Yes! " she emphatically replied. "I see different colors for different kinds of happy feelings."  

INSIGHT 3: Your baby feels loved when you respond.

Prenatal communication IS possible.  It happens whether or not we are actually aware of it.  We need to listen… and respond.


        Betsy was 6 months pregnant.  To ease her housework, her husband had purchased 
        a new vacuum cleaner.  She excitedly plugged it in and turned it on.  

        Suddenly, her baby startled and began to kick violently.  She turned it off.  

        She could feel a heightened sense of fear--although she felt that it was not her own.  
        She immediately closed her eyes and sent love to her baby, rubbing her tummy, singing 
        soothingly:  "It's okay, baby.  You are safe and sound."  

        Gradually a sense of peace came over her and she felt that her baby was calm.  

        Mentally, she asked her baby, "Are you okay?"  

        She felt a happy YES feeling.  

INSIGHT 4: Your connection grows through practice.

The process of being able to listen to your child takes time and practice.  Young children, of course, can sense these frequencies much more easily than adults.  Not only that, they are also MUCH more ready to play with what they perceive!  We can learn from them.  

        BABY GAMES

        When Janice was pregnant with her fifth child, her older children loved to come to her tummy 
        to talk to the new baby.  They would sing songs and read stories.

        Toward the end of the pregnancy, they played games and baby would respond!  

        In one game, they tapped on mommy's tummy 1 to 3 times and waited for a response.  
        Baby replied with an exact number of taps.  

        In another game, the children would hold their hands over different parts of mom's tummy.   
        Soon, baby would push back at that very same point. 

        This playful interaction set the stage for a sibling bond that has lasted over time.

INSIGHT 5:  If you can communicate, you can educate.

Once you begin to communicate with your baby, you might start to receive strong impulses.  You may become inspired to read novels, or listen to specific pieces of music (or composers), or learn a new language.  Whenever you feel a strong impulse of delight--take note.  
Your baby is talking to you!


        During class one day, we played Schubert's "Ave Maria."  We were comfortably seated with 
        eyes closed--in a moment of relaxation.  

        When the piece had concluded, Tina--a new mother in class--shared that her baby had moved
        with the music during the entire piece.  She felt great emotions of bliss and went into a 
        transcendent state during the playing of the music.  She even saw rainbow colors in her mind. 

        After class, Tina asked to borrow the CD.  She had not really listened to classical music before
        and she could feel that her baby really enjoyed it.  She wanted to continue the experience 
        at home.  Over time, she created a collection of pieces and charted her baby's responses. 
        Later, after he was born, she used different songs to soothe him for nap or excite him 
        for learning.

You can use this same technique with world languages, instructional CDs, videos, books and flashcards!  All loving sensorial stimulation given in the earliest moments of life prepare the brain for lifelong IQ and EQ.

These 5 insights are precious gifts from our hearts to yours.   Children raised with a strong mother-child intuitive connection are happy and alive with purpose and connection.  

I wish you the very best as you begin your own prenatal journey.  


P.S. Here's a few goodies to help you on your way.

FREE! Pregnancy Meditations on YOUTUBE:

Pregnancy Coloring Book in our ONLINE STORE:

Right Brain Lesson Charts for Pregnancy:

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

What if My Right-Brain Child is in a Left-Brain School?

Right Brain Kids, Left Brain Schools

Albert Einstein once said, "It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education."

… Joy!

These are all traits we'd rather our children keep and sustain.
But, sometimes schools preoccupied with grading and goal-setting lose their focus—the well-being of our children.  And in the process, our children lose their desire to learn.

6-year-old Frankie was a vibrant child who loved life.  At home, his parents had set up learning corners and outdoor guarded play areas.  Throughout the day, Frankie would draw and paint, help his mother with cooking or cleaning, write creative stories, sing and dance to learning songs, spend quiet time with math workbooks or sit and read. Growing up in this environment, he was a happy, bright, beaming little boy.

One day, his mother e-mailed us. Frankie was unhappy. His grandparents had spent a lot of money for tuition at a private school and he did not like it. This once passionate, curious boy, who loved to experiment and play, was depressed. After a few months at school, he cried before leaving home each morning. His mother didn't know what to do.

