This book is a fascinating read of Frank Belgau's life, from his struggles in early education to his desire to challenge himself to continue life long learning and applying what he had learned to help other people. Mr. Belgau shows how every stage of his career has taught him various lessons on which to further build his personal education. A myriad of fascinating personalities were practically thrown into Mr. Belgau's path and he made the most of the valuable insight he gained from every one of them. Personal development became very important to him.
I truly enjoyed every bit of Mr. Belgau's personal memoir as told to his son, Eric. He is a fascinating man and an educational pioneer. But my favorite part of this book was the appendix! There are plenty of suggestions for watching and analyzing children's movement to gain insight into their learning abilities by using many of the (very fun!) activities in this section.
We used several of the space walk ideas as well as making up a few of our own. Now, it sounds like a space walk would require more equipment. Like maybe astronaut-type equipment. But all I needed was chalk and bean bags to have a ton of fun with the boys. On a school day, no less! I just drew some lines, dots, and circles on the driveway, gave minimal instruction and made some observations. The most painful, though not surprising, observation is that these two punks are very uncoordinated! When I analyze what I am seeing, there are two boys who don't swing their left arms when they walk, have trouble walking heel to toe and maintaining balance, and found it way more difficult to put their toes on dots than I would have suspected.
I had been looking into implementing some sort of physical brain breaks in our homeschooling time when this book review opportunity came up. I had no idea if they really work, what they should consist of, or even when or how to implement them. Now I feel like the time and effort will not be wasted and will hopefully be very beneficial for our learning environment. It's time to train those brains!
A portion of the book is also dedicated to somewhat technical descriptions (though not over the head of most adults) of the components of The Learning Breakthrough Program. This program is said to help people dealing with the following issues, all without medication.
- Dyspraxia - Coordination
- Dysgraphia - Handwriting
- Dyscalculia - Math
- CAPD - Auditory Processing
- Speech & Language
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Aspergers Syndrome
- Sensory Processing Disorder
- Brain Injury & Stroke
I would recommend A Life in Balance to any parent or educator who wishes to help their child reach their fullest potential. Some older teens may also find the book very interesting. The book can be purchased for $16.94 at the Learning Breakthrough website.
Find out more about The Learning Breakthrough Program and the book, A Life in Balance on their social media pages.