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Science Proves the Efficacy of Phonics Learning

Science validates phonics

Science validates phonics Science Proves the Efficacy of Phonics Learning

What began with observation and an intuitive theory on multi-sensory teaching some 80 years ago, was scientifically proven in 2003, establishing phonics – associating sounds with written symbols – as a critical tool in learning how to read.  In between those years, scholars and researchers added tools to the basic theories of phonetic learning, in what resulted as the single most effective methodology for teaching reading, spelling and writing.

How Phonics Evolved From Observation and Intuition to Strategy and Science

In the 1920s, Dr. Samuel Orton, a clinician and prominent dyslexia researcher, decoded the English language by identifying 72 phonograms that represent the common spelling patterns of the English language. These phonograms are the primary codes for speaking, spelling, reading and writing English.

Dr. Orton also introduced the concept of “multisensory” teaching – integrating kinesthetic (movement-based) and tactile (sensory-based) learning strategies as a way to help children with learning disabilities.

Eighty-three years later, by studying brain activity in children, researchers at Georgetown University were able to substantiate Orton’s theory that different phonological skills relate to activity in different parts of the brain when children read. They also shed new light on brain regions that change as children become accomplished readers. “Phonological skills allow readers to sound out words by correctly associating sounds with written symbols,” states their study. “They are critical for children learning to read …”

“Reading is the single most important skill our children learn – it impacts virtually every aspect of a child’s life,” said Georgetown University’s Dr. Guinevere Eden. CLICK TO TWEET

Between the Theory and the Science: The Evolution of Phonics

Using the “phonics platform” established by Dr. Orton – which all students of English need in order to reach their highest potential.

Dr. Leonard Ayres was a successful teacher and researcher who lived from 1879-1946. He served as a school administrator and director of the Department of Education and statistician for the Russell Sage Foundation. Dr. Ayres searched out the 1,000 words most commonly used every day in the English language. These words were derived from numerous tests arranged in order of increasing difficulty, marking off the points at which each successive grade could use the spelling list.science validates phonics

The first person to package Orton’s theories and tools for school teachers was Romalda Spalding, an elementary teacher, and a student of Dr. Orton. She discovered that her special education students, using Orton’s methods, were learning to read better than her other students.

Using Orton’s methods and phonograms, an extended Ayres spelling list of the 1,000 most commonly used words, 29 simple spelling rules, word markings and other innovations, Spalding developed the highly successful multi-sensory, systematic, intensive, explicit, direct phonetic language arts method designed for all students, known as the “Spalding Method.” This method is set forth in the teacher’s textbook, “The Writing Road to Reading” (1957-2003). The single drawback to this text is that it requires special training in order to teach the material.

In 1990, a long-time Spalding Method teacher and curriculum director in an award-winning public school, Ms. Jean Zier, developed, integrated and school-tested the concept of illustrations with keyword captions. These illustrations depict the sound sequence of the phonogram, which Ms. Zier taught to her first and second grade students. The phonogram’s illustration and keyword caption provide a memory device that helps embed learning in students’ minds.

 

 Resources

• “Was Orton Right? New Study Examines How The Brain Works In Reading; Offers Key To Better Understanding Dyslexia,” Science Daily

• “Was Orton Right? New Study Examines How the Brain Works in Reading; Offers Key to Better Understanding Dyslexia,” Georgetown University

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Literacy: Preventing Crime Before It Starts

preventing crime

preventing crimeLiteracy: Preventing Crime Before It Starts

Imagine getting a job, advancing your career, and contributing positively to society if you can’t read or write. Not likely. Rather, your life would be a constant struggle. As today’s job market requires increasingly technological skills, your options would diminish in direct proportion. If you cannot read, write and spell, you simply cannot compete productively in today’s world.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Census, a full one-third of Americans find themselves in this situation, and many of those turn to a life of crime to survive. The link between the illiteracy and crime has been well established by numerous studies, prompting us to ask the obvious and provocative question:

Can Learning to Read Reduce Crime?

We say yes, and offer the following research as proof. Further, we offer the best possible methods for teaching students – of any age – to read, write and spell, through phonics-based teaching.

Poor Education and Crime,” a report published in 1996 by the National Center for Policy Analysis, states, “Experts have concluded that illiteracy is a large contributor to delinquency, and that fact holds vast implications for those concerned about the approaching ‘bloodbath’ of crime forecast by demographers for the next decade. School reforms now could help children to read better and stem the approaching maelstrom of delinquency.”

 The one-third of Americans who cannot read, “makes less money, suffers from preventable health conditions and spends more time in prison,” writes Scott Morgan for U.S. 1 PrincetonInfo.com.preventing crime

Literacy Behind Bars, ” a study published by the National Center for Education Statistics in 2003, compared literacy between adults in prison and adults living in households. “In every age group examined,” states the report, “incarcerated adults had lower average prose, document, and quantitative literacy than adults in the same age group living in households.”

 The same holds true for juveniles. Rather than becoming contributing members of society, young people who cannot read face social and economic barriers and are often doomed to a life of crime.

Researcher Michael S. Brunner links juvenile imprisonment to sustained frustration from the inability to learn to read. His recommendation: teach phonics. Click to Tweet 

 

 After a two-year study of the causes of imprisonment of juveniles, Brunner concluded that the cause was “sustained frustration” from the inability to learn to read in public schools. His recommendation: teach a complete multi-sensory phonetic reading method, such as the Spalding Method.

Michael S. Brunner is a teacher trainer, former research fellow at the U.S. Department of Justice and author of Retarding America: The Imprisonment of Potential, a book on the relationship between juvenile crime and illiteracy.

preventing crime Phonics-Based Teaching is Effective for All Ages & Abilities

Born from a desire to help dyslexic and learning-challenged students, phonics has proven to be the most effective method for teaching language arts to students of all ages and abilities.

