April 20, 2014

Learning to put the camera down

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It may seem counter-intuitive, especially in today’s “take and share pictures of everything” society, but research published in the journal Psychological Science points out that if you really want to commit something to memory, you’re better off looking and focusing on it – not taking a picture for later review.

Essentially, the bottom line is that we commit things to memory better when we give singular focus to the thing we want to remember.

Taking out our phone or camera and trying to take a picture fractures that focus, and makes it more difficult for our brains to cement the memory. Dr Linda Henkel of Fairfield University set up an experiment at an art museum that went something like this:

Undergraduates were led on a tour around the museum and were asked to take note of certain objects, either by photographing them or by simply observing them. The next day, their memory for the objects was tested.

The data showed that participants were less accurate in recognising the objects they had photographed compared to those they had only observed. Furthermore, they weren’t able to answer as many questions about the objects’ visual details for those objects they had photographed.

Henkel calls this the “photo-taking impairment effect”:

“When people rely on technology to remember for them – counting on the camera to record the event and thus not needing to attend to it fully themselves – it can have a negative impact on how well they remember their experiences,” she explains.

A second study replicated these findings, but it also presented an interesting twist: Taking a photograph of a specific detail on the object by zooming in on it with the camera seemed to preserve memory for the object, not just for the part that was zoomed in on but also for the part that was out of frame.

Read more here……

 

 

 

Screaming at Your Misbehaving Teen May Backfire

 

By Dr. Mercola

Most parents have raised their voices when disciplining their children, but new research suggest that doing so – especially if it involves shouting, cursing or using insults – may be counterproductive and end up making your child more disobedient.

The study, which involved nearly 1,000 13-year-olds and their parents, even found that the effects of harsh verbal punishment may be just as harmful to kids as physical discipline.1

(I disagree with this statement in this article. I am sure he meant to say “abuse” not “physical discipline”. See this for the difference: http://familyintegrity.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/spanking-vs-ca.pdf-Barbara)

These Were Not ‘High-Risk’ Families

The researchers stressed that their findings likely apply to many average American families, where the parents love their children, care about them and want them to avoid problem behaviors. The study’s lead researcher stated:

“There was nothing extreme or broken about these homes. These were non ‘high-risk’ families. We can assume there are a lot of families like this…”

In short, the study found that when parents used harsh verbal discipline it predicted an increase in conduct problems and depressive symptoms in the child between ages 13 and 14. Furthermore, the children were more likely to continue their misbehavior and demonstrated behavioral problems such as vandalism or anti-social and aggressive behavior.

The damaging effects were similar to those seen with physical punishments (Abuse not Physical punishments-Barbara) and they continued even if parents were yelling ‘out of love’ and also showed warmth and emotional support. In other words, the study’s lead author said:2, 3

“Even if you are supportive of your child, if you fly off the handle it’s still bad.

…Our findings offer insight into why some parents feel that no matter how loud they shout, their teenagers do not listen… Indeed, not only does harsh verbal discipline appear to be ineffective at addressing behavior problems in youth, it actually appears to increase such behaviors.”

Criticizing, Insulting and Berating Will Backfire

Experts recommend that parents communicate with their children on an equal level, and explain the reasons for consequences or concerns about their behaviors calmly.

As punishment, you may have more success taking away their video games or car keys than shouting at the top of your lungs, especially if you’re using shaming or berating words.

Ideally, you should be able to firmly set limits and establish open communication with your child without having to resort to yelling insults or name-calling. Of course, if you’ve raised your voice to your child on occasion, there’s no need to feel guilty or worry about the long-term consequences; the study is referring more so to harsh verbal discipline than simply raising your voice.

Rahil Briggs, director of pediatric behavioral health services at Montefiore Medical Center, told WebMD:4

” …it’s important to point out that we’re not just talking about shouting in frustration, which everybody has done. It’s one thing entirely to raise your voice at your child. That happens. But it’s another thing entirely to say to your teen ‘you’re dumb’ or lazy, or issue vulgarities.

The issue is that your parents are supposed to be on your side, on your team. But here we’re talking about verbal intimidation and humiliation, which is in many ways the most damaging to children trying to find their way in life.”

Giving Children an Effective Emotional Outlet Is Important

Children feel stress, too – often intensely. They worry about making friends, succeeding at school or sports, and fitting in with their peers. They may also struggle with the divorce of their parents or feel anxious about war and violence they see on the news.