Frankie would describe how other children were humiliated by the teacher if they spoke out of turn. He was adapting to a highly-scheduled day, and when he did like an activity, the teachers would pull him out of his project before he was ready to switch his focus. He had to sit still. He had to focus on a single whiteboard at the front of the room.

Frankie's mother asked: "How can a right-brain child stay in school without losing his spirit?"
Good question.  

How do right-brain children survive in left-brain schools?

Let me begin by saying that there are a growing number of teachers--caring, enlightened teachers--who make a big difference for children who are lucky enough to be in their classrooms.

But, the truth is that it is a challenge to keep the right-brain pathway alive and active as children grow older in left-brain educational systems--east or west.  

Change must take place.  And the time is now.

The Power is in Your Hands

You have choices.  If your child is in school and you feel like their spirit is unable to shine, then here are your options.
  1. Talk to your child's teacher.  This is not an easy option, but, it could make a world of difference. If you believe that creative learning is important, then talk to your child's teacher about your concerns. You might be surprised at the results.
  2. Create a right-brain learning corner.  If talking to your teacher doesn't yield results and you cannot change schools, then boost your child's right-brain creativity at home. You can create a right-brain learning corner for homework or continued learning of other subjects that he really likes. Use this learning corner to support and encourage your child each day.
  3. Find a different school.  If you can find another school that combines right-brain creativity and flexibility with left-brain academic standards--within your price range--then a change in your child's environment to one that is truly positive will uplift and inspire your child, and affect your whole family.
  4. Homeschool.  Homeschooling is only an option if you have the time and resources to do it. If you can, then time spent with your child can be highly rewarding and his right-brain genius can shine in a highly attentive environment.

You Can Help Your School Become More Creative

You may have heard our rallying cry: "Changing the world... one heart at a time."  Love, respect and support is powerful.  If you want to see a change, as Mahatma Gandhi says, "be the change."

If your child is not fitting in at school, please consider it an opportunity to make a positive change in your corner of the world.  Frustrated with the current situation?  Offer a helpful solution.  Your voice and words of encouragement could really inspire another to do better.


If you would like to inspire real change at school, please consider these steps.

(1) Start a Conversation

Communicate with your child's immediate teachers.   It's not easy.  But, in the long run, it will be a good investment, making life easier for your child and for you. Call, e-mail or stop in for a parent-teacher conference.  

Here's how you can make it effective...

(2) Have a Positive Attitude and Appreciation

Make the first meeting all about listening.  All teachers are on guard when parents step in the room or call to complain.  As a teacher, I can confess to the truth of this! So, go in as a listener, first. While listening, you may learn some things that you hadn't considered, which may effect your next step.

However, if you are discouraged by what you hear, please stay positive. It is easy to resonate with "how things are" and then give up. Please stay hopeful about the eventual outcome of your meetings. Don't think about the system or the school, overall, or even what is "usually" done in your country or culture. Just focus on your child's needs. Think about the highest possible positive outcome.

Listen to--and appreciate--what it is that they are already doing.  Let them know exactly what you like about their classes and school. If they know that you are listening to them, and noticing their efforts, then they will be more open to what you have to say.

(3) Casually Check Back

Meet again. Be persistent. Check in with your teacher regularly--you don't need to ask for anything. Just check in, ask how your child is doing, and offer help with anything that they might need you to do at home to help make things better for him. If a teacher knows that you are always checking in, they will (1) give your child more attention and (2) really watch themselves, and make sure that their reactions are proper = kinder.

(4) Be Prepared

If you REALLY want to make a change in your child's classroom or school, go in to your next meeting armed with information. A wonderful place to start is with Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theory. The right and left brain combine in different ways to produce different learning strengths and ways of learning. Knowing how children learn helps us reach them so that they can develop their genius. Every child has genius, and this will show you where your child's passions lie.

Have your child take this online test:  
Edutopia Multiple Intelligence Assessment
Print it out and bring it with you.

Here's what it is...

This is based upon the understanding that there are many types of intelligence--he now counts 9 intelligences.  (Few of these intelligences are evaluated or even detected in an average IQ test.)

