(Carla Hannaford, Ph. D.)
Dr. Hannaford worked with ?learning disabled? children. She introduced many physical activities for them and witnessed how they learned and made amazing progress. She confirmed the importance of daily physical exercises in a child?s learning. From the moment a baby is born, physical movements help determining the number of new nerve cells created and how these cells form networks in our brain. This process carries on throughout our lives. She pointed out the inter-relationship between our 5 senses, which are the foundation of our knowledge of the physical world, our emotions, and our thought, which can only be expressed by some form of physical movements. The author focuses on the importance of coordinated set of integrative movements which can enhance learning for everyone. She sees water, oxygen, and good nutrition as an important part of maintaining good learning. Management of stress, which most of us need in this modern world, is essential in effective learning. Stress is the main cause of learning problems such as ADD, ADHD, or hyper-active. There is a whole chapter devoted to ?brain gym? ? a set of simple physical exercises to keep our brains alert and active, which in turn facilitates learning. It is important to incorporate these movements that require balancing and coordination of our bodies in our daily lives. These movements encourage the development and function of our nervous system. As people tend to separate physical activities from mental ones, the author gives examples of how people actually think better when doing low-concentration physical activities. In this book there are many technical drawings of the brain, explaining the neurons and the development of nerve nets. There are also technical drawings showing the relationship between our sense organs and our brain. The author points out the importance of speech to the brain?s development. She also devotes a section exploring the negative effects of children watching TV over their imagination and learning ability.