Some children dominate the right side of the brain. They are creative. They think outside the box. They dance and make art. They generally don’t like math.
Other children are left-brain dominant. They take things apart to find out how they work. They like order. They think about things and ask a lot of questions. Math is often his favorite subject.
There is nothing wrong with this, except that school is generally a left-brain dominated institution, especially as children progress to high school and then college. Although we are getting better at teaching individual differences in elementary school, teaching the left side of the brain is still the norm in high school.
Left brain teaching is linear. Lists to learn and memorize. The teachers speak. The children write it. The teachers have a plan. The children follow the plan. go there. You just lost all those right brain kids. Now they get bad grades. They are labeled with a learning disability. Maybe they will get into trouble. Someone probably thinks they have ADHD.
And teachers report that more and more children are right-brain dominant in their classrooms. So how will these kids succeed in high school and college? What if they want to go to medical school, law school, maybe become an engineer? How can we help them?
Learning to use the whole brain solves the problem. Learn to lessen the dominance of the right or left brain so that they use both sides equally. So what does this mean? And how do you do it?
First, let’s first take a look at how the frontal lobes of the cerebral neocortex work. This is the part of the brain just behind the forehead. The left and right sides are connected by a fibrous band in the middle called the “corpus callosum.” To use both sides of the brain, the neurons on the left side must be connected to the neurons on the right side. In other words, the electrical charge between brain cells has to go through the corpus callosum. OK that’s the theory leaves.
Now the action is gone. How do you get this neural pattern? How are these synapses obtained through the corpus callosum? It’s really quite simple. Every time you cross the midline of your body, you create neural patterns between the right and left sides. Right-brain-dominant children can now use their left brain more. And left-brained kids can use their right brain more.
Just make them move. Walk while she swings her arms. Skipping. Playing ball. Dancing. Run. Since moving is key, perhaps we’re seeing more right-brain-dominated kids because kids are less active.
Have the kids do the Brain Gym crossover crawl. It’s like marching in place. You can do it sitting or standing. Raise your right leg and touch your knee with your left elbow. Now raise your left leg and touch with your right elbow. How many variations of this can you and your children come up with? Make sure you use music. Make it more fun. How slow can you do it? It slowly gives you more brain integration and better balance.
Now, those kids who dominate the right brain may get over math after all. Children who dominate the left side of the brain can show their creative and artistic side. Kids with ADHD are more focused. And everyone has fun.