Educational CyberPlayGround ®


Childhood Development chart.
Early Development Benchmarks

How To Keep K12 Kids Healthy.

The neuroscience of mindfulness:

Simply put, when you understand the underlying physiology of mindfulness, you begin to see that any discussion about human change, learning, education, even politics and social issues, ends up being about mindfulness. That's because mindfulness, in some ways, is simply the opposite of mindlessness. And mindlessness is the cause of a tremendous amount of human suffering.

Early Development Benchmarks


Child Development Timeline Progress Chart 1 month - 5 years old


processes such as classifying, inferring, hypothesizing, generalizing, valuing, relating, and synthesizing.

  • Brain Growth - how to help things along - what you can do.
  • Language - they know words by 10 months old and can communicate with baby sign language.

  • Infants silently rehearse their earliest words for months, practising their first "mamma or dadda" inside their heads before finally blurting it out. Brain areas associated with speech motor planning light up in 7-month-old babies, even though little ones don't usually talk until they are 1 year old. The scientists found that speech sounds stimulated areas of the brain that coordinate and plan motor movements for speech, suggesting that simply hearing speech helps babies' brains to eventually make speech of their own.
  • Brain Power Cognitive Science - when young brains are best able to grasp fundamental concepts. Scientists found that the brain's ability to link letter combinations with sounds may not be fully developed until age 11 — much later than many have assumed.
  • On-Time Immunizations Associated With Better Neuropsychological Outcomes

  • Visual Working Memory a core cognitive function in which we stitch together what we see at any given point in time to help focus attention. In a series of object-matching tests, the researchers found that 3-year-olds can hold a maximum of 1.3 objects in visual working memory, while 4-year-olds reach capacity at 1.8 objects. By comparison, adults max out at 3 to 4 objects, according to prior studies. "This is literally the first look into a 3 and 4-year-old's brain in action in this particular working memory task," says John Spencer, psychology professor at the UI and corresponding author of the paper, which appears in the journal NeuroImage. The research is important, because visual working memory performance has been linked to a variety of childhood disorders, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, developmental coordination disorder as well as affecting children born prematurely. The goal is to use the new brain imaging technique to detect these disorders before they manifest themselves in children's behavior later on.
    Why Teens Are Impulsive, Addiction-Prone And Should Protect Their Brains. Brains aren't fully mature until people are in their early 20s, possibly late 20s and maybe even beyond
  • Scans reveal how teenage brain develops scientists also discovered a link between teenage brain development and mental illness, such as schizophrenia.

2013 TV Shows Can Improve Behavior Among Children
Television has a huge influence over children; with most kids mimicking the behaviors they see on screen - whether it be loving or violent. U.S. preschoolers watch an average of four hours of TV everyday and researchers believe that instead of trying to limit the amount of television they watch, it is best to encourage shows that promote positive behavior...

LittleBabyBum - Animated nursery rhymes.






2016 The privatization of childhood play

That golden age of unstructured play was real — scholars place it in the second quarter of the 20th century — but the children who lived it are now senior citizens. If you're currently alive, you probably played less than your parents did. Between 1981 and 1997, for example, six- to eight-year-olds lost 25 percent of their play time. We aren't romanticizing some fictional American idyll — kids really are playing less today, even if you include video games. And for some kids, even play is now a regimented and supervised activity.
As a social phenomenon, playdates are something like private schools. Wealthier parents remove their kids from public and sequester them somewhere with a guest list and a cover charge. Mose uses the term “enclosure” — when a public or common resource is fenced and privatized. We live in an era of the playdate, when aspirational parenting means being your child's agent and chauffeur. The idea of kids so busy they need adult secretaries to pencil in time with their friends is both silly and real. Take New York mom Tamara Mose: Her son and daughter's weekly schedule includes piano, Kumon (a chic approach to private tutoring), taekwondo, regular tutoring, dance, and soccer. She's lucky if she has time for a playdate.
So what purposes, exactly, do playdates serve? One explanation for the emergence of supervised play is that American parents got more serious about protecting their kids from harm.

