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Inspiration Series - Emotional Support

Uncategorized Apr 27, 2024

In the words of Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., “The way we learn how to be resilient and how to handle difficult things is by practicing sitting in, dealing with and walking through difficult stuff.”

Dr. Bryson shared this message of truth in a book she co-authored called, The Power of Showing Up.

Showing up… What an incredibly powerful gift it is to be fully present, aware and attuned to the needs of our child, family and closest friends. But what about ourselves? When was the last time you showed up for you?

Take a moment to check out this video posted a few weeks ago by Dr. Bryson:

It’s no secret that kids, teens and adults alike all have been stretched to their maximum physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially in this current season of life. And with this stretch upon our lives, our nervous systems have begun to pay a high price.

I do not know about you all, but this season for me and for my family has been nothing...

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Inspiration Series - Social Support

Uncategorized Apr 08, 2024

Crash! Boom! Snap!


Speed walking through the last grocery aisle for pantry necessities, a sudden, unexpected crash from the nearby bakery department sent a shot of adrenaline through my fatigued mom brain, body and spirit. After another sleepless night trying to comfort my son and an exhaustive day of putting out one emotional fire after another, I knew full well what the repercussions of this crash would entail as my body shifted into high alert mode, bracing for the inevitable impact.


In the moment of one long drawn inhale, my eyes locked with my sons dilated pupils. This crash was the last straw of an emotionally spent 24+ hours and the push into a full blown, sensory overload meltdown. In an instant, the thrashing of an overwhelmed little boy flooded with emotion began as the tears flowed from both our eyes. Scooping up my son and dropping to the ground right in the middle of the grocery aisle, I held my precious boy in a mama bear hold praying for strength,...

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Single-Focused Tasks The Key to More Productive Learning

Uncategorized Mar 27, 2024

Productivity is one of the most highly regarded traits in the work world today. And to be productive, multitasking is the go-to method. The ability to switch between multiple tasks rapidly is seen as a special skill, but it stifles productivity and increases the likelihood of making mistakes. But with the growing flood of information and technology, distractions are at the forefront of our every step. And while this is affecting everyone, these distractions are most detrimental to children’s developing brains.


The idea of “multitasking” or what is better described as “rapid task switching” impedes not only efficiency but also weakens our ability to transcribe new information into our memory. When we learn new information, we use declarative memory in the hippocampus. When distractions occur during learning, the brain detours from the hippocampus and depends on the striatum, which involves more second nature type tasks. When we switch tasks, our ...

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Game Based Learning Benefits - 10-14yo

Uncategorized Feb 27, 2024

Every day children are faced with increased amounts of pressure to work harder, learn more quickly, and manage their emotions. This is especially true for 10 to 14-year olds due to their intellectual growth during this period. However, this pressure is unhealthy for them and can lead to anxiety and depression.

The premise of the game show “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” tells us that children at this age are extremely smart. Along with that, their critical thinking skills are top-notch. The downfall to this age group’s intellect is that their decision-making skills are the exact opposite. Their physical abilities are also great but 10 to 14-year olds tend to be lazy which leads to sloppiness. Children at this age are all over the emotional spectrum and they care about what their peers think.

Because their abilities at this age, as well as societal and academic pressures, play is often put on the back burner as a learning resource. However, as Diane Ackerman...

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Game Based Learning Benefits - 7-9yo

Uncategorized Feb 06, 2024

When we hear the word “learn” we often think of children sitting in a classroom, at a desk, with a teacher educating students on a particular subject. We rarely ever imagine playing a game as a teaching and learning tool. However, the benefits of utilizing this can span more developmental areas than learning about a single subject through lecture and worksheets. As O. Fred Donaldson said, “Children learn as they play. More importantly, in play, children learn how to learn.”


