The Right Brain Develops First ~ Why Play is the Foundation for Academic Learning

35 Comments
The Right Brain Develops First ~ Why Play is the Foundation for Academic Learning

Photo credit: Allan Ajifo/flickr (CC BY 2.0) Did you know that the right brain develops first? It does so by the time children are 3-4 years of age. The left brain, on the other hand, doesn’t fully come online until children are approximately seven years old; hence the first seven years being recognized as such a critical period in child development. “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” ~ Albert Einstein The left brain’s functionality is one of language, numeracy, literacy, analysis and time. It is the logical, calculating, planning, busy-bee part of us that keeps us anchored in the pragmatic world, and in past and future. The right brain, on the other hand, is responsible for empathy, intuition, imagination and creativity. […]

Yes he’s a Bigot, but Trump’s a Powerful Mirror Inviting Deeper Change

2 Comments
Yes he’s a Bigot, but Trump’s a Powerful Mirror Inviting Deeper Change

Bigot. Racist. Misogynist. Xenophobe. Donald Trump is the poster child for these shadowy human characteristics, and obviously should not be the next President of the United States. It is frightening to consider this belligerent man “holding the codes” and “hovering his hand over the red button.” He deserves every ounce of concern, outrage and condemnation projected his way. But our rightful finger waving and detest is not where the story ends. In fact, it is only the beginning. Trump may just be one of the most devilishly packaged gifts mankind has been given. Yet, if we cannot unravel ourselves from our disdain and chastisement, we may not sense the larger opportunity he affords the US, and beyond. Our spell of myopia may entrap us as […]

When You Can No Longer Dance the Dance of Roles in Your Relationship

1 Comment
When You Can No Longer Dance the Dance of Roles in Your Relationship

“It takes more courage to examine the dark corners of your own soul than it does for a soldier to fight on a battlefield.” ~ W. B. Yeats Roles have been around since man first graced the planet. I’m not talking about outer roles such as butcher, baker and candlestick maker. Rather, I’m speaking about inner roles such as Pleaser, Controller, Stablizer, and Go-To-Person. Also knows as emotional functions, they are ways of being in the world not unique to us. Anyone can be an Accommodator, Cynic, Peacemaker, Good Girl/Boy and Bad Girl/Boy. We have all at one point been these characters, for within us there is a bit of each. But not everyone can or will be a police officer, legal assistant, rock star […]

Inspiring Quotes to Ignite Imagination, Wonder and Laughter

0 Comments
Inspiring Quotes to Ignite Imagination, Wonder and Laughter

If you need a quick read to bring a smile to your face, or are simply gathering information, I offer these inspiring quotes to bring you back to the child within—to that part of us who never forgot the importance of laughing for no particular reason, of imagining far beyond what the rational mind can comprehend, and of sitting in wonder at the miracle we wake to every day. If you want more inspiration, check out my Inspiring Quotes for Child Learning and Development, and Playful Quotes for the Child in your Heart. You may also want to watch this short, fun and inspiring video called Come Out and Play ~ Embracing Life’s Infinite Playground. Also… check out Vince’s book: Let the Fire Burn ~ Nurturing the […]

There’s No Such Thing as “Just” Being Silly

1 Comment
There’s No Such Thing as “Just” Being Silly

“All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it.” ~ Samuel Butler The other day I overheard a mother say to her son, “Oh, you’re just being silly, aren’t you?” He was goofing off and giggling in the most delightfully innocent and innocuous of ways. The mother’s tone was kind and intention heartfelt. But there was something stirring in her word “just” that struck me deep, an old shallow story that still saturates adult minds. That play is somehow frivolous is a belief still holding true for many. And yet ask any adult how hard play is for them. Ask them how easily they let themselves sing and dance spontaneously, how freely they dream, how fully they give themselves […]

Re-Imagining Education ~ Awakening the Gifts and Purpose Inherent in Each Child

0 Comments
Re-Imagining Education ~ Awakening the Gifts and Purpose Inherent in Each Child

Beyond the accidental universe “The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore What if the universe we live in is not accidental? What if it is a fluid intelligence spoken through sage stars, prophetic planets and guiding galactic spirals; through the bees that know how and when to collect the nectar we use for our honey; through the sun that rises everyday with the gift of light pulsing through curtains of clouds; through the salmon that somehow know exactly where they come from and when to come home to spawn; and through the trees that release their golden leaves every Autumn to the beckoning earth waiting for nourishment? What […]

Choosing Heart and Life Amongst the Busyness of Things

2 Comments
Choosing Heart and Life Amongst the Busyness of Things

“The cities, the roads, the countryside, the people I meet—they all begin to blur. I tell myself I am searching for something. But more and more, it feels like I am wandering, waiting for something to happen to me, something that will change everything, something that my whole life has been leading up to.” ~ Khaled Hosseini—And the Mountains Echoed Her voice spoke with urgency. A pressing need to accomplish a number of tasks and build new ventures prompted this coaching client to hire me. During our initial session, she shared with such a clip that it was hard to truly feel and thus hear her. The buzz of words was like a lightening storm surrounding and protecting something that felt like a quiet, deep agenda […]

Inspiring, Troubling and More: Research and Stories on Child Learning and Development

0 Comments
Inspiring, Troubling and More: Research and Stories on Child Learning and Development

“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.” ~ Stacia Tauscher For a while now, participants in my keynotes and playshops have asked me to share the growing collection of research and stories I have on child learning and development. Teachers, in particular, want to share these finding with parents and education faculty to broaden perspectives on the importance of such things as play and nature in learning and development. Each piece below is listed as an excerpt of useful information with a link to its associated article making your perusing easier. Feel free to come back to this page as I will add new findings regularly, listing them at the top of their respective category. Scattered amongst […]

Kids Hunger For More Meaningful Conversations and Less Direction

0 Comments
Kids Hunger For More Meaningful Conversations and Less Direction

“Teachers expect kids to act like adults, but they treat them like children.” These are the frustrated words from a mature grade seven student. When asked for an example, she said, “I remember in kindergarten sharing ideas and dreams with my teacher, and she would respond by saying, ‘That’s nice, dear. Why don’t you go and draw a picture about it.’” I then asked how her teacher could have responded differently. She said, with a degree of irritation, “All she had to say was, ‘Tell me more about it.’” *** Scroll to the bottom to read 15 Questions Kids Hunger to Hear *** In the same way that recess is learning, engagement is teaching. “Conversation is gold. It’s the most efficient early-learning system we have. And it’s […]

Transcending the Illusion of Success ~ Thriving in Heart-felt and Hard-won Truth

0 Comments
Transcending the Illusion of Success ~ Thriving in Heart-felt and Hard-won Truth

“It takes courage to endure the sharp pains of self-discovery, rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.” ~ Marianne Williamson I can hear my mother’s concerned voice now: “Vincent, how is your business going? Is everything okay?” My mother loves me dearly, and like many moms, she worries about her child, perhaps more than other moms do because of where I came from, and how I have chosen to travel a highly unconventional route. It wasn’t long ago that I was living below the poverty line for four years, desperately holding onto a dream that was slowly slipping from my grasp. I knew I wanted to be a speaker—to travel, leading groups deeper into […]