2016 The decline of play in preschoolers — and the rise in sensory issues - How Schools Ruined Recess

  • JUNEAU JUMPERS - Juneau Jumpers
    The Juneau Jumpers are a rope-skipping team from southeast Alaska who dazzle spectators and judges with lightning-fast jumping and complex choreography. Five of the group's members are busy gearing up for the 2008 World Jump Rope Competition. Producer Rebecca Sheir stopped by one of their practices and sent us a report. Listen
  • DOUBLE DUTCH -- World Invitational Double Dutch Championship
    Double Dutch is a skip rope activity in which two ropes are turned in an egg-beater fashion by two rope turners, while one or two people jump within the moving ropes. It was historically a game played by girls. After World War Two, the game was often seen on the sidewalks of New York City in front of apartment houses where children could be safely supervised by mothers and neighbors.
  • National Double Dutch League
  • Nation's First High School Double Dutch League
  • The Girl Scout Double Dutch Rope Jumping program
  • What is USA Jump Rope?
    USA Jump Rope is dedicated to the promotion of the sport of jump rope. Our purpose is to inspire, motivate and educate children and adults through the unlimited opportunities that jump rope provides.
  • 1983 Double Dutch Champions
  • Nation's first high school double dutch league gives sport new platform
  • "Jumping for Joy " is a hard working team of boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 17 who have dedicated themselves to the sport of jumping rope.
  • Tahira Reid '00, inventor of the automatic double-dutch jump rope turner
    Inventor Featured on NPR -- Tahira Reid '00, inventor of the automatic double-dutch jump rope turner, was featured on Sunday, September 24th, 2000 National Public Radio's “Weekend Edition.” Reid solved the problem by building the Automatic Double Dutch Turner, which uses four mechanical arms to move two ropes in syncopated rhythm. Oct. 5, 1999, a patent on a double-dutch jump-rope machine was granted to Tahira Reid and original team member Andrew Burdick, who designed an indicator system for the machine to let a jumper know when the ropes were up to speed and in synchronization. “Double Dutch: A Celebration of Jump Rope, Rhyme, and Sisterhood” by Veronica Chambers
  • Feature-length award-winning original version of Double Dutch Divas. In it we see energetic women of all ages whose teamwork and love for one another keep them together through thick and thin. The featured groups of jumpers include Stan's Baby Pepper Steppers, The McDonald's Dynamos, and The Double Dutch Divas as well as scenes from Skip Blumberg's film "Pick Up Your Feet: The Double Dutch Show." And interviews with Ulysses F. Williams, Vy Higginsen and Kyra D. Gaunt, Ph.D. examine the Double Dutch phenomenon. Review of the Movie



2013 - Music Makes You Smarter
On the 2012 SAT, students who participated in music scored an average of 31 points above average in reading,… 23 points above average in math, and 31 points above average in writing. (See table 18 pg 9.)

Published in the journal Infancy, the study found that when infants listened to music, they remained calm for significantly longer than when they listened to speech - even when the speech was baby talk. Study co-author Prof. Isabelle Peretz, of the Center for Research on Brain, Music and Language at the University of Montreal in Canada, wanted to know how singing affects a baby's emotional self-control. The researchers found that when listening to the Turkish music, the infants remained calm for approximately 9 minutes, while they only stayed calm for around 4 minutes when listening to speech - regardless of whether or not it was baby talk. The rhythm of songs that appeal to infants rather than the words." Our finding shows that the babies did get carried away by the music, which suggests they do have the mental capacity to be 'entrained,'" says Prof. "These findings speak to the intrinsic importance of music, and of nursery rhymes in particular, which appeal to our desire for simplicity, and repetition." Peretz. <source>


How Young is too Young to start Using Computers in School?

