Welcome to Kids Must Move - our Home School program - which uses our Movement Method approach and Lesson Plans in a way that is especially tailored for all families - both special needs and neuro typical. For our free E-Book for kinetic home schooling, become a free Bronze member on the website here. To get a preview of our Lesson Plans check out this section.
Movement Method is a set of easy to follow guidelines that anyone can use to create an environment that promotes learning and follows Lesson Plans that are effective and fun.
Kids Must Move is for all brain and learning types. Neuro typical kids thrive with kinetic learning, but so do kids with ADD/ADHD, Autism, Sensory-Processing-Disorder, Learning Difficulties, Borderline Disorder, PTSD. Even if your kid is neuro typical there may be problems learning in the classic school environment. Certainly, parents and teachers have never faced such numbers of kids with these diagnoses as we find today.
Drugs won't fix it.
Traditional education can't handle it.
The key is movement and the brain - an understanding how the two are linked. There is no longer any dispute among neuro-scientists and educational psychologists that movement is vital to stimulating the learning centers of the child's brain. The only way to really educate these children is to understand WHY and HOW - i.e. the brain science! And the wonderful thing? It's so simple as you will see!
This is what Movement Method, developed in conjunction with 7 universities world wide, will teach you, whether you want to apply it a regular classroom context (yes we do have strategies for movement in the traditional classroom) or homeschooling or outdoor education.
How it began:
When Rowan Isaacson (whose life story is told in the bestselling book and documentary ‘The Horse Boy’) was 3 years old his parents made the difficult decision to pull him out of school in response to the increasingly regressive behavior that he exhibited whilst there, most likely as a result of unmotivated teachers and the sensory ramifications of spending all day in a windowless room with fluorescent strip lights.
Unsure of how to proceed, Rupert thought about how he would have designed his own education as a child and came up with an education strategy based around 1:1 mentorship and learning through exploration. Rowan is now 16 and over the years his father and his team have developed a style of teaching him based around movement, intrinsic motivation and nature, that now serve an amazing 30,000 families world wide.
These techniques have allowed Rowan - and countless others - to advance from mastering the basics of reading and writing, to simple addition and subtraction to much more complex topics such as geometry, algebra, physics and chemistry. The results have been astonishing. This was the start of Movement Method, a series of techniques honed over ten years of trial and error, aimed at helping children with autism open up to learning.
Understanding the physiology of Movement Method
Movement Method is based on the following scientifically based observations:
- STRESS IMPAIRS LEARNING
- WE LEARN BETTER WHEN WE FEEL SAFE
- MOVEMENT PROMOTES LEARNING
THE PROBLEM– STRESS IMPAIRS LEARNING
Cortisol is the stress hormone. It is released by the amygdala and is one of the hormones involved in the flight, fight or freeze response. Cortisol is necessary for us to function successfully. It is partly responsible for allowing us to escape from or fight a threat and stay safe. However, it has both a short and long term effect on our ability to learn. In the short term cortisol narrows our focus so that all our attention can be directed towards escaping from or fighting the perceived danger. In the long term chronic levels of cortisol have been shown to actively corrode learning connections within our brains. Children in stressful environments just simply cannot learn and no amount of punishment, drugs, rewards, or other forms of coercion can change that simple fact.
It is well-established that children with autism - and many related diagonses - have an over-active amygdala which causes increased cortisol production. This is in part due to the malfunctioning sensory system that is such a common feature of autism, and which can also be triggered in neuro-typical children by excessive stress. So much so that in 2013 the American Psychiatric Association added hyper- or hypo-reactivity to sensory input to their updated edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual‘s diagnostic criteria for autism. When a child's sensory system is overstimulated by everyday sensory inputs like artificial lighting, bad smells or large numbers of people - let alone bullying, antipathetic teachers, excessive home work loads and so on - then their amygdala is activated, which triggers the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands, and learning is simply blocked. To make matters worse elevated levels of cortisol in the body, such as those experienced by people on the autism spectrum, eventually cause structural alterations in the amygdala that further increases it’s likelihood of being triggered. In a nutshell what this means is children with autism are often locked in a vicious cycle of cortisol production which either impairs or completely blocks their ability to learn.
One way that we can deal with this problem is to set up a learning environment for the child that is free from as many bad sensory triggers as possible, and where nature and empathy make it safe for the brain to open up to learning. It is well-established in the scientific literature that spending time in nature reduces cortisol production. However we can also make-over an indoor learning environment by removing the most common sensory triggers paying particular attention to lighting, smell and noise, and by making sure those doing the teaching understand not just how to switch off the cell danger response in the brain but also how to switch the learning centers on and deliver Lesson Plans developed around movement.
The Solution - We learn better when we feel safe (Switching off the cell danger response)
The basic science of what we do is as follows:
We switch off the cell danger response in the brain by removing bad sensory triggers, and replacing them with good ones, as well as making sure that the child never feels threatened by the person delivering the lesson.
We create movements that make the body produce the happiness and communication hormone, oxytocin.
We stimulate the cerebellum, which in turn begins producing large numbers of Purkinje cells, which create optimal communication between the different parts of the brain.
We activate the vestibular system, which in addition to tailoring lessons to the child's intrinsic interests, creates long term learning.
We initiate activity in the pre-frontal cortex - the logic, reason, and emotional regulation center of the brain.
We use problem solving and moving to create BDNF (Brain Derived Neuro-trophic Factor) in the brain, which makes the brain not only produce more neurons but operate at it's optimal intellectual level.
To go straigh to our Home School Lesson plans, click here. To take our online certification course and learn how to deliver the Lesson Plans to their optimal level, check out this page. To find a local trainer and take a live workshop check out our Trainer Directory and to find a Movement Method Mentor near you click here.