While a child’s natural state is to be happy, vibrant and curious, it’s estimated that up to 15 percent of children and teens are depressed at any given time,5 and this could certainly be contributing to problem behaviors.

Many of the same worries that make you feel anxious and sad have the same impact on your children, and just as you need emotional outlets and time for relaxation and stress-relief, so, too, does your child.

One important way to do this is by offering unstructured playtime for kids or free time for teens. This is essential for kids to build their imagination, relieve stress and simply be kids.

Yet today, many kids are so over-scheduled that they scarcely have time to eat dinner and do homework, let alone have any free time for play. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics states that free, unstructured play is essential for children to manage stress and become resilient, as well as reach social, emotional and cognitive development milestones.6

 

Have You Addressed the Basics to Improving Problem Behaviors?

‘Mental disorders’ are loosely defined as “serious changes in the ways children handle their emotions, learn, or behave,” and run the gamut from mood disorders and substance abuse to learning disorders and more serious mental illness. While there are no easy remedies for more problematic issues like autism, a wide variety of mood, learning and behavioral problems in children are related to improper diet, emotional upset or stress, and exposure to environmental toxins.

I have successfully treated many hundreds of children with behavioral and mental challenges and have consistently seen them improve once the underlying toxicities and food changes were addressed, so parents let me assure you that there is hope! To address these underlying factors in your child, without resorting to verbal shouting matches or even drug treatment:

Dramatically reduce or eliminate grains and sugars in your child’s diet — yes, even healthy organic whole grains (especially wheat) can cause problems. Try eliminating them first for 1-2 weeks and see if you notice a radical and amazing improvement in your child’s behavior. Replace soft drinks, fruit juices, and pasteurized milk in your child’s diet with pure water.
Give your child plenty of high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fats like krill oil. Also limit their intake of vegetable oils, as they are loaded with damaged omega-6 fats. Make sure your child gets plenty of exercise and outdoor playtime in the sunshine, ideally walking on the earth barefoot.
Avoid giving your child ANY processed foods, especially those containing artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Instead, focus their diet on whole, ideally organic, foods to avoid both pesticides and genetically engineered ingredients. Provide your child a way to address his or her emotional stressors.

Read more here……

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated: 30 September 2013:  One year on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

http://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events:http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

2013 NZ Home Education Survey – deadline 18 November

In the early days of Home Education in New Zealand Craig organised a number of surveys through Keystone and TEACH Bulletin. It was good to get as many home educators as possible to answer the surveys. These surveys were very helpful.

I don’t think any surveys have been done for at least 10 years now.

There have been a couple of indepth studies done in the last 10 years.

Beyond Homeschooling NZ 2013 by Jenny Barkley

and

PhD study on Home Education in New Zealand

It would be wonderful if as many people as possible filled out this anonymous survey being done by NCHENZ.

2013 Survey

Please click on this link to access the survey:

2013 NZ Home Education Survey

Our quest to serve the best interests of the Home Education community continues!

As you may know, there are very few studies of home education in New Zealand and therefore very little understanding of the breadth and depth of our community.  We aim to add to that understanding by creating information gathering surveys that are written by home educators for home educators.

We hope to gain a good overview of the New Zealand homeschooling community -  your aims, your concerns and, of course, some basic statistics.  The gathered results may be used to promote the positive aspects of home education, as well as to dispel any myths or misunderstandings held by others in the wider community.

Please note that this survey is anonymous.  We are not collecting any identifiable information about respondents, and individual responses will not be shared.  As this is the case, we ask that you respect the intent of the survey, and fill it in as accurately and fairly as possible.

The survey should take you approximately five minutes to complete and, hopefully, the questions are self-explanatory.  Please complete it at one sitting as it is not possible to return to alter your responses should you exit part way through. The survey will be available until 8am Monday 18th November, after which time we will be closing it to further entries.

If you have any questions regarding the survey, please feel free to contact us by email.

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Please feel free to forward, email, share, etc  – thankyou

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated: 30 September 2013:  One year on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

http://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events:http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

 

Inquiry into engaging parents in the education of their children

Public submissions are now being invited on the Inquiry into engaging parents in the education of their children.

The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 7 November 2013

The terms of reference for the inquiry are to investigate the elements of an effective strategy for engaging parents, families, whanau, aiga, and communities in education; to identify the best practice examples of approaches, locally and internationally, that support parents and communities to encourage their children’s learning; and to identify ways to leverage the strength of communities to lift the educational achievement of children and young people in their community.