No computer screen time at all for babies under 2 years old.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no television for children under 24 months. Parents using infant educational videos are actually creating baby Homer Simpsons, according to a new study. For every hour a day that babies six to 16 months old were shown such popular series as "Brainy Baby" or "Baby Einstein," they knew six to eight fewer words than other children, the study found. Parents buy hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of the videos every year. Unfortunately it's all money down the tubes, according to Dr. Dimitri Christakis, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington in Seattle. Christakis and his colleagues surveyed 1,000 parents in Washington and Minnesota and determined their babies' vocabularies using a set of 90 common baby words, including mommy, nose and choo-choo. The researchers found that 32 percent of the babies were shown the videos, and 17 percent of those were shown them for more than an hour a day, according to the study in the Journal of Pediatrics. The videos, which are designed to engage a baby's attention, hop from scene to scene with minimal dialogue and include mesmerizing images, like a lava lamp. "I would rather babies watch 'American Idol' than these videos," Christakis said, explaining that there is at least a chance their parents would watch with them -- which does have developmental benefits. Interview: Dr. Dimitri Christakis discusses attention disorders and TV.


What's the smartest thing a young child can do with a computer or TV?

Play with the box it came in! Computers tend to insist on being just computers, programmed by adults. But an empty box becomes a cave, a canoe, a cabin, a candy shop—whatever and whenever the child's magic wand of imagination decrees.

Technology can harm kids.
"Some physical therapists and pediatricians are already citing cases of RSI [repetitive stress injuries] in children as young as 8 years old" and 60% of students aged 10 to 17 complained of neck and back discomfort while using the PC. It's not unusual for young people reported spending about 6-1/2 hours per day occupied with various media" from the Net to TV.

WASTING TIMEengaging with any screen for instance, computer, video game, television, BlackBerry used like this: I was supposed to write that article, but instead I spent the whole afternoon screensucking. ~ Dr. Edward M. Hallowel 2006l



Toxic Plastic Numbers #3,4,5,6,7

Europe Protects Babies from BPA While the USA Does Almost Nothing: “Resin ID Codes.” Each number (1 through 6) signifies a specific type of plastic and usually appears inside a small triangle (often formed by three adjoining arrows) imprinted on the bottom of a plastic item. The number “7” is used to represent a group of other plastics or combinations of plastics.

No BPA - free Plastics are Safe “almost all” commercially available plastics that were tested leached synthetic estrogens—even when they weren't exposed to conditions known to unlock potentially harmful chemicals, such as the heat of a microwave, the steam of a dishwasher, or the sun's ultraviolet rays.


Manufacturers abandoned BPA in the production of everything from baby bottles, pacifiers, toys, and water bottles. The vast majority of those products now contain BPS, and consumers have become accustomed to seeing “BPA-free” notices on packaging, without realizing that the chemicals used to replace BPA might come with their own risks.

BPA mimics estrogen and is linked to prostate cancer, infertility, heart disease, and a host of other neurodevelopmental disorders. The alternative, BPS, seems to target male hormones, and might suggest why boys are four times as susceptible to hyperactivity and autism than girls. The study suggests that the most dangerous exposures occur during prenatal development, so researchers are warning pregnant women to avoid the dangerous plastics. BPA can increase a man's risk for infertility.

