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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


~ B R A I N Y - Z I N E ~

" Learn How to Nurture A Smarter Kid "

Volume #7   Issue #9

ISSN: 0219-7642    Dec 7, 2008

Andrew Loh, Publisher

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Our world is full great personalities and historical people of extreme brilliance and talent. Some of them have been the foremost nation builders and extraordinary leaders, while others are men of letters, great musicians and exemplary scientists. Our world would not have been the same without notable contributions from these great people.

Now, what is common with these legendary personalities?

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Possibly the greatest ever composer of classical music

  • George Bernard Shaw - One of the greatest play writers

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt - A president with great character and substance

  • Thomas Edison - The greatest inventor in the history of mankind

  • Albert Einstein - The most brilliant human ever

  • Bobby Fischer - A legendary chess grandmaster and a great world champion

You will be extremely surprised to know that all these great people have one distinctively common thing among them - that they were all the significant products of home-schooling! Successful home-schooled personalities like these come in many flavors and styles. The practice of home-schooling has given us some of the most famous personalities the world has ever seen!

Today's schools are extremely competitive, too much crowded and at times too insipid for some of our children. The perceived squeezing ambience of such schools may impact and influence some of our children in a negative and discouraging manner, eventually resulting in reduced and disappointing academic and classroom performance. Mind you, such children are not at all bad in their abilities to study and score better grades and ranks. It may just that they do not find the school environment encouraging and positive. Most of our gifted children often find a typical, conventional classroom environment too boring and ordinary.

Parents may need to take a serious note of these instances and provide their children an alternative mode of education in an encouraging and stimulating environment that eventually makes them classroom-enabled and school-compliant. Parents have a number of choices in front of them. Alternative approaches to traditional classroom have been here since hundreds of years and some of the examples of famous people who underwent alternative home schooling are given above.

Home schooling is a credible and alternative approach to a traditional and truly academic styled classroom and it caters to those children, who often find traditional classes very discouraging and incompatible to their taste and preferences. There are a number of other approaches that can be considered by parents. However, home schooling seems to be the most desired option by a number of parents around the world. Though expensive, home schooling offers the benefit of teaching your children in a compatible and loving ambience that stresses on one-to-one type of student-teacher relationship. As a parent, you can study and understand the finer aspects of alternative education and how it can influence your children in a positive manner. This issue of newsletter intends to provide you some basic fundamentals of alternative approaches to education and how one can benefit from it. All the best!

Thought for today:
"A mother understands what a child does not say." - Anonymous

Best Regards,
Andrew Loh
Andrew Loh
Publisher & Editor, BrainyZine
andrew @


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Alternative Approaches to Children Education
Most of the gifted children and a number of intelligent children often find conventional and traditional classroom unsatisfactory and boring. In some extreme cases, parents get disheartened to find that their children's classroom performance is very disappointing. Under such a scenario, children may need alternative mode of education other than the traditional type of classes.

Alternative Schooling for your Child - Knowing the Basics
Alternative schooling is an alien concept to a majority of parents. Many parents still think and feel that sending their children to alternative schools is something very bad and not advisable. But, alternative schooling is a wonderful concept that can make children smart, intelligent and wise.


Q1: I am starting to think that my son Kyler is gifted. He just turned 3 a month ago and can recite and recall the entire alphabet. He knows and identifies numbers up to 20. He can also identify consistently shapes and can tell the difference between ovals and circles, squares and rectangles. He was diagnosed with mild mental retardation when he was 2 because of the lack of speech. Within the last three weeks he has started talking and learning all these things. In comparison to my other children whom are 7 and 10, he is much more advanced. Am I just excited for the speech coming through or is the ability to do these things signs of a gifted child?

A: It is possible that he was probably misdiagnosed with mild retardation solely based on lack of speech. Some children develop speech earlier than others and just as in other developmental areas, this is very normal. As long as they are able to understand instructions and show signs of advancing, talking late is probably not a concern unless accompanied by other complications based on average developmental milestones.... Continue to read Dr. Sandhu's answer on Signs of Above Average Abilities here.

