DEEPENINGS JULY 2021: Nourishing the Tree: Memory & the Rhythmic System
EXTRA LESSON is an approach to meet a student's learning and behavior difficulties:
By applying knowledge gained from study of possible hindrances to child development and archetypal ways to address these, teachers trained in Extra Lesson support a reliable incarnation process for individuals and groups of students.
Extra Lesson exercises can be arranged in weekly one-hour or more frequent, shorter lessons for individuals as well as for larger groups on a regular basis over the course of months, a year or more. In individual lessons teachers begin with a “first lesson” in order to get to know the child’s developmental status. At this first lesson, the student is engaged in a variety of age-appropriate activities at the desk (writing, math, form and free drawing—“Person-House-Tree”), developmental movements on a mat, tracing forms while seated on the floor, and moving in space using bean bags, balls and hopping, skipping and more. As the student feels recognized and met by these activities offered by the teacher, a picture begins to emerge to the trained eye of the teacher of what supportive activities would benefit the student's continued development. As a student’s capacity and skill level grows, appropriately challenging activities are added to the lessons over time. These lessons are reinforced by the important transformative element of rhythm achieved by assigning daily practice of a few activities to engage in at home.
Lessons cover many types of integrative movement work including: developmental movements, bean bag or ball exercises, copper rod exercises, dynamic drawing, specific painting exercises and more. 15 - 20 minutes of daily home practice consists of practicing one or more of these exercises. At certain intervals certain drawings and other first lesson activities are repeated to maintain an updated picture of changes and improvements in the developmental status. These regular checks at every 8 - 12 weeks help to direct next steps in supporting continued development.
All Extra Lesson activities work on sensory-motor development as seen in early movement pattern integration, midline crossings, fine and gross motor coordination, eye-hand coordination, visual and/or auditory capacity & memory. All of these are based on foundations of spatial orientation, balance in stillness that serves inward sense of calm, body schema/geography and fully established dominance. These are the capacities that are fundamental for ease of learning academics and feeling emotionally and socially stable. By supporting these foundations, all students can work to remove hindrances to improve ease of access to their natural, strong, clear capabilities. By opening this access, the student acquires ease and joy in learning new things, ideas & concepts. The student, now free to learn, can thus experience a lasting lifetime love of learning.