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Organized for School
For Parents and Teachers


Creating Supportive Environments for Children to Excel ( for parents)
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Create Better Learning Environments for Students Through Feng Shui (for teachers and educators)
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"Physical spaces can have a powerful influence on how children reach their full potential by improving one's quality of life, promote learning, inspire creativity, and encourage feelings of security," states Feng Shui Master Nancilee Wydra in her book,
 
Feng Shui for Children's Spaces .

Feng Shui at Home

=> Desk Placement: At home one might have a desk in an area where the parent is readily available during study time for assistance and monitoring.

=> If you have a student who is moving into a dorm or if you are that student, take some green with you.  Green helps with feelings of being estranged from all that is familiar.  In addition, colors in the orange family, like peach or coral, can help bring people into your room if you are wanting to make friends faster.  Orange is the color of community and relationships.
-- Submitted by Diantha Harris, ASID, FSII, IAC of Life Potentials Network

=> If your student is having trouble sleeping because of anxiety, try using a small amount of yellow or orange and a larger amount of blue in the bedroom.  You can bring those colors in easily through the use of linens and sleepwear!
-- Submitted by Diantha Harris, ASID, FSII, IAC of Life Potentials Network

Feng Shui at School

=> It's no accident that school pencils are yellow! Yellow helps us all assimilate things like what we are reading and what we are learning!  A wise teacher will keep a bit of yellow in the classroom throughout the year.  But don't overdo as too much yellow can create agitation and anxiety.  Touches here and there are perfect.
 -- Submitted by Diantha Harris, ASID, FSII, IAC of Life Potentials Network

=> When there are public speaking assignments, as a teacher, be sure to have some blue in the room to support your budding orators!  Place it across from where they are speaking so that it is within their view as they speak.  As a student, you might want to wear blue on a day when your speech is due!  Or if you have trouble speaking up in class and feel nervous about it, wear blue.  Yes, blue jeans count!  So do blue socks and other bits of clothing!
-- Submitted by Diantha Harris, ASID, FSII, IAC of Life Potentials Network

 

A Little Feng Shui for the Classroom
By: Vladek Bednarz, FSII

The many, many components needed for a positive and beneficial learning environment can be enhanced by feng shui. Let me share a few ideas with you.

Because viewing nature integrates the brain (makes it work better and more efficiently), we must supply the children with nature if school districts don't provide it. When this is the case, provide the classrooms with paintings or posters of nature scenes. Another option is to bring in live plants. It's interesting to know that in Denmark every school (and office building) must have windows facing nature.

Lighting is hugely important also. The all-pervasive fluorescent lights, computers, and televisions affect the brain negatively for several reasons. For instance, their humming and flickering throw the brain stem into an "alert" state which results in a series of physiological stress responses. Examples of just two of these stress responses are a tightening of the muscles and tendons on the backside of the body and a release of adrenalin. Please remember that when the body is in a stress response, the only information which the brain can process relates to its safety and comfort. A large portion of the cerebrum (the thinking brain) goes out to lunch and there is very little or no cognitive functioning happening. Please know that in Scandinavia fluorescent lights are banned from the classrooms. Using natural daylight or incandescent lighting whenever possible will improve the learning capacity of students.

Another negative aspect of fluorescent lights, computers, and televisions is their huge, powerful electromagnetic fields (EMF's) which jar the human body's EMF. This, in turn, disturbs the brain's electrical activity and this affects our emotions and our capacity to learn and to function. Interestingly, there are schools in this country (and others) which restrict or eliminate computer/t.v. activity in concert with the homes of the students (and wonder of wonders, reading scores then rise!!).

EMF's (which function just like the microwaves which cook your food by boiling the water molecules in the food) and stress also dehydrate the body. It's very important to give students access to water. Either allow the students to bring water bottles, or provide cups if you have faucets in the classroom, or provide water coolers. About 75% of our bodies consists of water. Water conducts electricity, and if you want the bodies and brains of the students (and everybody else's!) to communicate quickly, smoothly, and efficiently they must have water. Did you know that even a measly 2% drop in water content will negatively affect the way you do a simple math problem? Please note: by the time you feel thirst, you are already in a huge water deficit. Students need to sip frequently, but should drink more when working on a computer or watching television.

By the way, new computers off-gas for several months. New computers should be installed in classrooms in June, as soon as the children leave for summer vacation. The windows should then be thrown open and kept open until the students return in August/September. The off-gassing will not be complete, but the worst will be over. This is better than installing new computers in August. Also, computer placement is important. Computers are frequently places on circular tables or in back-to-back rows. This means the student facing the back of someone's computer is getting zapped full-force by that computer's EMF's. Better to have the computers lined up against the peripheral (and preferably external) walls of the classroom.

Another off-gassing problem is found with the popular (but not very healthy) component of classrooms: carpeting. The glue used in the backing off-gasses. Carpeting also is a marvelous hotel for dust mites, which can cause all sorts of allergic reactions. Of course, it's difficult to convince the powers-that-be to tear up carpeting, but if your school is being renovated it's wise to make that suggestion. And if you're involved in the building of a new school, certainly this would be a topic to raise.

Now, given that fluorescent lights, computers, and televisions are omni-present in our classrooms, and we know that they negatively affect brain functioning, what is it that we can do to assist the children's brains? Besides drinking water and seeing pictures of nature, we can make sure that the children get daily doses of music, usually in 15-20 minute maximal increments. Musicologist Don Campbell compiled excerpts of Mozart's music to activate, or to stimulate, or to relax the brain in his MOZART EFFECT COLLECTION (there's one set for children and one set for adults). Gary Lamb has created several collections which also entrain the heart to the optimal 60 beats per minute, plus others geared for learning activities.

Furthermore, have the children do integrated movements which will simultaneously stimulate and, paradoxically, relax the brain, which is the state it must be in for optimal learning and functioning. An example of integrated movements can be found in Brain GymŪ (Educational Kinesiology). Twenty-six simple movements and/or processes called balances and repatternings, can compensate for the above-mentioned factors in the classroom which interfere with normal electrical functioning of the brain. They're quick and fun to do. And, of course, the teachers will benefit also! Brain GymŪ movements target all three main parts of the brain to improve memory, concentration, cognitive functioning, coordination, and release stress.

So as you can see, when we cannot overhaul our classrooms or our teaching methods, we have tools available to us to improve the feng shui in our classrooms. As the energy moves in a different way, the children will be able to learn and function better.

 

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