Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Life in Balance (A TOS Review)

If you have a child who is struggling with learning, I highly recommend that you read the book, 
A Life in Balance: Discovery of a Learning Breakthrough by Learning Breakthrough Program. The Learning Breakthrough Program is an alternative to medication for the treatment of dyslexia, ADHD, and other issues which interfere with learning ability. The people behind developing this program- the methods and tools- have research to back up improvements in reading and concentration without the use of drugs.

In this post, I'm going to share a bit with you about our family's experiences in using some of the Learning Breakthrough Program products and methods
with Song Bird. As a part of the TOS Review  Crew, I received a PDF download of the Life in Balance book in exchange for my honest review. I have not, however, received any of the products. What I share in this post about our experience is through a Brain Power course our daughter is taking via a university we go through.

Before I continue, I want to let you know that this book is for parents who desire a way to aid their children who have struggles with attention and learning. It gives background information about Frank Belgau's journey to helping people of all ages with learning issues. It explains how it is an ADHD alternative treatment as well as a solution for Dyslexia treatment. It's a brain fitness program which offers brain training to help with reading improvement, concentration, etc. This includes the elderly who start to have a decline in their sensory and neural systems due to degeneration. In addition, high-level Navy pilots have used this program as a part of their vision training. It also gives insight into understanding how and why these methods work to improve cognition. 

How I Used This Book In Our Homeschool

Song Bird is actually going through a Brain Power program that utilizes much of Learning Breakthrough's aspects. I want to respect my daughter's privacy, so I will not go into specifics about what she is personally going through. That is her story to tell if she chooses to at some point in her life.

She began with an evaluation that tested her in 12 different areas. This gave us information on where her strengths and weaknesses are. Essentially, learning issues happen when the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere are not communicating very well with each other. The exercises that Frank Belgau talks about in his book are to help make new neural connections in the brain so that the two hemispheres are working more cohesively. 

Reading his book has helped me to better understand the process that it took in research, development, and also the why and how of the methods used. 

I also feel greatly encouraged by the positive reminders I find throughout the book. We are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made! It's amazing how the brain can be rewired! It's disheartening for us parents when we see that our child is frustrated because he/she isn't learning. And it can become discouraging for us parents as well. But, there is hope! 

One of the key products Frank has developed is the Balance Platform. Song Bird isn't using the balance board yet... she needs to advance in skill and ability before she is able to. However, one of our other children who went through the same program (using some of Learning Breakthrough's products) helped our child greatly. We expect benefits for Song Bird as well.   

Juggling is one of many exercises that helps develop the function of the brain. *The Learning Breakthrough Program has students use different colored bean bags with different weights. The university's Brain Power program we are involved with is not doing this! (The only reason one of Song Bird's bean bags is a different color is because the third blue one was misplaced and orange was the color that was on hand.) And it makes so much more sense for students to do so. This exercise helps to improve vision because it promotes the muscular structures which are responsible for tracking.

Also, the ball and stick is a beneficial exercise.  Frank explains that, "The pendulum expresses some of the most basic principles of the physical universe. It is calibrated to the acceleration of gravity; it always responds according to the force that is exerted on it; and an individual's ability to control its motion precisely is both a gauge and an exercise of his relationship to three-dimensional space." ~A Life in Balance, p. 119

You see, the way the instructor can tell if a student is making progress, is by gauging how well they master a skill set. Once they do this, they are given another skill set to master... and so they continue until the they can display strengths where there once were weaknesses. 

What A Life in Balance Covers

The book covers Frank's family background (it's an important backdrop); his teaching career; his research based on working with students with varying learning abilities; challenges and victories as he developed the program and tools; details about the tools and how they benefit students; the development and function of the brain... and how it can be strengthened. 

What You Need to Know

These methods have helped our children. The thing is that parents and children need to stick with the exercises. And, in our case, we meet once weekly with an instructor who tests her. When the instructor sees that Song Bird has improved and mastered a skill set, Song Bird is given another exercise to practice.

Our children are individuals (no surprise) so their needs and personal areas for improvement are different. Song Bird is improving for who she is. Just like her sibling did for who they are. Individual progress in a program does not mean they will never be challenged or have difficulty understanding something, but it gives them the ability to have stronger mental acuity and personal improvements on areas of weakness. 

How Much the Life in Balance Book Costs

The paper back book of A Life in Balance costs $16.94.  

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Read other reviews by TOS Crew members about Learning Breakthrough's book by clicking on the banner below.

If your child is struggling in areas, I hope you consider using the Learning Breakthrough Program.


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