Children between the ages of 7 and 9-years old are what most people consider “the golden age.” They are at a unique growth period in their life. They are proficient in their vocabulary and problem-solving skills, yet they are not at the age where they want complete independence from adults. They are refined in their gross motor skills but are still establishing a foundation in core skill development.


Children at this age are extremely bright and are very...

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Game Based Learning Benefits - 5-6y.o

Uncategorized Jan 27, 2024


The Benefits of Game-Based Learning for 5-6 year olds


When people generally think of “play” they think of fun and games…something simply for amusement and nothing more. However, there is a bigger, and more important, piece that is often overlooked…learning. As Kay Redfield Jamison said, “Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.”


The same is true for game-based learning. When parents hear this term, they think that their children will only be “playing games” and that no learning will be involved. What a lot do not understand is that game-based learning helps children develop physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially, all at the same time. And better yet, when information is learned in a fun way, children retain it better and want to continue to participate in the activities.


For 5 and 6-year old’s, specifically, they are at a...

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Game Based Learning Benefits - 3-4y.o

Uncategorized Jan 07, 2024


The Benefits of Game-Based Learning for 3-4-year-olds


Play is often overlooked as a learning tool for children. defines play as “engaging in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.” It is seen as a type of “free time” when nothing else important is happening. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. For 3 to 4-year old’s, play is vital to their overall development and learning.


Children between the ages of 3 and 4 years old are growing physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially, at a very rapid rate. They are discovering new things daily and are attempting to navigate the world with very little information and abilities. Because of this, it is important that they are involved in activities that help develop them in all areas, or what the SKILLZ program calls “4-dimensional instruction.”


As Maria Montessori best said...

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Movement - Reducing the Effects of Sitting

Uncategorized Sep 27, 2023

There’s no denying that advancements in technology have made our lives easier. We can work from home, shop online, and watch newly released movies, among many other things, all without leaving the couch. And while this saves us travel time and hassle, it can lead to unexpected health consequences. The reason is that we are sitting for prolonged periods, which can deteriorate our bodies. Even worse is our children are also sitting a great deal, so they are now faced with the same issues that adults have been. Therefore, children need to keep their bodies moving throughout the day.


The human body is like a machine. If we sit too long or too much, our bodies become rusty and aren’t easy to move. The significant damage that can result, over time, can lead to heart disease, obesity, posture issues, neck and back pain, and poor circulation, to name a few. Children today are not only sitting in school but for much of their evenings and weekends. This is all thanks to...

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Can My Child Transfer To SKILLZ But Keep Current Rank

Uncategorized Sep 06, 2023

For many people, martial arts is one unified style, which they call “karate,” and includes learning a variety of self-defense moves. When students decide to change martial arts schools, they are often told they must “start over” at white belt. And while it is important for a student to learn all lower rank information of a new style, it’s less frustrating when they can merge into the new system without feeling that their previous training has been for nothing.

Martial arts classes are typically technique-based training systems where everyone, no matter the age, learns the same things. The students are taught the information required for testing and then progress to the next rank. This system has been in place for many years and is done by all martial arts organizations. However, the actual information being taught is different in all styles and can make the transition to a new school and style more difficult.

The SKILLZ program is a skills-based martial...

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Boost Attention Span by Making Learning Fun Again

Uncategorized Aug 27, 2023

Attention span has long been a topic regarding the relationship between children and learning. As the years have passed, technology has been at the forefront of our everyday lives. This has caused the concern for inattentiveness to become even more of an issue. Children are constantly presented with new and exciting things that catch their attention, so it’s up to adults to find ways to teach new information in an entertaining way. This approach will maintain the interest level of the child so that learning can be cultivated.


Attention span refers to the time a person can focus on an activity. As most people know, this varies depending on the age. The general rule is 2-5 minutes per year of age is how long a child should be able to pay attention. However, to take it a step further, Neal Rojas, a developmental behavior pediatrician, states, “Attention span is elastic.” He refers to everything from the time of day that attention to a specific task is required...

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