Read more here: Inquiry into engaging parents in the education of their children

The only other information is this press release: Inquiry into engaging parents in their children’s education

“The importance of parental engagement in children’s learning is well documented in national and international research,” Dr Calder said. “For most children, their parents are the one constant factor throughout education from early learning to tertiary education, and the primary caregivers of a child have an immense impact on their learning and development. While the focus of this inquiry is on strengthening the role of parents and caregivers, it is also understood that this happens within the context of families, wh?nau, and aiga, and as such is an intervention that has the potential to improve the education outcomes of all children within a family system and within a community.”

The terms of reference for this inquiry are to

• investigate the elements of an effective strategy for engaging parents, families, wh?nau, aiga, and communities in education

• identify the best practice examples of approaches, locally and internationally, that support parents and communities to encourage their children’s learning

• identify ways to leverage the strength of communities to lift the educational achievement of children and young people in their community.
Submissions close on Thursday, 7 November 2013, and can be made online at http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/SC/MakeSub/ . Alternatively, they can be sent to the address below. If a submitter wishes to appear before the committee, they need to state this clearly and provide a name, daytime phone number and email address. Submissions generally become public and are published on the Parliament website. For further guidance on making a submission, read the publication Making a submission to a Parliamentary Select Committee on the Parliament website, or contact the secretariat at (04) 817 9469.

Home Educators could have quite an impact on this submission process. I welcome your comments on this.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated: 12 September 2013:  One year on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

http://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events:http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Let kids play, says group wanting to raise school age

Traditional lessons should be put on hold for up to two years amid fears that successive governments have promoted a "too much, too soon" culture. Photo / Getty Images

Traditional lessons should be put on hold for up to two years amid fears that successive governments have promoted a “too much, too soon” culture. Photo / Getty Images

Formal schooling in Britain should be delayed until the age of 6 or 7 because early education is causing “profound damage” to children, an influential lobby of almost 130 experts warns.

Traditional lessons should be put on hold for up to two years amid fears that successive governments have promoted a “too much, too soon” culture in schools and nurseries, it is claimed.

In a letter to the Daily Telegraph, the group of academics, teachers, authors and charity leaders call for a fundamental reassessment of national policies on early education.

It is claimed the present system robs infants of the ability to play and puts too much emphasis on formal learning at a young age. The letter warns the Government is ratcheting up the requirements with policies that prioritise “school readiness” over free play.

This includes the possible introduction of a new baseline test for 5-year-olds in England and qualifications for childcare staff that make little reference to learning through play, they say.

The letter – signed by 127 senior figures including Sir Al Aynsley-Green, the former Children’s Commissioner for England, Lord Layard, director of the Well-Being Programme at the London School of Economics, Dr David Whitebread, senior lecturer in psychology of education at Cambridge University, and Catherine Prisk, director of Play England – suggests children should be allowed to start formal education later to give them more time to develop.

A spokesman for Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, said the signatories were “misguided”, suggesting they advocated dumbing down.

“These people represent the powerful and badly misguided lobby who are responsible for the devaluation of exams and the culture of low expectations in state schools,” the spokesman said.

“We need a system that aims to prepare pupils to solve hard problems in calculus or be a poet or engineer – a system freed from the grip of those who bleat bogus pop-psychology about ‘self-image’, which is an excuse for not teaching poor children how to add up.”

By law, children must be in school by the age of 5, although nearly all are enrolled in reception classes at 4.

The letter says children who enter school at 6 or 7 – in line with Scandinavian education systems – “consistently achieve better educational results as well as higher levels of wellbeing”.

It would mean delaying formal schooling for up to two years, experts suggesting they should instead have play-based activities with no formal literacy and numeracy requirements.

“The continued focus on an early start to formal learning is likely to cause profound damage to the self-image and learning dispositions of a generation of children,” the letter says.

The letter is circulated by the Save Childhood Movement, which is launching the “Too Much, Too Soon” campaign tomorrow. It will push for a series of reforms, including a new “developmentally appropriate”, play-based framework for nurseries and schools, covering children from 3 to 7.

Wendy Ellyatt, the founding director of the movement, said: “Despite the fact 90 per cent of countries prioritise social and emotional learning and start formal schooling at 6 or 7, in England we seem grimly determined to cling on to the erroneous belief that starting sooner means better results later.

“There is nothing wrong with seeking high educational standards … but there is surely something very wrong indeed if this comes at the cost of natural development.”

Read article here: Let kids play, says group wanting to raise school age

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated: 12 September 2013:  One year on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

http://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/