Monday, June 2, 2014

Schoolhouse Crew Review of A Life in Balance Book Review

I have been reading a book from  Learning Breakthrough Program a, “A Life in Balance”.
The cost of the book is $16.94. It is a paperback book with 15 chapters and 200 pages.

Chapter 1: The Early Days
Chapter 2: The Slow Kid in a Fast Family
Chapter 3: Unseen Magic
Chapter 4: The Right Stuff
Chapter 5: Beginning to Teach
Chapter 6: Edward
Chapter 7: F. E. McGahan
Chapter 8: The North Shore Students
Chapter 9: Jack Harris
Chapter 10: The LaPorte Students
Chapter 11: James Koetting
Chapter 12: A Glorious Time
Chapter 13: Journey Menshew
Chapter 14: Newell Kephart
Chapter 15: A Partly Completed Puzzle
This book is about one man’s journey into creating what is known as the Learning Breakthrough Program. Eric Belgua tells the story of his father Frank Belgau who created the program and tells about his life’s experiences in the classroom while he was working with children with learning disabilities. He was determined to find solutions to help children learn to read.

He began his journey at a time when not much thought or effort was put into helping children with learning disabilities. At the time it was the misconception that these kids couldn’t learn and it wasn’t worth the time or effort. This was during the time when others were more concerned about the space race.

A few years later when more interest in educating children with learning disabilities became more accepted and more parents, educators, and specialist wanted to help these kids.Frank Belgau found that they would love to diagnose problems to try and explain the problems. That’s about how far it got was just labeling a child with no known solution to help them. Now a days specialist are very quick to medicate a child rather than working with the problem. A Life in Balance truly gives hope to parents who have children with learning challenges.

Throughout the years he found that certain activities seem to improve the child’s cognitive abilities, attention span. In turn this would help the child read better. Frank Belgau notices that balance exercises, hopping, jumping, hitting a ball and other similar activities made those children’s reading improve drastically. Thus was born the Learning Breakthrough Program.

My Thoughts:

As a mom of a child with severe learning disabilities I can relate A Life in Balance. I have been relentless searching out new things to help improve my daughter’s reading and other learning challenges. I have spent more money and time on programs that I have seen some success and improvements. I have had my share of programs that wasted my time and money.

The reality is that I still haven’t given up and still have hope that something will help my daughter. I have had so many different opinions from doctor and well-meaning parents that it makes my head spin.

This program could possibly be good for an ADHD alternative treatment, Dyslexia treatment. Will this program help my daughter’s and will I see reading improvement? I honestly don’t know. I know from the years of researching and trying things myself that I feel that this could possibility be a good program. The constant that I have noticed is that balance plays a big part in learning. Balance in the long run helps with coordination in all areas. I know it sounds strange but balance seems to make the whole body in sync to function better. Its goes much further than the way I described it. You will have to read the book yourself to get a fuller understanding of it.

Overall this was an easy to read book that moved along rather quickly and I was able to complete the book in less than 2 weeks. The stories were very engaging and you could tell that Mr. Belgau is very passionate about helping children with all types of learning challenges.

At the end of the book he has some activities that you can begin with at home using his “spacewalk” exercises. The downside is that if you want to go further with Mr. Belgau program you would need to purchase the equipment which would cost you several hundred dollars. At this point I am not willing to go that far due to financial abilities. I would recommend that you read, A Life in Balance and decide for yourself if you think Learning Breakthrough Program would work in your situation.

 A very encouraging book. If you are a parent with a child with special needs you will recognize certain situations in the book that will make you chuckle. You can really relate to some of the situations as described by the various stories.Thank you for a wonderful book and for your passion to help children with special needs.

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