curriculum reviews

Learning Breakthrough Program: A Life in Balance Review

Learning Breakthrough Program ReviewI was given the ebook A Life in Balance from Learning Breakthrough Program.  A Life in Balance was written by Frank Belgau as told by Eric Belgau.  I love it when God keeps putting the same subject in front of me time and time again!  This is the third time God has provided me information about brain training as an alternative to ADHD and dyslexia treatment.

I was so excited to get this book!  I read it while camping with our American Heritage Girls troop.  This was the perfect time for me to get some reading in.  I’m not usually a fast reader, but I was so eager to get this information that I read most of it in two days.  I was hoping that it would help me help David.  He’s all boy and oh so busy!  He is having a hard time with reading and learning new concepts.  The more I learn about brain training the more I want to try these things with him as an alternative to medications.

This story is about a man who began his career as a teacher.  In the early 1960’s his job was to teach “minimally brain-injured” children to read.  This was during a time in education where there was little to no hope for children in the special education classes.  It was just a place for them to go.  He says that one of his principals told him to have his students put their heads on the desks and cover them with newspapers to “keep them out of trouble”.  Frank Belgau saw himself in these kids.  He remembered a time when he couldn’t read when other kids his age could.  He struggled and failed no matter how hard he tried.  One summer he did an activity where he ran in the sand and was very aware of where his big toes were placed on each step.  He made sure that he landed exactly on the holes in the sand, he got faster and more accurate the more he did it.  By the end of the summer he could hit the target every time and had record speed……and he could read!

The brain is amazing!!!  The neuroscience was not what it is today when Mr. Belgau starting teaching, but he knew that certain activities formed these changes in the brain.  He was on a mission to connect the two and help these students to be able to overcome their disabilities.  He was able to use his classroom, then work in research in college classrooms then eventually on his own to develop an awesome series of activities and exercises to help form brain connections.

Not only is the topic of brain training fascinating, but the book details step by step the advances made in neuroscience when there really was no such science at the time.  Mr. Belgau would have his students read a passage then do an activity, like swing a ball from a string and try to hit different targets or stand on a balance board while doing another activity and then read the same passage again.  If there was improvement in the reading the activity was considered a success and it was used again.  This type of research went on for years with little support.  It’s amazing to see where that science is now.  Later in the book it explains the science behind all the activities that worked.

I have tried a few of the activities in the book.  One of them we set up in the kitchen.  I made small square with blue painter’s tape and put and X right in the middle of each square.  Then I staggered them on a path from one end of the kitchen to the other.  The object is to place the middle of your big toe directly on the X on each step.  Wow!  It is WAY harder than you think, but if you are determined you can do it and get faster each time.  I’m not sure we’ve made great breakthroughs yet, but we have just started.

This book was very encouraging to me as a parent of a kids who needs to make some new brain connections.  It assures me that these stumbling blocks can be hurdled through brain training where forever connections are made.

This book is available as a paperback for $16.94.

Learning Breakthrough program can be found on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Others on the Review Crew reviewed this book too.  To see what they had to say click the graphic below.

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