  • Delivery Room Practice
  • Language Comprehension 6 to 9 month olds infants can understand simple words even before making word-like sounds.
  • "Fast-Mapping" and is thought to be the skill that underlies human children's astonishing speed of language acquisition in early childhood. Human children don't show this ability until about 2-3 years of age.
  • A chart on pp. 6-13 on developmental benchmarks and stages from birth to age 8
    6 years to 13 year benchmarks helps parents, caregivers, and teachers know what children are capable of at different stages. Young Children and the Arts: Making Creative Connections (1998)
  • Girls now reaching puberty before 10
    a year sooner than 20 years ago The latest generation of girls are reaching puberty before the age of 10, a new study suggests, raising fears they may also begin sexual activity earlier. A number of artificially produced chemicals have been blamed for interfering with sexual development, notably bisphenol A, a plastic found in the lining of tin cans and babies' feeding bottles. "It's a clear sign that something is affecting our children, whether it's junk food, environmental chemicals or lack of physical activity.”
  • Grandmother's Smoking Could Be The Cause Of Grandchild's Asthma
  • Predicting Depression In Children Could Be As Simple As Looking Into Their Eyes
    "Children exhibiting relatively greater pupil dilation to sad faces experienced elevated trajectories of depressive symptoms across the follow-up as well as a shorter time to depression onset," the authors concluded. "The current findings suggest that physiological reactivity to sad stimuli, assessed using pupillometry, serves as a potential biomarker of depression risk among children of depressed mothers."
  • Leaded Gasoline Linked to the Rise and Fall of Violent Crime: Researchers say they may have found the link for violent crime: leaded gasoline which correlates with the pattern of violent crime rates in America. Children exposed to high levels of lead in the 1960s and 1970s resulted in a significant uptick in crime 20 years later. Each metric ton of lead released in the atmosphere would result in an increase of 1.59 aggravated assaults per 100,000. Meilke said that the data was able to explain 90 percent of the rise and fall of crime rates in the cities examined in the study. An estimated 16 million U.S. houses is believed to have lead in its midst.



Dads' roles in fetal damage
The team then categorized the father's occupations into 63 groups: Healthcare professionals, dentists, firefighters, architects and designers, car assembly workers, fishermen, entertainers, smelters and foundry workers, stonemasons and glass blowers/cutters, painters, train drivers/maintenance engineers, soldiers, and commercial divers. Some occupations appeared to be linked to an elevated risk of having a child with a birth defect in three or more categories, including computer scientists, artists, mathematicians, physicists, photographers and photo processors, landscapers and grounds men, hairdressers and make-up artists, food service workers, office and admin support workers, sawmill operatives, individuals working with petrol and gas and those working in chemical industries, as well a crane and digger operators, drivers and printers.

  • CPSC is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products. Lead in Toys is toxic. Toys that are recalled



Generation M - multi task OUCH!

Neuroscientists say multitasking literally drains the energy reserves of your brain

When we attempt to multitask, we don't actually do more than one activity at once, but quickly switch between them. And this switching is exhausting. It uses up oxygenated glucose in the brain, running down the same fuel that's needed to focus on a task. “That switching comes with a biological cost that ends up making us feel tired much more quickly than if we sustain attention on one thing,” says Daniel Levitin, professor of behavioral neuroscience at McGill University.
Studies have found that people who take 15-minute breaks every couple of hours end up being more productive, says Levitin. But these breaks must allow for mind-wandering, whether you're walking, staring out the window, listening to music or reading. “Everyone gets there a different way. But surfing Facebook is not one of them,” he says. Social networks just produce more fractured attention, as you flit from one thing to the next.

Automaticity: The Impact of Distractions on Work and Driving

    Rest Is Not Idleness: Reflection Is Critical for Development and Well-Being
  • Playing multiple violent videogames increased their risk of being highly aggressive


2013 Raising Healthy Boys Means Letting Them Run a Little Wild

2012 CDC & Prevention rank Mississippi worst in obesity for 7th straight year

A 2011 national cohort study found that nearly 1/3 of babies/toddlers aged from 9 months to two years were overweight/obese. By the end of 2008, the prevalence of obesity and overweight among children reached 32% - that is nearly 1/3 of all kids.

Teen Obesity Rates Linked To Mother-Child Relationship Earlier On: A mother's relationship with her toddler in terms of sensitivity to their cues and needs, as well as the child's sense of emotional security, impacts on their subsequent chances of being obese teenagers, researchers from the Ohio State University College of Public Health, and Temple University, reported in the peer-reviewed journal Pediatrics.