Q2: What is the difference between the Terra Nova and InView? My child scored 99 percentile in Terra Nova, 99 percentile in Verbal part of In View and 78 in the non verbal part. This brought her down into the 88 percentile in the In View part of Terra Nova. We always thought she was better at Math and reasoning than on the Verbal part. So this came as a surprise. She is prone to making silly mistakes. Any advice?

A: The Terra Nova tests compare students with others in their grades around the nation. Hence, the scores are listed in percentiles. It also includes a component that acts like an IQ test (the InView portion). Therefore, this is a part of the Terra Nova test rather than a separate indicator. This component measures the students' ability to use information and apply it to new and different situations.... Continue to read Dr. Sandhu's answer on The InView Portion of the Terra Nova here.


The Parents' Guide to Alternatives in Education
By Roanld Koetzsch

This book is meant to be a consumer's guide to 22 forms of alternative education available to children whose parents choose not to send them to public schools. It also offers an historical perspective of American education, along with the history behind each of the specific alternatives. Koetzsch, senior writer for Natural Health magazine and founding editor of Renewal: A Journal for Waldorf Education, first deals with current important topics such as conflict resolution and multicultural education, pairing them with appropriate alternative programs.

Then he details each form of education, including where such schools can be found and resources for more information. An unbiased presentation that will be a welcome addition to most public libraries.


The Happy Child: Changing the Heart of Education
By Steven Harrison

For young children from birth to age 8 who are culturally, linguistically, or developmentally diverse, traditional assessment methods may be misleading or unreliable. This book introduces you to six alternative assessment methods--naturalistic, focused, performance, portfolio, dynamic, and curriculum-based language--and helps you decide which one to use.

You'll explore these six methods in depth and find a rationale for their use, detailed summaries of advantages and limitations, specific implementation guidelines, suggestions for working in inclusive environments, and photocopiable blank assessment forms. With this book's innovative strategies, you'll learn about comprehensive assessments for the children and families you serve.



Mind Training for Tots
Psychology Today Nov 28, 2008

A child's brain is the only organ not yet fully developed upon birth. It grows as a result of the complex interplay between internal and external dynamics. Recent brain research while underscores the incredible importance of 0-3 years old it doesn't stop there. Children are always in the state of expansion, brain reshaping and growth as a result of a multitude of factors (i.e. nutrition, enrichment activities, positive relationships, language stimulation, environmental factors and sensory aspects).

How Obesity Affects the Brain and Cognitive Learning on Children
Obesity Video Games Dec 2, 2008

The primary consequences of obesity and its effects on children are cognitive learning impairment and poor health. Some kids are able to overcome poor health and high weight consequences during their teens or early adult lives, but the longer term effects that childhood obesity brings to bear on cognitive learning are often irreparable.

The Brain Craves Clear and Precise Information
Shining Light Nov 29, 2008

During the first six years of life, the child's natural development includes the formation of language, with the most intense activity occurring during the first two and a half years of life. It seems like common sense to say that the more words a child hears during those first two years of life the larger the child's vocabulary and aptitude for language will be.

Insight into language development comes from the mouths of babes
UCLA Today Dec 2, 2008

With his eyes wide with anticipation and his wispy hair standing on end, 2 ½ year-old Luke Dubose Harwell could hardly contain his enthusiasm as he arrived. Megha Sundara, an assistant professor in linguistics, works with Luke Harwell in UCLA's Language Acquisition Lab. For all he knew, the hallowed halls of UCLA’s Linguistics Department, the university's most highly ranked academic department, might as well have been the local Gymboree or a McDonald's play area.

Maximizing your child's learning potential
Philstar Dec 2, 2008

From the time your baby was born, you have already been eagerly awaiting his first smile, first step, and first word. These are milestones that make parents swell with pride and also provide them with the assurance that the baby is progressing to the utmost of his abilities. But when the rest of the same-age kids at the playground seem to be doing things that your child has yet to master, it might require you to take a second look at the so-called triad of factors in a child's mental development.

Beware cholesterol drugs for kids, journal warns doctors
Canada Dec 1, 2008

Canada's top medical journal is warning doctors about giving cholesterol pills to children, saying there's scant direct evidence statins are safe for children and that doctor's risk committing kids to "decades of therapy." Millions of Canadian adults take the cholesterol reducers to lower their risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease.


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