Healthy Children Learn More Easily

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Educators and the school system are coming under tremendous heat for so-called inadequacies in teaching methods. It seems we have a generation of children who are slow-learners and slow-readers. While educators are worried about averages, medians and comparative abilities of their children, health authorities are becoming more and more concerned about the health of the non-achievers.

Other things being equal, there is no doubt that a healthy child learns more easily than the child with health problems. This fact, realized by thoughtful parents and teachers, is affirmed with conclusive evidence through research in student achievement. For this reason, regular physical check-ups have become an increasingly significant aspect of home school regimen. It is up to parents to explore whether a health problem exists and if so, to have it identified and corresponding treatment undertaken. While teachers are in a position to note symptoms of certain problems, and bring them to the attention of parents, the responsibility should not be imposed on the teacher. Parents must take more initiative and interest.

Parents and teachers should be alert to such things as changes in energy level, postural changes, moodiness, listlessness or any unusual signs that signal a problem that will impede learning. One of the observable signs is lack of interest in school activities. This should not be passed off as a normal part of growing. It is possible that the problem may be other than physical, but health is a safe place to start.

Careful parents should provide for regular check-ups for every member of the family. In many instances, the problem will not be difficult to correct if detected prior to serious physical deterioration and before poor learning habits and low academic achievement have become acceptable to the learners.

We must not be too fast to condemn our learning system. For the most part, teachers and coaches care. Unfortunately, they can’t do much without the support and cooperation of parents.

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