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Archive for February, 2010

13.02.2010 News No Comments

Junk Food Is Like Heroin!

There is research out there – from the reputable Scripps Research Institute  – that suggests high-sugar and/or high fat diets actually trigger addiction in the same way that drugs do.  In fact, this occurs through the same neural pathways as heroin. 

Most people who have ADHD children or treat ADHD patients know that there is a strong link between certain foods or food ingredients and behavior; it doesn’t take a genius to know that high-sugar foods will trigger hyper behavior, but less well-known are triggers in food dyes, preservatives, etc.

This Scripps research suggests that we all have to be more careful about junk food.  As a passionate lover of Doritos and whatnot, I have a hard time with this, but I see every day in school the effect that some foods have on our ADHD students and the associated negative behaviors and poor class performance.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6451119/Junk-food-as-addictive-as-drugs.html

High-sugar, high-fat muffins or donuts may be an acceptable treat now and again, but probably not before school.  Why?  Because lots of students end up lethargic and and dull-witted until the effect wears off.  Protein in the morning is always a better option.   Part of our mission at Elijah School is to educate the whole student – understanding foods’ effects, both positive and negative – and that includes their bodies.  

The same goes for various high-energy drinks: a 16 oz. Monster has about almost more than two-and-a-half times as much caffeine as a Diet Coke.   It is a reasonable hypothesis that a young person who drinks said Monster will not be in a condition to do any serious learning.  Or focusing.  Or even thinking.  His brain will be in overdrive until the caffeine wears off, and even then there may be an even worse “crash”.

We strive to educate students with learning differences to make wise decisions in school and in life.  Go ahead and have that Monster – at a sleepover or a youth retreat, but not before geometry.  I firmly believe that when donuts are offered, it is our moral obligation to have one: but it shouldn’t be the only thing we eat for breakfast, and if you’re being offered them every day you need to move.  Or call me.

12.02.2010 News No Comments

Recess & Success

The Robert Johnson Wood Foundation recently commissioned a survey of school principals on the importance of recess.  The overhwelming majority see a link between recess and both academic and social achievement.  And, at the same time, most schools are devoting less time for recess (including Physical Education, PE). 

In recess (or PE), students learn actual physical skills, group dynamics, social skills, and even build neural pathways as they learn and repeat different physical actions. 

At Elijah School every student has PE for at least 45 minutes every day.  Middle schoolers have PE in the morning and a 30 minute recess after lunch.  With a population of non-traditional learners (many of whom have ADHD and the like), the time to burn off some excess energy is critical to their ability to focus on schoolwork.  It is also important in their social development. 

We think this survey is an important piece of information for our schools – homesschoolers, too.  What do you think?

http://www.rwjf.org/vulnerablepopulations/product.jsp?id=55249

08.02.2010 News No Comments

The Sexualization of Our Children

I don’t know how many of you saw this littel item in the news:

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2010/02/04/critics-slam-disney-child-stars-clothing-line-racy/?test=faces

Pardon me, but am I crazy to think we should never have to even think about whether or not an 8 year old’s clothes are “too racy”?  The very thought is a wee bit nauseating, after all.  But if you check out the link, sure enough, the headline isn’t too far off. 

Right after that, I saw this : http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,585108,00.html.  I’ll save you some trouble and tell you that it’s a call from the International Planned Parenthood Federation calling on America to rethink explicit sex education for all children age – wait for it – ten and up.  That we should think of these kids as “sexual beings”.  We need to show sexuality as a “positive force for change and development, as a source of pleasure, an embodiment of human rights and an expression of self.”

You read that right.  Kids who are still playing with dolls, forming elementary school friendships, learning to read and write, now require detailed sex ed. 

Now, I know that the IPPF has an agenda to push, but this is just plain indoctrination.  Read the above sentence carefully: sex isn’t a force for change, but sexuality is.  You mean, like homosexuality?  Or bisexuality?  This is, in my opinion, just evil.  Kids of that age simply aren’t capable of understanding sex as part of a healthy relationship according to God’s standards.  There are plenty of kids a lot older who have the same trouble.  Sex as an “expression of self” is what has led to half the problems of modern society: sex isn’t about self, it’s about a couple bound in marriage. 

Educate your children so that they understand the depth and breadth of God’s love for them as expressed by His son, Jesus Christ Our Lord.  His Word tells us the appropriate boundaries for sex, and they don’t include ten year olds.  Protect your young ones from a media who wants to sell them false idols of every description and lure them into growing up too fast.  Self-esteem does not come from wearing the right clothes or acting like adults.  It comes first and foremost from knowing they are precious and unique creations of Our Heavenly Father who loves them dearly.

08.02.2010 News No Comments

Lousy Male Role Models

Though this is hardly a new subject, last night’s Super Bowl ads brought some things home for me.  Quite possibly the worst ones were those that portray men as bumbling idiots or as sex-driven robots.  One commentator says “One ad actually took the position that adult behavior (e.g. picking up after one’s self) is so odious and emasculating that it means men can fight back by picking out their own mid-level car. Sad.”   A tire company actually sought to sell their product by supposing a man might give up his wife before his Brand X tires: isn’t that lovely?  Did any of you catch the talking babies in which the little boy is two-timing a little girl?  Not to put too fine a point upon it, but it made me want to throw up.

Have we really sunk so low in our society that this is the best we can do?  How is it we expect so little of men today in terms of behavior, but see him almost exclusively as a provider of material wealth and sexual gratification?  Speaking as a man with two young daughters, I want better for them, and they have the right to expect better.  I want to see more young men who are willing to give up their obessions looking good and feeling good for actually doing good and being good. 

As a Christian school, it is our job to point students to appropriate male role models (e.g. Biblical ones), but also to give them examples to live by.  The Bible is full of them: open the pages and they leap out at you.  Work, love, the difference between the sexes, and God’s expectations of men (and women) are there for all too see.  If we don’t provide the teaching and coaching of character, we can be sure that our media-driven culture will fill the void. 

At Elijah School it is our objective to educate the entire student – body, mind, and soul.  Our classes extend beyond the core subjects to include social skills, critical thinking, and life skills.   We do so because we must.  The alternative is the vapid and self-centered men we see on TV – no thank you.