Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston, Texas. Child care Montessori provider in Champions, The Woodlands, Spring Texas Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston
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SMART MOVES
How our body works has a huge impact on how our brain processes. Therapists who specialize in the learning process can watch how a child moves and quickly begin isolating a problem. When children move in graceful and organized ways, the brain activates properly and learning happens naturally. However, when our infants are locked down in car seats, bouncy chairs, and strollers, the learning process is inhibited. When preschoolers are plopped in front of a TV/monitor or they’re limited to a sterile indoors, their brains don’t integrate as fully as they’re designed to do. Movement is life for all of us.

There are three dimensions to movement that integrate brain processing. Bilaterality (sideways from left to right) develops the ability to hear clearly and accurately, enables the ability to read and write fluently, and connects both the analytical and creative sides of the brain. Athletic activities of swimming, running, and throwing balls improve bilaterality. The centering dimension is the relationship between the abstract/mental functions in the top of the brain and the feeling/emotional function in the midbrain. This “centering” enables a person to be organized, concentrate well, balance emotion and logic, and have a general sense of wellbeing. Problems in this area are sometimes flagged when a child doesn’t sit up comfortably at a work desk. The third dimension is the balance between front and back. Children who are well integrated in this area participate freely, they multi-task easily, they can focus equally well at details or on the big picture, and they have a clear sense of themselves.

Every week in our enrichment curriculum, we do exercises specifically designed to develop each of these dimensions. Over a period of four weeks, we cycle through exercises to develop vestibular function, proprioception, motor planning, and bilaterality. We also work on developing strength, stamina, coordination, and flexibility. Next week, for example, we’ll be working on strength and motor planning. These are big words that mean gorilla walk and frog jump. (Always feel free to ask for more details about our curriculum.) When our culture was more active, these things happened quite naturally as children spent large portions of their days out of doors in unstructured activities. Today we have to be more purposeful to see that this physical development happens, not just for our children, but for ourselves as well. The good news is that it’s mainly called “fun” and our kids take to it quite easily.

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