Essential Fatty Acids, more specifically those found in Omega 3's are proven to help improve both ADD, ADHD, ASD as well as improve general anxiety, concentration, attention and brain function of both children and adults.
Flora is a well known company that produces very high quality supplements. Their company does extensive research, which is available through their websites. Flora makes a line of products called "Efamol" which is a line of Essential Fatty Acid supplements. Here is the basics on Fatty acids and why they're important!
They also have the supplement "Efalex" which is made specifically for those needing to improve brain function and concentration.
One product line that many families in Quesnel are familiar with is from Nordic Naturals. They provide many different ways to take your Omega 3's including gummie bears, gummy worms as well as an assortment of liquids and softgels. Their Children's DHA comes in strawberry flavored softgels which many children like to chew as a treat! Many parents find the softgels easy for their children to take as they can be given as tasty treats. The gummies or gummy worms, because of their form, do have a lower Omega 3 content than those of the softgels, however for a texture or taste sensitive child, this may be the only way to maintain consistency.
Another well known product is by Natural Factors called "Learning Factors". The Learning Factors line is developed, similar to Efamol, to help support cognitive function especially those with ADD, ADHD, and general brain function of children and teens. Here is a description about their product line. Here also, is a specific brochure on the Learning Factors School Aid (This is a PDF document) which shows research behind their product.
A more general product that is appropriate for all children, including those mentioned above as well as adults who need extra brain support (job stress? too many things to think about?) is a general Omega 3 supplement. Having studied health and nutrition as a personal interest, as well as working at a local healthfood store, Green Tree Health and Wellness (250-991-0298), I generally recommend starting with 2 capsules (1000mg ea) taken twice a day for the first week or two. Monitor you or your child's behaviour, concentration levels and general abilities to adapt to change. If you notice a difference within this first week or two (often a difference is noted within two to three days!)
When choosing an omega 3 supplement, make sure to go to a healthfood store and ask for a good quality oil either in capsules or liquid. These days, fish oil no longer tastes like fish, in fact some brands such as Carlson ( who specialize in fish oil supplements) carry lemon or orange flavored capsules and liquid. Another well known and reputable brand is Renew Life's Norweigan Gold fish oil line. There are a range of Omega 3 supplements, whatever brand you choose, make sure that it is from a reputable company that your local healthfood store will stand behind.
If you are not sure which of the above products to start with, I always recomend starting with a general Omega 3 fish oil supplement from your local healthfood store. If your child has ADD, ADHD (or something similar) then start with a specific formula to help give their brains a 'leg up'. Use this product for approximately 3 months (a complete body cycle) before thinking of switching to a general Omega 3 supplement. This way, you are 'filling up the stores' of those important fatty acids that your child's brain is lacking before switching to a more general product.
Please remember that everyone's needs and schedules are different. Consistency is key. Whatever routine will work for both you and your child to make sure that he/she is taking them regularly will have a greater effect than taking them sporadically.
I hope you have had a chance to read the previous 3 part series on homeschooling choices in BC. To read, or re-read these articles check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Momentum is also here to support your Homeschooling or Distributed Learning (distance learning) needs.
The staff at Momentum Learning Centre offer consultations to help in all aspects of the school-at-home environment. Perhaps you need help understanding how to translate your teenagers changing interests into a goal and program for the year? Need help to organize and plan the school/learning year? Confused between requirements and choices? Is your student close to graduation and you need help planning courses, paths for the future? As well, BC Ministry of Education documents can become confusion and Momentum can help translate this into relevant information for you. We can also help guide you through the transition between public school and homeschooling, helping provide resources, contacts and strategies for transitioning.
Homeschool Consultations can be held at our Centre where we can access many resources needed, or at your home depending on your situation and needs! Please look at our Programs and Services page for additional information!
Book your Homeschool Consultation now!
Last time, in Part 2 of this series I helped you sort out the Ministry of Education’s requirements and helped explain the difference between Distributed Learning and Homeschooling. The link to that article is here.
Once you have chosen to either Homeschool or enrol your child in a Distributed Learning Program, you have so many choices! Right now we will focus on the options we have in BC for Distributed Learning. A DL program can be offered in many ways, however the main ways are either through a paper-based program and online. A paper based program is led by the parent using regular school textbooks, information and resources and the student’s work is then submitted back to the teacher in charge of monitoring the program. An online program is situated where coursework is presented online in a variety of ways (text, links, videos, Skype sessions, group discussions or forums, audio clips and virtual online classrooms) with the student most often communicating directly with the teacher.
Each school district has its own DL program such as our own SD#28 Distributed Learning Program, or another such as EBUS Academy located in Vanderhoof. Recently, the Fraser Valley Distance Education School through SD#33 has been recently brought to my attention because of its use of the Fast ForWord program (which I had never heard about and had to investigate here!) Another two common school district DL schools are Central Interior Distance Education and South Central Interior Distance Education (depending on your location in the province).
Your local DL program is a great way to start your learning-at-home program. This way you are able to receive support, learning materials and results face-to-face on a regular basis. Once you feel you have the “hang of it” you can explore your many other homeschooling options.
Independent schools can also have DL programs. Two schools I am very familiar with are Heritiage Christian Online School and Self Design. Both schools offer traditional homeschooling registration as well as DL. These schools offer their DL programs in a variety of ways including both paper-based and online. For a complete list of Independent schools offering Distributed Learning programs, click here.
I hope that this three part series has been able to clarify the multi-faceted world of homeschooling. Whether your child is in a brick-and-mortar school, an online school, or learning in the comfort of your own home, you are doing what is right for your family! Congratulations, what a great job you are doing!
Last time, in Part 1 of this series I brought up a few questions to consider while you’re discovering what homeschooling is all about. The link to that article is here. At Momentum Learning Centre, we believe that families should know their options for education, and the subject of homeschooling can be confusing. There are many styles of homeschooling and here, we’ll sort out the basics!
Did you know that prior to 1989, homeschooling in BC was not allowed? In fact, those parents who did choose to homeschool their children were often putting themselves at risk with the possibility that Social Services might get involved. All over teaching their children in their home, what had been done for centuries before! However, now that those laws have changed, there are many different options for families to consider.
There are two two Ministry of Education terms that you should know before you start. They define schooling-at-home in two terms; either Distributed Learning or Homeschooling. Distributed Learning (previously known as Distance Learning) is where your child is enrolled in a school (whether public or independent but in the same province you live) under supervision of a certified teacher, but completes learning in a home environment. Homeschooling on the other hand, is the traditional idea where a student may be registered with school, but may complete their learning in any way the family requires. One other important difference between the two is that while registering with a DL school, you are still following the Ministry of Education’s guidelines for meeting provincial standards however with Homeschooling, you do not need to meet these standards and may educate your child in whatever way you feel best.
Two helpful websites with great FAQ sections are the BC Home Learners Association and the BC Homeschool Association. Both of these websites support families who are Homeschooling their child, but also will help answer questions that you might have regarding Homeschooling or Distributed Learning.
Learning can happen in so many ways, that exploring the option of Homeschooling or Distributed Learning can open your world in ways you had never imagined! Stay tuned for Part 3 where we discover some well-known Public and Independent schools that support DL and Homeschool learners in BC!