Improving Academic Success with Right-Brain Learning Methods

Understanding whether your teens are right-brain or left-brain learners can help improve their academic success during those crucial years when grades count toward college.

Knowing your teens’ learning style is helpful to parents, teachers, tutors and, most importantly, your teens themselves. As a parent, you can then seek out learning methods that align with their learning style. And if your teens struggle to learn, this knowledge can ultimately improve self-esteem as they realize that low grades and a dislike of school may have more to do with a one-way-fits-all teaching method rather than with how smart they are.

Right-Brain vs. Left-Brain

Being right-brain or left-brain dominant refers to the different hemispheres of the brain that process information differently. The hemispheres control the different modes of thinking, and individuals tend to use one side of the brain over the other.

Academic Success

In 1981, Roger Sperry won the Nobel Prize in medicine for his research in the late 1950’s and 1960’s showing that the brain is divided into two major hemispheres. He identified that parts of the brain had different capabilities and were associated with their own style of thinking.

Continue reading about the different learning styles of right-brain and left-brain learners >>

7 Signs That Your Child May Be Being Bullied at School (and What You Can Do About It)

By the end of September, the novelty of being back to school has worn off for most students – so if you find yourself already attempting to reignite your child’s academic enthusiasm, know that you’re hardly alone.

In homes across the nation, parents are preparing pep talks designed to cajole, convince or (when all else fails) compel their sons and daughters to ease up on the complaining and bear down on the books.

But before you write off your child’s anti-school attitude as just another instance of adolescent antagonism, make sure that you’re not missing signs that may signal a more significant problem – namely, that your child’s reluctance to go to school is related to bullying or another type of peer harassment.    

Bullying remains a distressingly prevalent reality in U.S. middle and high schools. The National Youth Violence Prevention Network reports that about 30 percent of students (more than 5.7 million young people) are involved in bullying  – either bullying other students, being bullied themselves, or both.

The following signs may indicate that your child is being bullied:

1. Sudden change in attitude toward school
. There’s a reason that "constant" is rarely (if ever) used to describe the attitudes of teens and adolescents, and as a parent you’ve surely experienced the speed with which a young person’s tastes and preferences can change. But if your child’s attitude toward school suddenly and dramatically changes for the worse, this could indicate a problem that warrants further investigation.

2. Unexplained cuts, bruises or other injuries. Kids fall down and run into things (and each other) a lot. For many young people – especially adolescent boys – getting through the day is a pinball-like experience in which paddles and bumpers are replaced by friends, walls and floors. But there’s a difference between run-of-the-mill roughhousing and abuse. If your child starts showing up with unaccounted-for bumps and bruises – and if no explanations are forthcoming – these could be evidence of bullying.

Read five more signs that your child may be being bullied at school >>

Depression, Obesity, Alcohol Abuse Linked in Young Women

Depression, obesity and alcohol abuse are often treated as discrete disorders.

But a new study shows that, for women under the age of 30, those three conditions may be interrelated – meaning treating all three may be key to overcoming any of them.

Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) found that almost half of the 776 adults they tracked during the study met the criteria for one of those conditions at each of the observed ages of 24, 27 and 30.

“The proportion of people with all three of these conditions at any one point is small,” said Carolyn McCarty, the study’s lead author and a UW research associate professor of pediatrics and psychology.

“For women, there is a great deal of overlap between these common emotional and health problems that span early adulthood," McCarty said. "Men may develop one of these conditions, but they don’t tend to lead to another one later on.”

Read more about the relationship between depression, obesity, and alcohol abuse in young women and how treatment may help >>