Studies from the U.S. Department of Education, University of York’s Institute for Effective Education, National Institutes of Health, and others, bear out the fact that phonics is more effective to teach reading, writing and spelling than the whole language (see-say) method (see resources below). In addition to these, Michael S. Brunner, author of Retarding America: The Imprisonment of Potential, reminds us that, “Children do not come to school not wanting to learn to read. It’s the first thing they want to do. It opens society, socially and economically, to a person.”

One student, one classroom, and one school district at a time, we can end illiteracy and the life of crime that is its legacy.

Resources

• Retarding America: The Imprisonment of Potential, by Michael S. Brunner

• “Literacy Behind Bars, ” by the National Center for Education Statistics

• “Poor Education and Crime,” http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=16051 National Center for Policy Analysis

National Reading Panel (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the U.S. Department of Education)

• “What Works for Struggling Readers,” University of York’s Institute for Effective Education

• “Was Orton Right? New Study Examines How The Brain Works In Reading; Offers Key To Better Understanding Dyslexia,” Science Daily for National Institutes of Health

• “UH Study Endorses Phonics Approach in Teaching Young Students to Read,” by Carolyn Saunders, Scholars for Life

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Studies Prove Phonics Works Best For Teaching Students to Read

Phonics studies

Studies prove phonics Studies Prove Phonics Works Best For Teaching Students to Read

For years, we’ve been reading studies that demonstrate the negative impacts of illiteracy on individuals and society – from feelings of sustained frustration to low earnings to crime and imprisonment. Some say America’s educational system is broken, turning out more illiterate students and high-school dropouts than ever before.

Question: Is Phonics a proven, viable model to teach people effectively?

Research shows that, yes, phonics, combined with one-on-one tutoring, is the single most powerful tool to teach reading skills. Phonics can help even the readers who struggle the most go from learning to read, to reading to learn.

Phonics-Based Teaching Can Solve the National Education Crisis

 In 1997, responding to this national education crisis, Congress asked the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to work with the U.S. Department of Education in establishing a National Reading Panel that would evaluate existing research and evidence to find the best ways of teaching children to read. The National Reading Panel’s analysis made it clear that the best approach to reading instruction is one that incorporates:

• Explicit Instruction in Phonemic Awareness: The knowledge that spoken words can be broken apart into smaller segments of sound known as phonemes. Children who are read to at home, especially material that rhymes, often develop the basis of phonemic awareness. Children who are not read to will probably need to be taught that words can be broken apart into smaller sounds.

• Systematic Phonics Instruction: The knowledge that letters of the alphabet represent phonemes, and that these sounds are blended together to form written words. Readers who are skilled in phonics can sound out words they haven’t seen before, without first having to memorize them.

• Methods to Improve FluencyStudies prove phonics

• Ways to Enhance Comprehension

 Other studies back up the National Reading Panel’s conclusions and endorsement of phonics, including an international study launched by the University of York in the United Kingdom. Their Institute for Effective Education joined forces with researchers from Johns Hopkins and the Success for All Foundation to evaluate the achievement outcomes of alternative approaches for struggling readers in primary school. The key findings in their report, “What Works for Struggling Readers,” include endorsements for sustained phonics teaching methods and one-to-one tutoring:

• One-to-one tutoring works. Teachers are more effective as tutors than teaching assistants or volunteers, and an emphasis on phonics greatly improves tutoring outcomes.

• Although one-to-one phonetic tutoring for children aged six and seven is highly effective, effects last into the upper primary years only if classroom interventions continue beyond this initial period.

 In 2012, a University of Houston study concluded that, “intensive use of the phonics approach actually does result in young students being better readers.”  Writes Carolyn Saunders of Scholars for Life, “Before the 1996 UH study, linguists and educators had argued, largely on the basis of theory, the merits of phonics vs. those of the whole language (i.e. traditional) method in teaching young children to read. The whole language approach emphasizes stories and discussion, while minimizing drills on letter-sound relationships. The UH study solidly supported the use of concentrated phonics in teaching children to read.”

The Reading Reformation Foundation (RRF) in the United Kingdom is an organization dedicated to campaigning for better teaching of reading in the English language. From their website: “Our members include people from a wide range of backgrounds with a variety of experiences.” Partly as a result of RRF campaigning, the UK government has endorsed synthetic phonics for the initial teaching of reading in primary schools in England. This is a huge achievement.”

“We have all been convinced by a wealth of evidence that … phonics is the most effective for teaching everyone to read.”– Reading Reformation Foundation Click to Tweet

Studies prove phonics

Scientists, Educators and Parents Working Together

“Work like this can provide important background information to develop new research-based teaching programs that can ultimately help all children to become proficient readers and identify those who are need of specific interventions,” said Peter Turkeltaub, primary author of this study. “This is an exciting area of research in which scientists converge with educators and parents to achieve the common goal of helping children achieve the reading skills they need to succeed in life.”

As a parent, teacher, administrator, tutor or student, you have a voice in this matter. Contact your advocate – be it your mom, your teacher, your school administrator or your representatives in Congress. As Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Phonics alone won’t solve the national literacy crisis. The reading dilemma must be addressed by researchers, teachers, administrators, politicians and parents, using phonics as the fundamental teaching tool. One-on-one or small group teaching is as imperative in the classroom, as reading – and being read to – is at home.

 

Resources

National Reading Panel (Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the U.S. Department of Education)

What Works for Struggling Readers,” University of York’s Institute for Effective Education

Michael S. Brunner: Working to Get Education Back on Track,” by Alexander R. Jones, Freedom Magazine, investigative reporting in the public interest

Was Orton Right? New Study Examines How The Brain Works In Reading; Offers Key To Better Understanding Dyslexia,” Science Daily

UH Study Endorses Phonics Approach in Teaching Young Students to Read,” by Carolyn Saunders, Scholars for Life

The Reading Reformation Foundation in the United Kingdom

The Struggling Reader,” findings from ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development), a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading. ASCD’s innovative solutions promote the success of each child.