Epidemic of childhood obesity in our nation. No single solution will address childhood obesity and that a sophisticated strategy with many interventions is necessary for success. "The American Academy of Pediatrics is pleased that the report's recommendations mirror many of the Academy's long-standing guidelines, including the restrictions on screen time and the calculation of body mass index (BMI). In addition, the report incorporates several specific recommendations that the AAP made to the Task Force, such as the need for insurers to cover obesity prevention, identification and treatment services appropriately. The report also provides an important service by proposing benchmarks for measuring progress on various recommendations.
To lose a kilogram of fat you need to burn 8,000 calories (1 pound of fat = 3,500 calories). Walking briskly is a good way to start increasing your physical activity if you are obese. Combining increased physical activity with a good diet will significantly increase your chances of losing weight successfully and permanently!


The government has finally killed the food pyramid
Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. (USDA) The Post reported Wednesday that House GOP lawmakers are using Agriculture Department appropriations legislation to roll back a series of other modest measures to deal with the very costly obesity crisis this country faces. Among other things, Republicans want to exempt convenience stores, markets and others from rules requiring calories counts on their products. They also want to stop the first revamp of federally-funded school lunches in more than a decade because vegetables are more expensive than deep-fried, butter-coated Oreos, or whatever it is that makes school lunches so full of salt, sugar and carbs.HEALTHY DIET

Child Obesity Linked To Chemical Phthalates According to a study published online in the journal Environmental Research, a connection has been found between obesity in young children - including waist circumference and increased body mass index (BMI) - and exposure to the chemical group known as phthalates, by investigators from the Children's Environmental Health Center at The Mount Sinai Medical Center. Phthalates are manufactured, endocrine-disrupting chemicals that can mimic the body's natural hormones. Phthalates are primarily used to soften polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in products, such as wall and floor coverings, personal-care products, medical devices, and food processing materials. The team discovered that more than 97% of study participants had been exposed to phthalates commonly found in personal care products, such as cosmetics, varnishes, perfume, lotions, and medication or nutritional supplement coatings. The phthalates included monoethyl phthalate (MEP), as well as other low molecular-weight phthalates. Furthermore, they discovered a link between BMI and waist circumference among overweight children with concentrations of these phthalates. For instance, overweight girls with the highest exposure to MEP had a BMI 10% higher than girls with the lowest exposure to MEP.

Junk Food NOT Linked To Weight Gain In Schools Van Hook explained:
"Schools only represent a small portion of children's food environment. They can get food at home, they can get food in their neighborhoods, and they can go across the street from the school to buy food. Additionally, kids are actually very busy at school. When they're not in class, they have to get from one class to another and they have certain fixed times when they can eat. So, there really isn't a lot of opportunity for children to eat while they're in school, or at least eat endlessly, compared to when they're at home. As a result, whether or not junk food is available to them at school may not have much bearing on how much junk food they eat." According to the findings in this study, combating childhood obesity/overweight is most effective when younger children are targeted.

National School Lunch and School Breakfast program Wellness Policy
Federal law requiring every school system in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs to write a "wellness policy" by July of 2006.

  • Current national information on availability of foods and opportunities for physical activity in public elementary schools.
  • Healthy School Lunches Food Service Resource List Purchasing and Procurement
    Food and Nutrition Information Center
    National Agricultural Library/USDA
    10301 Baltimore Avenue, Room 304
    Beltsville, MD 20705-2351
  • SCHOOLS ARE FLUNKING LUNCH 11/02,9171,1101021202-393733,00.html

