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Monday, June 2, 2014

TOS Review: 'A Life in Balance: Discovery of a Learning Breakthrough'

Learning Breakthrough Program Review

I was asked to review the book, A Life in Balance: Discovery of a Learning Breakthrough, from Learning Breakthrough Program and is the story of Frank Belgau as told to Eric Belgau.



Frank Belgau is the mastermind behind uniting the neurological vestibular system with visual senory input and other senses using pendulums, balance boards, bean bag tosses and other alternative therapeutic exercises that have been proven to help turn a light on in the eyes of students until their neurological systems and brains cross over from complicated confusion into a breakthrough to learning.


Learning Breakthrough Program Review
The book is far from a boring research scientific, psychiatric, or medical research study. It is a roll-up-your-sleeves approach from a man who was once a struggling reader and clumsy as a child, but as an adult who rose above his childhood trials, refused to give up hope for those society had all but turned their back on helping.

Frank became a school teacher who was set on helping those referred to as the “brain injured”. At the root of Frank Belgau’s passionate research and attempts to help his students was one clear focus: To discover what would create immediate, observable reading improvement. What he uncovered is a seemingly simple approach that embraces the child/student as a whole person. His techniques strengthen the learner’s body and mind by using balance and movement.

The first part and bulk of the approximately 200-page book is Frank's story. Toward the end and throughout the appendix part of the book is packed with 3 auditory experiments and then hands-on therapeutic activities that explain how to help your child do the "space walk" and are intended to help open up a path to learning. It address issues such as ADHD alternative treatment, Dyslexia treatment, Reading improvement, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Brain Fitness, and Brain Training.

Be prepared to be on the edge of your seat, because the story is told in an intriguing manner by a an award-winning screenplay writer - Frank Belgau's son, Eric. Eric Belgau writes the story of how his dad came to develop his scientific inventive techniques, like the balance board and activities using bean bags and other movements. Eric Belgau writes it from his dad's perspective, as if Frank Belgau, his father, is telling the story. Though, you forget it's being written by a second-hand party as you read because Eric is able to get behind the eyes of his dad to look back into his childhood and growing up years and really express his life happenings that led to developing techniques to help those who struggle with learning.

HOW I USED IT

After escaping away to enjoy reading while on my exercise bike, I decided it was time to put the theories in the book to the test by trying out the "Space Walk" exercises in the back of the book. My very active learner, 7-year-old was my willing participant.



WHAT I THOUGHT OF THE BOOK

I was more than pleasantly surprised by the book. It is written in a way that really drew me into wanting to know more. This doesn't happen to me very often. While the story of how these learning techniques were formulated was very interesting, some things that stood out may not be what would typically stand out to the other readers.

As the wife of a musician who has always been a self-drive, self-employed entrepreneur; and the mother of three homeschooled children who are growing up in a lifestyle and schedule that oftentimes seems to be upside down from the rest of the world, I found one particular section of the book encouraging - One thing that I enjoyed was from the very beginning when the author was explaning what life was like in the Belgau household growing up, from a child's perspective. He talked about how other families had a 9 to 5 pattern, and his house wasn't run that way. Instead, his was one of a parent who had an insightful invention that would, in the words of Frank Belgau's Middle School science teacher, Mr. Royer:

Whatever you do, make sure it makes the world a better place. Leave it better than you found it.

The book retails for $18.95, but is currently available at $16.94 for a paperback version and is intended for adults to read and then apply what they've learned to help their children.

Find Learning Breakthrough Program on FacebookTwitter as @LearningBreak, and on YouTube; and, see what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought of the book, A Life in Balance:


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1 comment:

  1. That sounds like a very interesting book I enjoyed your review. Have a terrific Monday!

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