What is brain integration?
Brain integration refers to the process of the brain’s many systems accepting information.
The left and right side of the brain are associated with a complex network of nerve fibers called the corpus callosum. This neurological bridge is responsible for the transfer of information between the left and right hemisphere, allowing the brain to function as a whole.
An integrated brain is one that has a more interconnected Connectome and therefore can be seen as more “whole” rather than disconnected.
When the brain is whole then the left and right brain are balanced and the different parts of our brain can communicate effectively with each other.
We need to integrate the function of both hemispheres to learn better, to understand better and become more proficient at anything we do.
How do we do that?
Each hemisphere has sensory and motor control of the opposite side of the body. Therefore moving both sides of the body at once in a rhythmical fashion will facilitate brain integration.
The cross-lateral movement (cross-crawl) is basically when both sides of the body work at the same time completing alternating patterns of movement.
The Stick with Character rhythmic movement crosses the midline continuously with its stick work and, according to Dr. Fadigan, “has the proper stimulation for the brain including visual and rapid movement, tracking, convergence, timing, and the oratory as you count to yourself while practicing the moves. And this challenges the integration in the brain beautifully.”
It is in the Physical challenges to the brain, like those experienced in Stick with Character, that help to build cognitive skills. According to Dr. Fadigan, “With the proper physical challenges, we will see our children’s brain progress significantly and get better day by day. Within three to six months, you can see gross improvement in overall learning.”
Dr. Fadigan says of Stick with Character “you have to make it entertaining and naturally challenging for the kids and it has to be something they like to do. You’ve certainly done that in your program, it’s Fun, it’s really Fun! I endorse it completely.”
How do we strengthen character?
Stick with Character developed as a result of years of experience and vast knowledge. Hence, the very basic element of getting to know the students’ needs was to ask them specific questions regarding character. Kids, being the target audience, provided elaborate and exciting answers that became the sole bases of how the program was created.
Did you know that kids think that responsibility is something they have to do rather than a choice they make?
The Stick with Character program teaches kids to start thinking in a different way, which can be considered one of the biggest benefits of the program.
Once children understand they have a choice regarding their activities (e.g. doing their homework), they can practice making decisions. Above all, as parents and teachers, we need to empower them with the ability to make the right choice.
Moreover, most children act as pleasers. It means that they do what they do to satisfy others’ requirements or demands whereas they should be doing tasks for themselves. What they seek in such behavior is acceptance, approval, or security from someone else in order to feel good about themselves. This will never be enough. How can they build intrinsic motivation that comes from within when they are dependent on others approval to be their motivation?
Most importantly, thanks to the Stick with Character program, we want to rebuild the way kids think and perceive their activities. Building motivation from within frees our children from this state of dependency on the approval of others. This is a crucial element of the program. In fact, they can benefit from learning how to cope with the outside world to get the most out of it.
The program teaches the importance of staying focused and not being preoccupied with the surrounding distractions. Developing your attention, attitude and behavior through self-control is key to any ones success. Children will be on track to learn independence, rather than dependency on others, and to be in charge of their own lives rather than others being in charge of their attention, attitude and behavior.