    Large-scale outbreaks of food poisoning from school meals are rising every year, sickening more than 16,000 children across the country with everything from salmonella to hepatitis A, according to a U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) report. School lunches are also drawing scrutiny for posing long-term hazards to children's health. At a time when childhood obesity is skyrocketing -- there has been an almost threefold jump in the number of overweight teens since the 1970s -- some school cafeterias look little different from food courts at the local mall. Many serve burgers and pizzas rife with full-fat meats and cheeses or simply turn the prep work over to franchises like Burger King and Papa John's, which have a burgeoning side business in catering school meals. According to Kelly Brownell, director of Yale University's Center for Eating and Weight Disorders, "The school cafeteria is a toxic food environment."
  • 50 State Summary of Breastfeeding Laws
    Summary and chart of state laws related to breastfeeding of infants, including those allowing women to breastfeed in public or private locations, exemptions of breastfeeding from public indecency laws, employment laws (such as allowance for breaks and breastfeeding areas in the workplace), exemptions from jury duty service, and more. Includes links to laws. From the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
  • Italy Defies Church and approves RU-486 abortion pill (mifepristone) which terminates pregnancy by causing the embryo to detach from the uterine wall. 486 requires three visits to a physician's office. RU 486 can only be prescribed by a physician after a HCG blood test, and a sonogram confirm and date the pregnancy. RU 486 is approved for use up to the 49th day of pregnancy, or about 7 weeks. Once pregnancy is confirmed a woman returns to her physician's office for 2 doses of medication. Success rate for RU 486 is 92 to 92.5% during the first seven weeks of pregnancy
    "During World War II, many recruits were rejected because of stunted growth and inadequate nutrition. After the war, military leaders pushed Congress to establish the national school lunch program so children would grow up healthier... The program was established in 1946, 'as a measure of national security,' according to the original bill language."
    Now military leaders have the opposite problem, so a group of retired military officers say high calorie, low nutrition school lunches is threat to national security. 75% of military-age Americans were ineligible for service. More than a quarter of all Americans between the ages of 17 to 24 are too overweight to join the military. The Committee passed the Improving Nutrition for America's Children Act. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, chair of the Subcommittee on Healthy Families and Communities and original co-sponsor of the legislation.
    Who makes the health education curriculum decisions at the middle school level? Depends on the SIZE of the District. If you are reaching out to public schools then the district's Curriculum Director is the right contact, if smaller (rural, etc.) then often times the Superintendent. If Catholic/private/charter schools then the Principal (or perhaps an Associate Superintendent) would be the person in charge of processes and procedures having to do with choosing or adopting curriculum taught in the schools.
  • FLU and Vitamin D3 - Children over the age of 1 year should take 1,000 IU per every 25 pounds of body weight per day, depending on latitude of residence, skin pigmentation, and sun exposure. On the days they are outside in the summer sun, they do not need to take any; in the winter they will need to supplement accordingly. Children over the age of 10 years old should follow instructions for adults.
  • Classroom Management - The link between violence and what we eat Omega-3, and junk food.

Pre School and Kindergarten


Play Positive Music lyrics might actually make your child more caring and socially responsible.: After years of studies purporting to show the harmful effects of young people listening to songs with violent or misogynistic themes, a psychologist has concluded that music containing a positive message has a beneficial impact on listeners.

Find The Hard Science Research about the importance of Play and Laughter

Free play like backyard tinkering used to lead, if not to a scientific career, at least to continued informal pursuit of science as an adult hobby. For many children, particularly boys, free play used to mean fiddling around with a chemistry set in the basement or lighting things on fire in the backyard. These days, with parents' penchant for overscheduling their children, there is less time for such youthful experimentation.
"Today's youngsters and their parents are more wired and more scheduled than earlier Americans, leaving less unstructured time to spend outdoors," the Christian Science Monitor reports. [1] "For the kids, that can mean missing out on childhood bonds to nature. Alarmed,conservationists and government officials are looking for ways to reverse the trend." The Monitor mentions Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, who cites studies showing that "exposure to nature boosts attention spans, reduces stress, and could be an antidote to the rising problem of childhood obesity." Clearly a balance - between scheduled and unscheduled, indoor and outdoor, and tech-enabled and tech-free time is needed.
Newman, who is a perceptual motor therapist, runs movement classes for children and thinks kids need to exercise and move to develop good pre-writing skills.