     They are:
     (1) Kinesthetic (Body Smart)
        - learns through building a model or acting it out
     (2) Linguistic (Word Smart)
        - learns through verbal instruction and praise
     (3) Logical (Number Smart)
        - learns through logic, methods and repetition
     (4) Interpersonal (People Smart) 
        - learns through group/team projects
     (5) Intrapersonal (Myself Smart) 
        - learns best alone
     (6) Musical (Music Smart) 
        - learns through songs or rhythm
     (7) Visual/Spatial (Picture Smart) 
        - learns through pictures, flashcards and stories (mental visualization)
     (8) Naturalistic (Nature Smart) 
        - learns through outdoor exploration
     (9) Spiritual (Faith Smart)
        - learns through moral stories and mentorship

Ask your child's teacher if she would like to incorporate special learning techniques to her class. Respecting her voice and waiting for her willingness will be key for the success for change--when she is ready.

Knowing about the multiple intelligences lifts most schools up out of a left-brain approach. Their observation of the child becomes more sensitive, and thus they become more right-brain!

(5) Take it All the Way!

If your child's teacher is excited about this learning profile and wants to learn more, then here's what you can do.

GIVE A GIFT - Download or purchase the book Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom by Thomas Armstrong and gift her a copy of it.

WATCH AN EXAMPLE - Ask her to look at this video--it explains how a teacher used this to improve her 4th grade music class in the United States.

LOOK OVER THE PROFILE TOGETHER - Bring your laptop, or meet at the school library where you have access to a computer. Show her the above Multiple Intelligences test. It is an excellent resource. Once she sees it, if she has the energy and passion... she will see the possibilities!

SUPPORT YOUR TEACHER  - The challenge that most teachers have is that they have to adhere to a curriculum and learning philosophy of the school. So, your child's teacher may feel that she cannot do much to effect change. But, the opposite is true. Any step that she takes can impact the school--especially if she has support.

If your teacher wants to move forward from here, then encourage her to have all the children in her class take the test. You can even volunteer your services to bring in a laptop and sit with each child during the day, or to hire someone to do it, in order to help her know that she is not alone and that you are willing to help make the change.

Just let your teacher know that she is not alone. If she reads about the multiple intelligences and just makes one small change at a time, then it will be a more right-brain classroom over time.

One step at a time.

You can make a difference. :-)

In closing, I'd just like to say that if you are in this situation—stay strong and have faith.  As a mother and teacher, I have tried all the options I've mentioned above.  We've homeschooled for many years (I'll write more about how to do that that soon) and had our children in creative private and public schools with many different experiences.  Each of our four children have had different needs as they have grown and developed over time.  There is no one magic bullet—because your child is always changing.

In this world, we do not always have the freedom to choose.  But whatever your child's situation may be, please know that you can help him through any difficult experience--at home or at school. In the end, his knowledge of your love and support and your belief in him will be enough to help him conquer all of life's little sufferings in the world and emerge happy and well-balanced.

Love, Pamela

Friday, 8 July 2011

Relationships Before Results

Sharing the Love

In every TweedleWinkclassroom, there is a sign that says "Relationships Before Results." 

That's because we believe that when you really nurture a child's heart, the bond that results draws them closer to you and excites them to absorb anything you would like to teach.

As a family of six, that is our motto at home as well.

Some of you may know that we homeschool our children. Juggling the roles of parents and teachers to each child has always been challenging, but we wouldn't trade it for the world. For me, watching a child read his first word is just as thrilling as watching him walk for the first time. These milestones are precious. I can't imagine a teacher experiencing the learning milestones while I'm away at work. I want to be there.

Yet the roles of parent and teacher do conflict at times.
"Did you brush your teeth?"
Yes, Mom.

"Did you finish page 25 in your Math workbook today?"
Yes, Mom.

"Did you make your bed?"
Yes, Mom.
That's my day. The same person that reminds them to clean their rooms and put away the dishes is the same person asking about schoolwork each day.

If you are homeschooling, you're familiar with this journey. May God bless us and keep us ever patient, kind and strong.

A Happy Birthday

Last week was my birthday. On that day, my 12-year-old son had a creative writing assignment due. He finished it the day before and stayed up until midnight so that he could e-mail it to me on my birthday. When I read it, I cried. I'm so grateful to be a homeschooling mom.

Here's his entry...