How Can I Help My Struggling Readers? Two top literacy experts tackle your toughest problems,” by Scholastic. The mission of Scholastic is to encourage the intellectual and personal growth of all children, beginning with literacy, the cornerstone of all learning.

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Explicit Phonics Vs. the Nation’s Literacy Crisis

Explicit Phonics Vs. the Nation’s Literacy Crisis

What have I done!?Science Provides the Super Power Solution: Explicit Phonics

The time for sticking our heads in the sand is over. America is facing an educational crisis that is costing our nation billions of dollars per year and leaves more than 1/3 of our children struggling in the dark.
In 2000, the National Assessment of Educational Progress reported that 37 percent of America’s fourth grade children (roughly 10 million students) could not read, even at even a basic level.

The True Cost of Illiteracy

The cost is enormous. Illiteracy is directly tied to the rate of high school dropouts, as well as low wages, and – all too often – a life of crime. America’s educational system has been labeled by experts as “fatally, irreparably flawed.” (Florida State University Office of Research.)

In April 2012, The World Literacy Foundation published a report called The Economic & Social Cost of Illiteracy, stating, “The cost of illiteracy to the global economy is estimated at USD $1.19 trillion.”

The Explicit Solution

In better news, however, there is a solution to the biggest problem we are facing as a nation and a global partner. Research reveals the secret coding system to unlocking illiteracy and opening doors to Explicit phonics brighter futures for children who struggle with language arts: Explicit Phonics.

We can fix this billion dollar epidemic overnight, by adopting the tried and true teaching method of explicit phonics on a national level.

states Cheyenne Joseph Adamson, president of YesPhonics. CLICK TO TWEET

It’s not often one singular solution exists to solve a problem of this magnitude. But says Adamson, “This magic wand has been here all along.”

The Intersection of Science and Language Arts

Scientific evidence – based on neurological studies of how the brain processes information – has revealed that the basic building blocks of reading, writing and spelling are phenomes: the sounds words make.

Explicit phonics provides the single, most effective, inexpensive and comprehensive solution to teaching students how to read, write and spell. Especially for those with learning disabilities, dyslexia, or who study English as a second language, Explicit phonics decodes the sounds and sound sequences of the English language, enabling students to read, write and spell virtually any word.

“A Steady Descent into Dumbing-Down Hell”

In a world where the highest earnings of a high school dropout is lower than the lowest earnings of a college graduate, the cost to our country – and these lost children – is unconscionable. Particularly considering that an effective, inexpensive solution, Explicit phonics, is at our fingertips.

Explicit phonics vs. illiteracy #3In 2001, the No Child Left Behind Act put pressure on school districts in every state to teach kids how to read using “scientifically based reading research.” Leading researcher, Joseph Torgesen (Ph.D. Michigan), a developmental psychologist who specializes in the scientific study of how children learn to read, hit hard at the fallacies of America’s educational system in what Frank Stephenson calls, “a steady descent into dumbing-down hell.”

Torgesen explains his team’s findings as requiring “intensive, explicit [phonics] instruction designed to do whatever is necessary to give children all the information and skills they need to learn to read.” Further stating that, “the problem can be either solved outright or substantially alleviated through conscientiously applied phonics-based teaching.”

Results that Defied the Impossible

The results of applying explicit phonics to older students, dyslexic students, and under-achieving students “defied what most had said was impossible,” reports Stephenson, turning challenged students into proficient readers.

“We were able to take fourth- and fifth-graders reading below the second percentile of their class, and bring them up above the 30th percentile – and in only eight weeks,” Torgesen said.

The secret of his success, reports Stephenson, is “a teaching method steeped in the venerable principles of phonics.”

A successful student of explicit phonics, Cheyenne Joseph Adamson, president and CEO of YesPhonics, says, “Phonics-based learning solves the biggest problem we as a nation are facing today: illiteracy – and just as importantly, it solves the budget crisis that schools are constantly hampered by; without sacrificing the quality of teaching.”

References
• “The Phonics Revival,” Florida State University Office of Research
• The Economic & Social Cost of Illiteracy, The World Literacy Foundation
• No Child Left Behind Act

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It’s all Greek to Me

Explicit phonics

spelling rules It’s all Greek to Me

Learning English Spelling Rules Verbatim

Americans use foreign words in our day-to-day communications more often than we may realize. We order the soup du jour, bid our friends bon voyage, dip our roast beef sandwiches in au jus, arrange flowers in a bouquet, establish a rapport with new people, buy home decor, and memorize poems verbatim, word for word.

James D. Nicoll is often quoted in paraphrase: “English doesn’t borrow from other languages. English follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over, and goes through their pockets for loose grammar.” There are many English words that can be traced back to other origins.

Foreign words are woven into our everyday conversations and writing, but they are certainly not spelled with the same rules as we use in English. Arika Okrent of Mental Floss says, “English spelling is hard. It’s hard for kids to learn it, and it’s hard for adults who have already learned it to remember how to do it right. It would be nice to have some consistent, general rules to go by, but alas, there are few.”

YesPhonics™ offers students a map through Nicoll’s “dark alleys,” and Okrent’s desires for some consistency (mentioned in paragraph 2) with a systematic application of spelling rules. Students learn 45 pure sounds and combinations of those sounds called, “phonograms”. Through a methodical dictation of the 1300 most commonly used words in the English Language, they learn how to think to spell and read one sound, one syllable, and one word at a time, applying rules, written and spoken, as they are needed. An abundance of practice occurs through this Ayres list and the rules are eventually learned well rather than memorized randomly and forgotten eventually.spelling rules

In addition to applying some English rules and modified rules to foreign words, we like what Richella Parham from Imparting Grace says too:
• Spell them correctly.
• Italicize them. When typing, the appropriate way to denote a foreign word or phrase is to italicize it.