As school administrators wrestle with the deeply controversial issues of educating America's youth evolution versus creationism, metal detectors on campus, standardized testing one topic has really put them in the public hot seat: the schoolyard game of tag. The issue made national headlines recently when Willett Elementary School in Attleboro, Mass., officially banned the venerable skinner of knees, inspiring considerable derision in editorials and online discussion boards. (Schools in South Carolina, Wyoming and Washington have instituted similar bans.) The topic is so no-win that school officials, admittedly busy with loftier issues, are reluctant to discuss it. But the reality is that schools across the United States have been quietly discouraging tag for years, reports Janet Cromley. Any discussion of it elicits a flinch response because this simple schoolyard game is at the nexus of three competing interests: giving kids freedom to play (what many teachers and kids want), keeping them safe from harm on large, unruly playgrounds (what concerned parents want) and avoiding band-aid-related depositions (what all administrators want). The game can bring out aggression in some kids and lead to confrontation. Today's campuses are often paved with blacktop, not cushioned with grass; and schools have had to cut back on supervisory aides because of funding problems. Some believe the socializing benefits of tag outweigh the dangers of lawsuits. "Tag is about learning how to compete in a fair and laughing joyous way," says Andrew Rakos. "There's an element of being safe, of avoiding trouble, strategy. You learn about how to deal with disagreements and how to find solutions. And of course you learn about your personal space and about speed and control of your body." Tag is a uniquely elemental game that develops naturally — and kids seem to be hard-wired to play it. At age 4 or 5, children are running around chasing each other, and by the first grade, they've created the rules and organized themselves into a game. "It's one of the few games left where the adults have absolutely nothing to do with it," says psychologist Fred Frankel, director of the UCLA Parent Training and Children's Friendship Programs. "Kids transmit it from generation to generation and spontaneously organize it.",1,4374880.story?coll=la-news-learning

2.17.08 Taking Play Seriously
The New York Times Magaizine features Dr. Stuart Brown in a major article highlighting the value to society of developing a scientific understanding of play .

1.29.08 Live from the NY Public Library - A Conversation with Dr. Stuart Brown and Krista Tippet before a sold out audience.

  • Research Finds Vigorous Exercise Equals Better Academics - Middle school students who perform more vigorous physical activity than their more sedentary counterparts tend to do better in school, according to a study published today by researchers from Michigan State University and Grand Valley State University.
    The government tells people to cut the fat with fitness at the same time it is trimming fitness right out of the budget. In President Bush's budget proposal for fiscal year 2006, he would cut federal funds for physical education teachers and equipment from $74 million to $55 million. That is just the top of a crumbling pyramid. The budget crunches in the states, due in part to White House priorities for war and tax cuts to the wealthy, continue to result in physical education classes being stripped from schools all across the country. The percentage of high school students who participate in physical education dropped from 42 percent in 1991 to 28 percent in 2003, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Similarly, only 25 percent of high school students report doing exercise that makes them breathe hard and sweat at least five days a week. A significantly higher percentage of high school students, 38 percent, watch television three or more hours a day during a school week. Everyone knows that lack of physical activity, combined with the proliferation of junk food, is fueling an obesity crisis among young people, writes Derrick Z. Jackson. The best first step, if the president and Americans are committed to physical fitness, is to send a message to America's children and parents that we are returning physical education to the schools. The classes were among the first to be cut during the mad dash toward standardized testing. 1
    Decades ago, it was common for students to have daily gym classes. Today, just 8 percent of U.S. schools provide phy ed daily. Elementary students are averaging less than two hours of gym time a week; older kids, even less. The statistics are sobering, reports James Walsh. More of our children are obese. Fewer kids are physically active. Yet schools, constrained by tightening finances and rising pressure to boost math and reading scores, are giving students less time for physical education. But some Twin Cities schools, through creativity or just plain determination, are bucking the sedentary trend. At some, phy-ed teachers are launching afternoon walking or bicycling clubs; at others, classroom teachers use silly games to get bodies in motion. Some chase outside funding to build state-of-the-art fitness centers to coax kids off the couch. "I believe physical activity is so integral to what we do," said principal Jud Haynie. Her school is using state and federal grants and a coming International Baccalaureate magnet program to boost its phy-ed and fitness offerings. "Your mind isn't receptive to information and to learning unless you're taking care of your body."
  • Sport Concussions are Dangerous injuries suffered by 1.4 million to 3.8 million kids in the United States each year. A thousand schools nationwide are now using the IMPACT Test, a valuable, objective tool for measuring concussions.Yet, despite the prevalence of this common injury, many coaches, teachers and doctors are not aware of how to evaluate or treat a concussion.



