Willy Wonka Series: Augustus Gloop

Augustus Gloop is the first kid to find a Willy Wonka Golden Ticket. His mother, Mrs. Gloop, explains to the reporters that it’s no surprise that her son found the ticket since he eats chocolate bars all the time. Unfortunately, his time on the tour is short-lived as he accidentally falls into the chocolate river and sucked into a pipe to the Fudge Room.  

Kids need fuel to keep up with their activity level and to help them grow. But despite consuming three daily meals and snacks, there may be other motives as to why some kids continuously seek food.

Continue reading

This is Your Kid’s Brain on Tech

Truth: Raising kids today is infinitely harder than in years past. And even though our parents want to give us tips on how to parent, they really have no idea what it’s like with this level of tech immersion. In fact, our kids (known as gen Alpha) will be the first generation to only know a world dominated by digital.

The result: Tech now leaves a completely different footprint on the developing kids’ brain, making focus, learning, and self-regulation harder to achieve.

Continue reading

Crash course: Executive Functions

It’s your choice.

Do you remember what I said?

What do you think we should do?

How are we going to fix this?

You’ve probably said this to your kid (or significant other) many a times, but did you know that these statements and questions engage executive function?

Any goal-driven process or activity that requires conscious thought is utilizing some degree of executive function (a set of mental skills that allow us to appropriately interact with our environment). Look at it like your brain’s upper management or “the executives” in charge of our behavior and cognition as they help plan, organize, and manage many tasks in our everyday life.  

Continue reading

Laying the Foundation: School Readiness

So this isn’t quite a Course Notes post, but I absolutely loved this Continuing Ed seminar I took a couple weeks ago on core foundational skills essential for learning. It especially informs our thoughts on school readiness and I want to share it with you all. So here we go!

Ready or not, your little one will soon attend school and you will most likely have concerns if they’re prepared or not. School readiness refers to the range of proficiencies — language and literacy, cognition, social and emotional skills — needed for your child to easily transition into school.  But to be successful in these skills, certain foundations need to be in place.

Continue reading

Actions are Louder Than Words: The Speech and Movement Connection

Talking doesn’t start at the mouth. Before we can speak or give meaning to language, we must learn to move.

Movement is necessary to explore our surroundings and travel from point A to point B (even if it is just to the couch). Motor development relies on the teamwork of the tactile (touch), proprioceptive (body awareness), and vestibular (movement) systems to establish a physical awareness of self to feel safe and move without fear.

Research has shown that achieving motor milestones may also be closely linked to unlocking cognitive abilities, like speech and language.

Continue reading