If I Could Build a Home

If I could build a home I would actually build a dome for my mother. It would feature painted sky blue on the outside with cloud designs all over. Inside it would have a Zen garden with a mini waterfall. You could meditate peacefully in it. In the bedroom I would have bright colors on the walls. The walls would be made out of panels so at a specific time the panels would flip and have a gray color, then in the morning would go back to their original colors. The kitchen would be the modern example of efficiency.At first glance it would be a regular kitchen with an island. But if you look closer you would see that there were no shelves nor a fridge. The island would have a stove and a couple buttons. Those buttons can open the cupboards, reveal shelves in the wall, reveal the fridge, and make coffee or tea. The living room would be a lush, chocolate, brown color. The couches would be so soft you would feel like you were floating on air. The movie shelves would be stocked full of Jane Austen and other movies she likes. There would be a store room dedicated to tea. The tea storage would have over a hundred different kinds of teas. In a small cupboard there would be a whole bunch of tea cups and mugs. There would be an office with steel walls and a bucket of magnets for my mom to pin up papers. The shelves would be color-coded so my mom can find things easily. The desk would be a circle with the middle and a section cut out of it. There would be a swivel chair in the middle so that she can have a 360 degree view. The desk would have a computer with many screens so that she has a better work space on her computer. The rest of her desk would have organizers for her papers. I would create a prayer room for my mom. Then I would put a spa room underground with candles scattered around the room. Either my mom would have a spa in it or she would help other people. The last room would be a essential oil room. It would have all the oils in alphabetical order. There would be oil burners that spread the oil to all parts of the room. This is the house that I would build for my mom.
May you feel this type of love from your children and students.

It's my birthday wish to you.

As I write, I close my eyes and send it to you.

Feel loved today, my friend.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Our Amazing Right Brain Teachers

Thank You, Dear TweedleWink Teachers

This post is long overdue.

It is dedicated to our teachers with deep, deep gratitude, love and appreciation.

TweedleWink teachers give this program Light and Life through the love and devotion they have for the children in their classes.

It takes a lot to see each child's most positive state of being—and to hold that image for them consistently.

The teachers I've come to know and am honored to teach with in our classrooms are top notch and genuine. They know how to balance fun and play with the delivery of a quality educational program.

Becoming Childlike

Here is how you know if you are a right brain teacher.
Situation: The children in your class stop listening to your world cultures lesson. Instead, they pretend that they are cowboys and cowgirls, that they are on horses and begin to gallop around the classroom.

If you are a left-brain teacher will be come frustrated because the children are not paying attention. You will demand that they sit down, sit still, be quiet and listen to the lesson.

If you are right-brain teacher will gallop, too—joining in the fun of creating a multi-sensorial right brain image—adding content from the day's lesson, whatever it might be.
Are you visiting France in the World Cultures segment? Then you'll gallop around the Eiffel tower, stopping off for a bite of cheese. Saying "Merci" to the French cheese maker, with a fond "Au revoir!" and then counting from 1-10 in French before galloping off once again.
This level of joyful creativity we cannot train, it has to be there to begin with. 

It all begins with Love.

It takes a lot to be a right brain teacher. It takes patience, unconditional love, focus, play, creativity and joy.

Our Wink and TweedleWink classes are weekly one-hour classes. Each class is information-rich. 

Teachers take time each week to study the topics to be presented, practicing the languages, games and songs over and over before the new weekly lessons begin.

There's much to study beforehand!

In a TweedleWink class, we feature 8 segments:
  • vision enhancement (photographic intake)
  • vocabulary-builders
  • world cultures (including geography and language)
  • music (including classical music, rhythm, and perfect pitch training with tuning forks)
  • reading (phonics, whole words, love of literature)
  • math (dot recognition, equation play)
  • science
  • art (fine art, cultural arts and crafts)
...all using movement, play, songs and meaningful interaction with the children.

In a Wink class, we feature the 7 steps:
  • Alpha Relaxation
  • Eye Exercises
  • PhotoEyeplay
  • Mental Imaging (3-dimensional, multi-sensorial)
  • Observation Training
  • Memory Linking
  • Photographic Memory and Speed Reading
So, as you can see, it's a lot.

For the teacher, it's not an easy routine—it's a work-out because of everything we cover and all the constant movement! But, for the men and women who have joined our teaching team, it is truly a labor of love.

I really just want to say: God bless you, dear teachers. You are truly amazing.

Thank you!