Some might say that to apply the integrated knowledge of English phonograms to words in foreign languages, would be loco “crazy” (Spanish), une grosse erreur “a big mistake” (French) and irrilevante “irrelevant” (Italian).

After a teacher is familiar with the Orton-Spalding method of teaching using the phonograms, the Ayres list, and a systematic way to apply everything, it would be easy to use those rules or modify them a little to apply to many foreign words that a student might encounter.

Without getting bogged down in too many details, let’s try to break down a couple of everyday foreign words for a student using the Yes Phonics method.

Bouquet:

2 syllables
The first syllable:
First sound /b/, second sound is the 3rd sound of /ou/ so we put a 3 above it,
The second syllable:
/qu/ is said as /qw/ but we teach students that in a foreign word the /qu/ can also say /k/
Place an X over the /qu/ denoting there is something different than usual about this sound.
The /et/ which is not taught as a phonogram can be underlined, have an X over it, and students are told that /et/ at the end of French words often says /a/, the long sound of /a/. The /t/ is silent just like in the word ballet.

spelling rules There is also what I call, “Word Play.” The word is used in oral and written sentences by the teacher and the students. The word is tested in practice spelling tests and read from the list in which it was written every day for a long while until the list is too long, but the word is well established.

Ciao:

This is a word that we would encourage students to look up on the internet or in a dictionary. A discussion would take place talking of its origin, Italian, and how the /ci/ in Italian makes the same sound as the first sound in the English /ch/. We would underline the /ci/ and place an X over it, again showing that it is different and does not follow the standard rules.

Three Keys

There are three keys to unlocking the English Language with many foreign words intertwined. The first is the organized use of applying 29 Spelling Rules, “The Writing Road to Reading.”
The second is a systematic phonics application of 1300 or more commonly used words which leads to the ability of decoding more than 30,000 words, YesPhonics Express. And last but not least, YesPhonics has added to the phonogram sounds a unique bit of art and key word captions as extra mnemonic devices to help students remember the sounds of spelling and reading in a fun and engaging manner.

Invaluable Tools

Yes, learning English is difficult, but so is anything else that’s worth doing. The English language takes time, energy and a committed focus to learn it properly, however, once a person starts on this amazing adventure of learning it, it becomes apparent that the rewards will be more than a person could have ever hoped for.

Resources
• YesPhonics™ Spelling Notebook

• YesPhonics™ Flash Card Phonogram Pack

• 29 Spalding Spelling Rules

• Romalda Spalding, “The Writing Road to Reading,” Spalding Education International

• Imparting Grace, “English Teacher: How to Use Foreign Words and Phrases”

• Mental Floss, “How is ‘I before E except after C’ a Rule?”

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The Bare Truth of Earthing

Earthing

The Bare Truth of Earthing

The Many Happy Benefits of Going Barefoot

EarthingWe all know it feels good. But is going barefoot beneficial to the whole body? Yes! A new phenomenon – actually an ancient tradition – called “earthing” or “grounding,” transfers the electromagnetic energy of the earth into your body. And that means your time on the ground will ripple through your cardiovascular system – and beyond – for better health.

We’ll show you exactly how doffing your shoes, and walking barefoot outside, can increase
your circulation, reduce your inflammation, and even reduce the effects of aging.

What is Earthing?

“The concept of earthing, also known as grounding, was initially developed by Clint Ober. Stated in the simplest terms possible, ‘earthing’ is simply walking barefoot; grounding your body to the Earth.” writes Dr. Joseph Mercola in his article, “Caution: Wearing These Can Sabotage Your Health.”

(Does this sound a little too woo-woo for you? Dr. Mercola, trained in both traditional and alternative medicine, is a board certified family practitioner, served as the chairman of the family medicine department at St. Alexius Medical Center, and was named the Top Ultimate Wellness Game Changer by the Huffington Post.)

How Does Earthing Work?

“Basically, the theory is that our bodies are meant to come into contact with the Earth (a ‘grounding’ force) on a regular basis. Positive electrons in the form of freeEarthing radicals can build up in our bodies and direct contact with the ground balances this out, as it is a negative grounding charge,” reports Katie, The Wellness Mama.

“It looks to me, from my study of biophysics and cell biology, like the body is designed with a semi-conductive fabric that connects everything in the body, including inside of every cell,” says Dr. Oschman in, “An interview with Biophysicist James Oschman PhD on the benefits of Earthing,” from Quantum Health.

[quote]In short: We are naturally wired to be helped and healed by the Earth’s electromagnetic energy. All that is asked of us is our willingness, that we trust enough to try “earthing” and let the energy flow into us, right down to the cellular level.[/quote] Click to Tweet

The Benefits of Going Barefoot

Earthing “Your skin in general is a very good conductor, reports Dr. Mercola. “You can connect any part of your skin to the Earth, but if you compare various parts there is one that is especially potent, and that’s right in the middle of the ball of your foot; a point known to acupuncturists as Kidney 1 (K1). It’s a well-known point that conductively connects to all of the acupuncture meridians and essentially connects to every nook and cranny of your body. Interestingly, grounding—or rather the lack thereof—has a lot to do with the rise of modern diseases.

“Chronic inflammation is a primary cause of virtually all disease, from diabetes to cancer… When you’re grounded there’s a transfer of free electrons from the Earth into your body. And these free electrons are probably the most potent antioxidants known to man… These antioxidants are responsible for the clinical observations from grounding experiments, such as:

  • Beneficial changes in heart rate
  • Decreased skin resistance
  • Decreased levels of inflammation

And there’s more …

Go Bare, Be Younger

“One of dominant theories on aging is the free radical theory,” reports Dr. Mercola. “Which is that aging occurs because of accumulative damage to your body caused by free radicals. You get free radicals when you have an injury or chronic inflammation, from breathing, and from the food you eat, among other things. While you don’t want to completely eliminate ALL free radicals, you do want to maintain a healthy balance of antioxidant electrons in your body to ensure the damage from free radicals doesn’t’ get out of hand.”Earthing

Earthing can help accomplish this delicate balance. There are three kinds of sub-models of the aging process caused by free radicals.

