Saturday, February 19, 2011

Balametrics equipment

This program is based on the balance board.  I did not understand the importance of the other equipment.
First the balance board is a special design.  More information is available at for pictures and cost.  The design is important because some will think it is just a rocking board.  The importance is the rockers and the centering grid.  The grid allows the person using the board and the person tutoring or teaching to see that balance is achieved.  When the person using the board feels off balance they will move their feet and not have the body and brain balance.  Often when working with someone, they will drop the bean bag and when they start again they will have moved their feel. The balance board is a good place to begin.
The Pendulum Ball is harder to use because it needs have a large enough area to be able to swing and followed with the eyes.  This helps people to focus and use their eyes individually and together.  I saw one of these used at the Brain Workout Center in Denver.  The child laid on the floor and followed the ball with his eyes together.  Then he held on hand over one eye and did each eye individually.  Mom watched so she could have him practice at home.  I am finding that it only takes a few times to see much improvement with a child who has trouble focusing.  Also the child can stand on the balance board and follow the ball with the eyes.  Next have him or her use the Visual Motor Control Stick to hit the ball to the left, middle, and right. If you think this is easy I challenge you to try it yourself and make sure your feet are balanced when you are finished watching the ball. Remember to make it fun.  I tell my students that I know they are strong but can they control the ball.  That is stronger and tougher than being just strong.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Balametrics Class in St Louis on 1-28-11

On January 28, my husband and I went to St Louis for this class.  See earlier post for classes coming up.
The first information I want to share is the testing we did to show how the Balametrics improves ability to learn.  The tests we did were oral reading, visual acuity, binocular teaming, handwriting, walk a tape line, visual field, balance of visual space, distance perception and size perception, and rate of motion perception. 
I am usually not impressed with tests or test results.  I think these tests should be used to show the parents how much this training helps.  Maybe older students needing help would benefit from this testing also.
We took each test individually moving around the room to the different testing stations.  There were 9 or 10 students in this class.  The most impressive areas for me were the visual acuity and the visual field test.
On the visual acuity test my husband could see clearly 4 feet from the posted paper on the wall.  After he did the exercises he could see clearly from 7 feet back.  On my test for this I could see from 5 feet back on the initial test and from 8 feet back after doing the exercises.  The visual field test impressed me more because I could clearly see so much more of the field of cards.  I will go through each test and describe it in different posts so I can give each one the proper time and description.  Hopefully, this will encourage others to help themselves and their friends, family and most importantly children. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

snow days

Well we have been mostly snowed in for about 2 weeks.  I have not been able to see most of my tutoring students.  A young man who lives close to me could walk over.  He really likes the new boards.  Working with the balance board is fun.  He struggled to walk on it.  It has rockers on it like the balance board.  When he tries to walk it, he has a tendency to fall off of it.  After a couple of failures and a look of discouragement on his face, I figured out to hold on to the edge of his shirt to give him a little extra balance.  This little bit of help allowed him the support he needed to walk the board.  Then he could do this without the help. The excitement of the weather and being couped up indoors have made it hard for him to focus on balance.  I saw this before when he was excited about going to a ball game. Only the snow was so much bigger, it took about 5 to 7 minutes longer to focus. It really reminds to me to remember and not take balance for granted .  It is so easy to forget when I am not the one struggling.  He fell off the regular board twice before he could get his focus in line.  This is the child I was not sure I could tutor.  He is going to take longer but is showing improvement. 
The snow is melting so next week we will hopefully be back to normal. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

school counselor

When I was in the Balametrics class I met a wonderful school counselor.  I hope she will continue for many years in the educational system.  I wish I had asked her what kind of learner she is.  She can see how much the Balametrics can help struggling students.  During the summer, she has a class for these learners and it is successful.  The sad thing is that she can only have a few in the class.  Hopefully, others will see what she is doing and learn from her.  I know I saw many ideas I can use for my tutoring. 
I am so excited with what I learned that I overwhelmed the students I tutor. The next student, I only showed one new idea and will go more slowly.
Today I worked with a young man and he did well.  I may not have the energy or organization to work with more than two or three at a time.  I will need to watch the instructional DVD's several days to be able to use more of what I learned.

I am exhausted

I have just spent an hour or longer talking with my youngest son, who is a perfectionist. He tries so hard and has so many learning struggles that working with him is exhausting.  Many struggling learners are also perfectionists.  Not only do they struggle to learn, they struggle to do everything perfectly.  However, because they struggle so hard to learn and make so many mistakes, they learn to convince people that they do not care so they can survive our educational system. When my son is in a class he has learned to sit in the back so he can move and not distract the teacher and yet still be able to move enough to be able to learn.  He gets in trouble with a speaker because he is not paying attention.  When the speaker calls him down for not paying attention, my son can repeat what the speaker has said.  When my son is acting like he is paying attention, then he has to go ask what he is supposed to do.  What a challenge!
I read a good piece in Texas Homesteader on Rocket Phonics that explains this well.  It is on learning and rocket phonics and how to teach her child.  The sad thing is we put a visual learner in the class as a teacher.  Many or most teachers are visual learners. Visual learners or teachers need students to be still in order in to teach and learn.  Then we put learners in class that need to move to learn and expect there to be peace in class.  Guess who is considered to be a problem?
He is struggling with some of his college classes because I thought he had figured out how to use the syllabus.
Well, guess what!  He is still not a visual learner and the teachers in at least some of his classes are.  Putting the information in bold type does not a visual learner make.  We will work on the next syllabus for another class tomorrow.  He thinks I am mad at him when I am flustered with myself for missing what he could not remind me that he needed.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Balametrics classes coming

Anyone who is working with teaching struggling learners or any learners needs to try to go to a  seminar on Balametrics.  There is one coming up on February 18, 2011 in Portland, Or.  Another one is on March 28, 2011 in Orlando, Fl.  The cost is 149 for the class or 399 if you need a kit with some of the materials.  I went for 149 because I have many of the materials.  When I learned the impressive extent of what could be taught, I realized I needed more materials.  There was so much more that could be taught than I realized.  I have had great success with what I was using. I am excited to see how much more succcess my students can have with more information.