Going Deaf? How did the music get so loud? Read ASHA's DeskReference Guidelines. Audiological Assessment of Children Birth to 5 Years of Age and find out how to protect the children from hearing loss due to all the technology they stick inside their ears.

Babies remember music they heard in the womb.


Healthy Eyes

"Sixty percent of kids with learning disabilities have undiagnosed vision problems," according to a conservative estimate from the American Optometric Association (AOA). And while nearly three million students in the U.S. currently receive special education services according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities -- of all U.S. children 12 years old and under, a shocking 86 percent have never had an eye exam, according to the Vision Council of America. Does the individual display signs of poor vision or hearing? Unfortunately, many parents, educators and even school nurses assume that when a child can see the eye chart that vision is fine. In fact, all "20/20" means is one is able to see the size of the letters on the eye chart that one is supposed to see from 20 feet. Yet, children who have passed vision screenings or other eye exams could still be missing many of the over 15 visual skills critical to academic success. "These undetected vision problems can often be readily diagnosed and treated," says Dr. Drusilla Grant, a developmental optometrist and president of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. "Screenings sometimes help, but only a comprehensive vision exam by a developmental optometrist can rule out a learning-related vision problem," Grant adds. Parents and educators are urged to act now: Before even thinking about the possibility of a learning disability, ask: Could this be a hidden vision problem? "And then insist on a comprehensive eye exam from a developmental optometrist," Grant says. [1]


Authoritarian Behavior Leads To Insecure People
There are four classic parental socialisation types - authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent and neglectful. Four family types based on relationships with children.
Family classification is obtained by combining behaviours that involve different levels of demands being made and responsibility given. Firstly, the authoritative model describes families that "provide clear rules, giving reasons for them to their children in an affectionate and flexible way, while also expecting these rules to be followed". The authoritarian model is similar to the authoritative one, in that it is demanding or controlling, but it differs in that the parents are less affectionate.
On the other hand there are parents who fall within the neglectful and indulgent models, which are characterised by applying low levels of repression. However, those in the first group are "not very affectionate" while those in the second group are "very affectionate".
According to the expert, imposed discipline systems, such as punishments, deprivation and strict rules, which try to force children do things, have a knock-on effect on family self-esteem, and are associated with incomplete emotional development and a certain level of resentment towards the family, even if they are applied by parents who have very cordial relationships with their children, "at least in cultures such as in Spain, where little value is placed on hierarchical relationships".

Character Development
Moral Flexibility, Spin, Damage Control how children learn to determine what the truth is. Recasting the definition of a successful learner from one whose achievement is measured solely by academic tests, to one who is knowledgeable, emotionally and physically healthy, civically engaged, prepared for economic self-sufficiency, and ready for the world beyond formal schooling.

Learning Ethics

Corporal punishment is legal in 23 states. It is legall for school teachers and officials to spank and paddle children, a form of corporal punishment that advocates say leads to violence in adult lives. A growing body of evidence indicates that perhaps the parent or authority figure who uses the rod, spoils, or at least harms, the child, especially a girl child. In fact, a growing number of experts believe that children, in general, and girls, in particular, should not be spanked at home or subjected to corporal punishment at school.


Free Database Searches on Health provided by the National Library of Medicine