  1. DNA damage and mutation due to free radical damage
  2. The mitochondrial theory. Mitochondria in every cell in your body carry out oxidative metabolism and a byproduct is free radicals. Eventually the mitochondria wear out or self-destruct due to excess free radicals
  3. The protein cross linking theory, which explains why you get wrinkles in your skin. The proteins stick to each other, reducing the efficiency of enzymes

The Effects of Earthing on the Blood

Scientific research demonstrates startling proof that profound changes occur in your blood cells after grounding barefoot with the earth, according to the Groundology website. Microscopic images of blood taken from three individuals just before – and forty minutes after – grounding, clearly show a dramatic thinning and decoupling of the blood cells. So what? This result dramatically reduces blood viscosity—a major factor in cardiovascular disease.

Where to Go Earthing?

The #1 best place to ground yourself to the earth, and reap the many health benefits of this simple process, is the ocean, as close to the energy-conducting salt water as possible. The next best place is in the grass, in the morning dew.

Earthing#5When and How Often to Go Earthing?

Research shows that a person should ground/earth for 30-60 minutes to reap the most benefits. Which means, if you’re walking barefoot in the cold morning hours you will find it difficult to maintain the length of time necessary to truly and extensively benefit from earthing. You will find it easier to make healing contact if you ground yourself to the earth when it’s relatively temperate out (70 degrees +).

It’s important to note, though, that you will still receive benefits from earthing for a short amount of time, but you won’t reap the long lasting and game changing benefits that 90 min – two hours will give you.

Can Anything Be Easier?

Feel better, hurt less, live longer and look younger. Just take off your shoes, walk on the earth’s healing surface, and feel the sweet force of gravity doing its work.

Resources:

Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever, Clinton Ober

• “Caution: Wearing These Can Sabotage Your Health,” Dr. Dean Merola

Groundology: Earthing for Health and EMF Protection, Seb Francis

Wellness Mama, Katie, The Wellness Mama

• “An interview with Biophysicist James Oschman PhD on the benefits of Earthing,” Dr. Oschman, Quantum Health:

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Handwriting and the Future of Our Children

Manuscript handwriting

Handwriting and the Future of Our Children

Manuscript handwriting In a Two-Fingered Texting World, YesPhonics™ Launches a Guaranteed Way to Teach Manuscript Handwriting

With the rise of keyboarding and two-finger texting, the manuscript style of handwriting is becoming a vital educational skill losing out to technology. Which is bad, because, according to Zaner-Bloser, a subsidiary of the Highlights Company, “Viewed from the perspective of reading development, teaching children to write the manuscript alphabet is an essential way to nurture literacy.”

Who Will Teach Our Children to Write?

Worse yet, the vast majority of our elementary school teachers don’t consider themselves prepared to teach handwriting effectively, according to Education World. The result has been a steady decline in students’ ability to write competently and legibly. Who, then, will teach manuscript writing to our children?

YesPhonics™ President, and the first student of the 4-Point Circle System, Cheyenne Joseph Adamson knows firsthand the importance of teaching manuscript writing. “Proper handwriting is your entry ticket to success in life, and your personal signature of self esteem.” [Click to Tweet]

Marilyn Jager Adams, in her book, Beginning to Read: Learning to Think and Learning about Print, presents the “wealth of evidence that the speed and manuscript handwriting accuracy with which young readers can recognize individual letters is a critical determinant of their reading proficiency and future growth.”

As concluded by Zaner- Bloser, writing “also helps children begin to express themselves, which increases their interest in reading the writing of others.” Further to the importance of learning manuscript writing, Zaner- Bloser states, “At the same time, learning to write offers many opportunities for children to become actively involved in meaningful ways with print. Along with reading stories aloud and answering a child’s questions about the print, teaching a child to write is a natural path to literacy.

Repeated research has shown that even when teachers are told not to take off points for bad handwriting, poor handwriting results in lower grades — as much as a full letter grade lower — for similar or identical work, according to Kate Gladstone, handwriting repairwoman and national director of the World Handwriting Contest.

The Impact of Poor Handwriting

Good handwriting affects more than just classroom performance. Gladstone’s research shows that poor handwriting is responsible for medical errors (affecting 1 in 10 Americans), undeliverable tax returns ($95 million), as well as workplace inefficiencies costing $200 million in lost time and money.

A comprehensive solution to teaching manuscript handwriting – as well as teaching reading and spelling – such as the YesPhonics Express program, can be a boon to overworked and underpaid teachers in today’s educational system. Gladstone estimates that classroom handwriting instruction averages around 5-10 minutes a week with almost no instruction at all provided beyond third grade. (Source: Education World)

manuscript handwriting According to Steve Graham, professor of special education at the University of Maryland, about three-quarters of the elementary school teachers he surveyed believed they weren’t adequately prepared to teach handwriting. (Source: Education World)

Unfortunately, textbooks and other teaching tools don’t always give teachers an effective method to teach manuscript handwriting. “Computers are taking over as the main form of transmission of the English language,” says YesPhonics’ Adamson. “While good, both of these methods should be taught together, as they can and should co-exist.”

The Usual Suspects

The whole-language approach to teaching – as opposed to the phonics method for teaching reading, writing and spelling – is responsible at least in part for a ten-year decline in penmanship, according to Suzanne Swadener, occupational therapist and presenter for Handwriting Without Tears.

Now that we see the importance of this skill on path to literacy and self-expression, let’s learn how to teach manuscript writing – to anyone who can draw a circle and a straight line!

Access our 4 Point Circle System, here, for FREE, and start teaching manuscript writing to your child or student, today.

