In this blog we hope to offer you content that will enrich and expand your perception, knowledge, and skills -as a parent, teacher and, well actually, as a human being.
Some of our favorite topics are: brain development, studies on human perception, the practices that keep us healthy and happy, emotional awareness, social learning, mindfulness, development of human capacities, how we actually learn, worldwide examples of successful educational programs, among others…
We wish you happy reading!
Essential Kids Team
From Best Practices to Breakthrough Impacts A science-based approach to building a more promising future for young children and families “Early childhood is a time of great promise and rapid change, when the architecture of the developing brain is most open to the influences of relationships and experiences. Yet significant disadvantages in the life circumstances … Continue reading The Science of Early Childhood Development
Dr Hazel Harrington introduces the Brain House model to teach children what’s happening in their brain. “Knowledge is power. So learning about the brain lays strong foundations for emotional intelligence.” Here’s how Dr Hazel Harrington teaches children (and parents) how to understand the brain. Sometimes our brains can become overwhelmed with feelings of fear, sadness or anger, … Continue reading How to teach your kids about their brain
Khan Academy is a nonprofit with a mission of providing a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. They propose a new way of approaching teaching and learning, where students’ progress is actually measured and everyone can learn at their own pace without being left behind. Check out Salman Khan’s TED talk …
Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia have developed a new method for observing and measuring teacher interaction with every child in a classroom. As a result of testing this method within K-3 classrooms, they found that students who receive more negative attention from teachers experience increases in problems with emotional regulation, concentration and disruptive behaviors. … Continue reading Negative attention from teachers can lead to more negative student behaviors
The film, by Julie Bayer Salzman & Josh Salzman (Wavecrest Films), is entirely unscripted – what the kids say is based purely on their own neuro-scientific understanding of difficult emotions, and how they cope through breathing and meditation. They, in turn, are teaching us all… Click to watch the video…
“Scientific understanding of the influence of emotions on thinking and learning has undergone a major transformation in recent years. In particular, a revolution in neuroscience over the past two decades has overturned early notions that emotions interfere with learning, revealing instead that emotion and cognition are supported by interdependent neural processes.”… To read full article go to… https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/05/31/why-emotions-are-integral-to-learning/ Excerpt … Continue reading Why Emotions Are Integral to Learning
In his new book, “How We Learn: The Surprising Truth about When, Where, and Why It Happens,” author Benedict Carey informs us that “most of our instincts about learning are misplaced, incomplete, or flat wrong” and “rooted more in superstition than in science.” That’s a disconcerting message, and hard to believe at first. But it’s … Continue reading How We Learn
“You’re Unique. Why should your gown be any different?” – Ward+Robes Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada came up with the simple but brilliant idea to create hospital gowns that teens would actually want to wear. The recently launched WARD + ROBES program allows each teen to pick out a gown that suits them, allowing them to feel less like a patient and more … Continue reading Brilliant Hospital Gowns Help Teen Patients Feel Like Themselves
One of the ways that scientists have searched for the causes of mental illness is by studying the development of the brain from birth to adulthood. Powerful new technologies have enabled them to track the growth of the brain and to investigate the connections between brain function, development, and behavior. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) shares interesting research findings … Continue reading The Teen Brain Still Under Construction
Project DQ identifies 8 digital life skills all children need – and proposes a plan for teaching them. Similar to IQ or EQ, an individual’s facility and command of digital media is a competence that can be measured. This is known as DQ: digital intelligence, which is a highly adaptive intelligence. They define Digital intelligence or “DQ” as a “the sum of social, emotional … Continue reading 8 digital life skills all children need – and a plan for teaching them
Alice G. Walton , writes about The Many Benefits of Meditation For Children as found in different studies and research. Meditation has many benefits for the adult brain. The same seems to be true for kids. …”The research on mediation and the developing brain (i.e., kids) is not quite as robust as it is in … Continue reading The Many Benefits Of Meditation For Children
Children have the right to know their rights. Adults should know about these rights and help children learn about them, too. We all know we have rights, but do we know which ones they are?? and do we treat each other in this way?? Knowing about them is truly fundamental so we can live in … Continue reading Universal Human Rights of a Child
Teaching stories is a term used to describe narratives that have been deliberately created as vehicles for the transmission of wisdom. Our favorite Teaching Stories are those written by Idries Shah. We have found that children (and adults alike) truly love and enjoy these timeless stories and at the same time as we read, tell … Continue reading Teaching Stories
Helping our children to build resilience when they are faced with adversity is a key element of their development and mental health. Without a doubt, protecting children from unnecessary suffering is our responsibility as educators, caregivers and parents. Even though we wish we could avoid children pain and suffering, sometimes adversity is unavoidable, and it … Continue reading Resilience – A master skill for children
Date: June 22, 2015 Source: Massachusetts General Hospital Summary: Amid reports that rank today’s teens as the most stressed generation in the country, a new study offers hope for helping them effectively manage stress and build long-term resiliency. A pilot study describes how a stress-reduction/resiliency-building curriculum helped a group of Boston-area high school students significantly … Continue reading Resiliency training program helps teens deal with today’s stresses
By Eve Kessler, Esq. ADD, like many other conditions, is not just a single and simple disorder; therefore, treatment is not a one-size-fits-all solution. AT A GLANCE Research by Dr. Daniel Amen shows that ADHD is not a single or simple condition • There are seven distinct types of ADHD, each one requiring a particular … Continue reading Dr. Amen’s 7 Types of ADHD
Why Does Child Well-being Matter? A central aim of any society should be that its children enjoy their lives and acquire the skills necessary to become happy, functioning adults. For this, they need to develop emotional buoyancy, coping skills, resilience and the ability to form constructive social relationships. Social and emotional capacity is a built-in … Continue reading WORLD HAPPINESS REPORT 2015
Learning Environments A neuroscientist explains how factors such as light and seating arrangements can affect students’ cognitive performance. By Melina Uncapher October 14, 2016 If you’ve ever attempted to clear your head by taking a walk outside or zoning out by a window as the clouds roll by, you’ve intuitively hit on something that scientists … Continue reading The Science of Effective Learning Spaces
Our unresolved, unacknowledged feelings can lead us into anxiety, arguments and worse. Some educators believe it’s time to give our kids emotional instruction along with their ABCs. Who taught you how to identify and manage your emotions, how to recognize them when they arose and navigate your way through them? For many adults, the answer … Continue reading Should emotions be taught in schools?
Larry Ferlazzo, English & Social Studies teacher, posted a review on the research of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation on Edutopia.org, focusing on providing the conditions for growth and student motivation. He described the four qualities that have been identified as critical to helping students motivate themselves: autonomy, competence, relatedness, and relevance. In this post, he … Continue reading Strategies for Helping Students Motivate Themselves