Resources

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Teaching What You Don’t Know

Brainstorming is an integral part of teaching

Teaching What You Don’t Know

Teaching can be difficult but the rewards are priceless! You’re a dynamic, dedicated homeschool parent. You’re doing all the right things: making lesson plans, taking your children on field trips, giving them social interaction, getting the support you need, and creating a homeschool environment in which they can thrive. (If you’re not, you can link to these helpful resources: “Create a Thriving Homeschool Environment and “Five Things Every Super-Mom Knows”).

But now comes the big challenge: It’s time to teach them something you don’t already know. And now is no time to fake it. As a homeschool parent, generating knowledge, resources and enthusiasm for a broad range of educational subjects falls on your shoulders. But you’re not alone.

5 Sure-Fire Steps for Teaching Material You Don’t Already Know

YesPhonics™ has rounded up five sure-fire steps for teaching topics unfamiliar to you, so that your student not only learns the material, but is able to put the lesson into his/her own words and understanding. With this process, your students will also experience something vital that can’t be found in any textbook: their road to learning is surrounded by a world of wonder and fascination.

1. Take a Field Trip to the Local Library

Start with an outing to the juvenile section of your local library. While your student/s get to browse new books according to their interest, you are going to be scouring children’s books on the topic you wish to teach. Pam Fink, who has a long and successful history teaching K-3 students, says, “Most children’s books give great overviews on many topics, from science, history, exploration, and invention, to the latest,Teaching and learning go hand-in-hand. greatest technologies.” Fink says that reading children’s books is a quick way for homeschool parents to absorb large amounts of information, create lesson plans, and become an expert on the subject matter.

2. Start at the End: Establish a Clear Objective

The most successful lesson plans begin at the end. As a homeschool parent, you must be clear about what you want to accomplish from the very beginning. Ask yourself, “What is my goal? What do I want my student/s to learn? “From the objectives, spring forth activities and ideas,” says Shelly Sanchez Terrell, teacher trainer, author, and international speaker for Teacher Reboot Camp. “They are the roots of our curriculum.”

Teaching Today, from the McGraw-Hill Education Literacy & Humanities Center, also recommends developing clear, measurable outcomes at the beginning. “Daily lessons that work are based on clear objective statements,” they report. When you identify, and clearly convey your expectations, your students can focus on mastering their objective. Your objective will also be your “true north” throughout the lesson and will help your students – and you – stay on course with focused attention.

“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God you learn.” –C.S. Lewis [Click to Tweet]

3. Rally Your Resources

This is the fun part. Now that you understand your topic and have established a clear objective for the lesson, brainstorm a variety of activities that will help you and your students reach the goal. Children Brainstorming is an integral part of teaching  learn in variety of ways and different children learn best in very specific ways: auditory, visual and kinesthetic. Homeschool parents can add depth and variety to their students’ curriculum by exploring teaching moments in the everyday world. Look to resources that address your topic in board games, documentaries, film, theater, performing arts, video, photography and storybooks.

4. Call in the Experts

Depending on your topic, you can often find local experts to add knowledge, perspective, and real-life experiences to your lesson. Call on retired teachers, journalists, authors, electricians, scientists, farmers, economists, business professionals … whoever utilizes the knowledge you are teaching in their day-to-day lives. Professionals working in a field related to your topic have the ability to engage your students and excite them about learning.

You can also take a field trip to a zoo, soup kitchen, fish hatchery, courthouse, dairy farm, bakery, newspaper plant … wherever your student can see the knowledge or wisdom in action. Look at your topic with a 360-degree view and encourage your student/s to experience their learning in a broader context.

5. Teacher Knows Best

When presenting materials new to you, your student may eclipse your own knowledge as the lesson progresses. While this happens all the time, and it’s great fun to learn together, your child will be best served when both teacher and student follow time-tested guidelines. John Milton Gregory’ seminal work, “The Seven Laws of Teaching,” addresses the relationship between your knowledge and that of your student’s:

1.         A teacher must be the one who knows the lesson or truth to be taught.Teaching young children is fulfilling and engaging.

2.         A learner is one who attends with interest to the lesson give. (So interest must be generated and all attention is necessary.)

3.         The language used as a medium between teacher and learner must be common to both. (Define everything with synonyms that the students clearly understand.)

4.         The lesson to be learned must be explicable in the terms of truth already known by the learner—the unknown must be explained by the known. (Once a teacher understands this principle it seems revolutionary in the lesson.)

5.         Teaching is arousing the pupil’s mind to form in it a desired conception or thought. Learning is thinking into one’s own understanding a new idea or truth. (Never tell a student something that you can lead him to by Socratic questioning or other means.  Allow the student to be the discoverer perhaps being ahead of the teacher in some ways during the lesson.)

6.         Learning is thinking into one’s own understanding a new idea or truth. (Student learns the lesson so well that he/she is able to put it into his/her own words and understanding.)

7.         The test and proof of teaching done—finishing and fastening process—must be a re-viewing, re-thinking, re-knowing, and reproducing of the knowledge taught.  (The last law, but not the least.  Review, review, review is what it’s all about.)

As a homeschool parent, it is up to you to generate enthusiasm for the topic/lesson. But you’re not alone. Join networks of other homeschool families, rally outside resources, and explore the many opportunities that exist all around us in the modern world. On this multi-layered path, students also learn something important that is not in the lesson plan: knowledge is all around them.

Resources

The Seven Laws of Teaching,” John Milton Gregory

Teacher Reboot Camp, Shelly Terrell

Teaching Today, McGraw-Hill Education Literacy & Humanities Center

Create a Thriving Homeschool Environment,” YesPhonics™

Five Things Every Super-Mom Knows,” YesPhonics™

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Increase Test Scores: Guaranteed

Increase Test Scores: Guaranteed

Increase Test Scores: Guaranteed

Increase Test Scores: GuaranteedA Promise to Teachers and Students

When 80% of high school students aren’t literate enough in reading, writing and spelling to go to their local community colleges, teachers have a problem. A recent study cited in the New York Post, revealed the immense struggle students are having. In addition to making kids smarter and increasing test scores, teachers bear an enormous responsibility – in a clearly broken educational system – to prepare their pupils for productive, successful lives.

The Rotten Core

See Spot Run! Most of us grew up with Dick and Jane teaching us our ABCs. We are all very familiar with the “whole language” process that teaches us that “a” is for “apple”. But there is something rotten at the core of that methodology. The letter “a” actually represents three distinct and separate sounds. As phonics teaches us: “a” is for “apple” (ă) and “apricot” (ā) and “avocado” (ah). And this is where our educational methodology breaks down. And test scores prove it.

A Guaranteed Way to Increase Test Scores

The “whole language” (see-say) method is deeply entrenched in America’s public schools. Unfortunately, teachers with the very best intentions are inadvertently hindering their students from the very start – by presenting a limited spectrum of the sounds of the English language (as in, “a is only for apple”).

When students learn every sound associated with each letter of the alphabet, and each combination of letters, from the very beginning, studies show higher comprehension, larger vocabularies, and better test scores. This is the promise of phonics.

So how do teachers – and school districts – heal this broken system, increase test scores, and improve reading, writing and spelling comprehension for students all over America? The answer is proven, Increase Test Scores with phonogram flash cardspackaged and ready to present: the answer is phonics.

Experts point to several studies that prove the efficacy of phonics over whole language. Phonics has been proven to teach students 30,000 words, for example, in the same amount of time that the whole language method teaches 900 words. The basis of phonics comes from the proven research and time-tested materials of Dr. Orton and Romalda Spalding, including the 72 Orton phonograms, which isolate every sound made in the English language. Learners from age 6 through adulthood have been able to attain reading, spelling, writing and comprehension levels they never thought possible.

What to Look for in a Phonics Program

When taking the leap from whole language into phonics, teachers and school administrators are making a huge decision. With tremendous potential for positive change, decision-makers should consider these factors:

• Comprehensive Curriculum

The phonics program you purchase should cover reading, writing and spelling, and also deliver all the practical tools you need for delivering lessons to students. Look for materials such as teaching manuals, spelling notebooks, flash cards, cursive and manuscript writing tools, interactive DVDs, and more– pre-packaged and ready to teach.

• Proven Efficacy

Increase Test Scores by getting the right phonics programReview the longevity, credentials and personal testimonials associated with the program and the provider you are considering. Large advertising budgets can’t replace the authenticity of a small company with a great product. Look for product guarantees. Companies with proven, reliable products can afford to stand behind them with written guarantees.

• Return on Investment

You should be able to purchase one program that addresses the needs of all educational levels, kindergarten through 3rd grade, without having to upgrade the curriculum as students progress from one level to the next. Some programs, require that you purchase new programs for each grade level you’re teaching, resulting in costs that reach over $800 or more. By contrast, YesPhonics™ offers K-3 materials in one comprehensive package for under $300, as well as reproducible masters, to use over and over again, with no additional costs.

Joining the Revolution

When teachers use the tired, boring, repetitive “see-say” whole language method, or even worse, “invented spelling,” which allows the student to write words according to how they ‘think’ they should be spelled and then corrected later, they find students disengaging and falling behind. While some students find these methods somewhat useful, the greater masses become disinterested, discouraged and wholly uneducated.

With the potential to revolutionize education, YesPhonics™ not only helps increase test scores, it also helps embed knowledge, and advance students’ comprehension and critical thinking. Better and better: Teachers can implement the YesPhonics™ program the moment it arrives on their desks, without special training or time out of the classroom to learn and build the materials.

Even as educators are beleaguered with large classes and budget cuts, and many students fall further and further behind … there is still hope.

Learn more about phonics, get nine free lessons, and join the YesPhonics™ revolution.

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East Meets West in Restorative Health Care

taking your tempature is a good way to figure out if you need restorative healthcare

East Meets West in Restorative Health Care

5 Must-Dos for a Whole & Healthy Child

the beach offers great restorative health careIt’s hard to enough to meet your children’s daily needs, as well as their educational and recreational pursuits, but when a child falls ill, or operates consistently below his or her potential, everything changes. A child who isn’t healthy cannot fully participate in school, play, sports, or daily life.

As parents strive to nurture whole and healthy children in an increasingly stressful world, YesPhonics™ presents how the best of Eastern and Western restorative health care can come together to serve a better whole. The five non-traditional must-dos, below, will help parents empower their children to their greatest health and highest abilities.

1. Stick Your Tongue Out

Believe it or not, when kids stick their tongue out at you, they’ve just given you important indicators of their physical health. Internal elements of heat, fluids, and pathogens, for example, manifest in the shape, color, texture and coating of the tongue, according to licensed acupuncturist Lynn Jaffee.

A strong proponent of Eastern and holistic medicine, YesPhonics™ President Cheyenne Joseph Adamson says, “Failing to look at your child’s tongue and recognizing unhealthy tongue symptoms, could lead to disastrous consequences for their future health, just as ignoring a physical bone injury would be very detrimental to a child’s health, in a Western sense,” he goes on to say, “recognizing an unhealthy tongue profile early on may be one of the most important things a parent can do for their child.”

Simply Supplements, one of the leading vitamin and mineral companies in the UK, writes that, “The connection between the appearance of the tongue and general health has been studied for thousands of restorative health care insures a healthy looking tongue years in Chinese medicine.” The health of one’s heart, liver, spleen, and kidneys can be indicated by these benchmarks of a healthy tongue: “…pink in colour, slightly moist, and smooth with no bumps or spots. The tongue should also be layered with visible taste buds that detect the five taste sensations – sweet, bitter, salty, sour, and savoury.” Simply Supplements also urges “… it is important to remember that this is not a definite diagnostic tool. If problems persist you should always consult a doctor.”

2. Pins & Needles

While traditional Western medicine offers tremendous advances in surgical care and pharmaceutical treatments, we still have much to learn from the East. Many of these non-traditional practices offer powerful restorative health benefits, and can often prevent the more radical treatments our Western society has so readily accepted.

According to the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, “Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This is done by inserting needles and applying heat or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture points.” Applications of acupuncture include treatment of digestive, respiratory, neurological and muscular disorders, insomnia, fibromyalgia, weight loss, stress, pain reduction, and urinary, menstrual, and reproductive problems.

acupuncture ensures effective and restorative health careProponents of acupuncture report treatments that are effective, restorative and free of many side effects common with pharmaceutical treatments. Because acupuncture has been practiced for over 3,000 years, it is deeply rooted in its information, wisdom and effectiveness.

While pharmaceutical companies – with more than 5 billion dollars in annual sales – can help keep people alive and alleviate symptoms, and traditional Western medicine offers healing for such things as broken bones and life saving surgeries, acupuncture can offer a wide array of restorative health benefits that a person simply can’t find in a traditional western medicine setting.

“Acupuncture is key for children,” says Caroline Burdulis, L.Ac. specialist in Women’s Health and Chronic Disease and co-founder of the Bitter Root Acupuncture and Wellness Center in Missoula, Montana. ”It can literally set their health profile in the right direction for the rest of their life.”

The ideal time to bring your child into a local acupuncturist in your area is at age five. At this age, it doesn’t take much acupuncture at all to cure any symptoms that may be ailing them and/or affect them later in life. By doing this you help set a solid foundation for your child’s health. This is likely to be one of the most important and beneficial things a parent can do for their child at this age.

3. A Rainbow on Your Plate

What to eat? What to eat? One of the basic principles in Chinese dietary therapy recommends putting a rainbow of color on your plate. “Studies have shown that a lot of colour on your plate not only looks good and perks you up but also keeps you fighting fit,” says Dr. Anjana Maitra on BoloKids.com. “Include a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet and reap rich dividends. Most of the fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and other essential minerals.”a rainbow on your plate is great utilization of restorative health care.

So … What to eat? “Some vegetables like yam, potato, sweet potato and tapioca, and fruits like mango and banana contribute energy to our diet,” says Dr. Maitra. What does color have to do with diet anyway? Dr. Maitra responds in one word: Phytochemicals. “These substances occur naturally only in plants and may provide health benefits beyond those that essential nutrients provide. Color, such as what makes a blueberry so blue, can indicate some of these substances, which are thought to work synergistically with vitamins, minerals, and fiber (all present in fruits and vegetables) in whole foods to promote good health and lower disease risk.”

4. Running Hot & Cold

How great does an ice-cold drink sound on a hot day?  We, in the Western world, have a love affair with ice.  We drink iced water, iced tea, iced coffee and iced pop.  Yet, if you travel to the European countries you are hard pressed to find an icy cold drink.  What do they know that we don’t?

The internal temperature of your body, influenced by what you eat – and most particularly drink – affects your ability to digest food and absorb nutrients. If your body temperature is below 97.3, your body cannot properly digest food, which leads to loss of nutrients from your food, which in turn creates sludge in your body, which can then lead to chronic disease.

Drinking an ice-cold beverage, especially with your meal, is the same as if you stood outside naked in the middle of winter and dowsed your body with cold water. This is the same thing people are doing to their digestion, which is one of the reasons Americans are so unhealthy.

taking your tempature is a good way to figure out if you need restorative health careThe solution is to have a cup of hot tea with or after your meal, so that you’re heating up your digestive system, allowing it to function properly. Dr. Susan E. Brown, founder of BetterBones.com advises, “Drink hot water and hot herbal teas, particularly those that promote digestion. Hot water is an excellent way to detoxify the body and build digestive strength. Simmering a few slices of ginger root in boiling water makes a ginger root tea that stimulates digestion.

A great addition to this solution is to add warming spices such as dry ginger, curry powder, clove, cardamom, etc. to your meal. These spices enhance the warming effect and give your body additional health benefits.

You can also purchase a digital thermometer and check your temperature. This will show you whether or not you are properly digesting your food. Ideally, your body temperature should be at 98.6.

5.  Your Own Health Profile

Your child’s good health begins with you. If you are a prospective parent reading this article, good for you for getting a jump-start. Your habits, philosophies, diet, exercise, and embrace of restorative health care will strongly influence the health of your child, from birth throughout their lives. If both parents have their health profiles in good shape before conceiving a child, these healthy traits will be transferred directly to their soon-to-be born child. Conversely, if prospective parents’ health is in poor shape, those unhealthy traits will be absorbed into your childs’ health profile.

Taking good care of yourself is the foundation for a healthy, happy family. If you already have children, making healthy well considered choices in what you eat and drink, and how you exercise, can influence and improve the health and well being of your child. The Center for Disease Control & Prevention offers planning tools, advice, and other resources to increase your chances of having a healthy Find out if you need to give your child restorative health care by looking at their tongue. baby.

One of the most amazing (and little known) things about acupuncture is that pregnant women who are receiving acupuncture reap the benefits not only for themselves but they also reap the benefits for their baby as well. It’s like getting a two for one deal for you and your child!

Soon-to-be mothers also receive great health benefits when pregnant while being treated with  acupuncture. Some of the things that are addressed and remedied include; Psychological issues, Physical problems, Fatigue, Morning Sickness, Heartburn, Constipation, Hemorrhoids, Back Pain and Sciatica, Edema, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Rhinitis of pregnancy.

As more and more parents embrace the best of both Western and Chinese medicine, these two worlds have the chance to come together as person-by-person we co-create a universally better, restorative health care system.

Resources: