Motor Skills and Motor Labs: The Difference in Classical Education

Classical Christian schools teach according to the stages of learning, recovering the tools of the Trivium, which are neglected in our current culture. But we also need to acknowledge that the stages of developmental growth are just as important.

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The Grammar Classroom: Are Students Thriving

What will we learn from this current pandemic? Parents and teachers alike may realize that though grammar students might struggle from the lack of structure, they benefit greatly from the increased activity of free movement throughout the day. How could this impact our classrooms next year? Grammar students are physically developing in front of our eyes, growing and changing constantly. This embodied being must be taught to read, write, cipher, and stand in line. In this seminar, we will discuss current theories of human development and how it fits into our understanding of man (or child!). Science is now supporting what we know as Christians: that our cognition is embodied and our bodies participate in our gaining of knowledge. And, since Classical education is grounded in the nature of learning, we need to define that nature and transplant it into our classrooms. We will discuss what that might look like in different classroom activities, in imparting information, in classroom control, and in behavioral plans.

Athena Oden

Athena Oden, P.T. and author of the Ready Bodies Learning Minds workshop and curriculum, is widely known across the US for her down to earth approach to teaching and the practical and powerful nature of the Ready Bodies, Learning Minds program. Whether it is a presentation to hundreds of therapists or on the floor with children in a Ready Bodies Motor Lab, Athena is driven by the sincere desire to apply her knowledge to help those that choose to work with her.

A Classroom Full of Embodied Beings: How Does That Change Our Pedagogy? Part II

This session will build heavily on Part 1. If we understand embodied cognition, how does that create a paradigm shift in our pedagogy? We will explore the sensory and motor systems of our human makeup, classroom strategies, handwriting, and yes, behavior.

Athena Oden

Athena Oden earned her degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Texas Medical Branch and has spent the past 30 years in pediatrics. She is the owner and operator of Ready Bodies, Learning Minds and consults with public and private schools and nonprofit organizations for children. Athena has presented at the local, state, national, and international level on topics dealing with the neurological and physiological development of the child in the classroom. As author of the book/curriculum Ready Bodies, Learning Minds: Cultivating the Whole Child (third edition, 2016), she hopes to help children and schools perform at their peak. Athena has a passion for classical education, old musty books, and a good cup of tea. She and her husband, David, classically homeschooled their three children and live in the beautiful Texas Hill Country.

A Classroom Full of Embodied Beings: How Does That Change Our Pedagogy? Part I

Teachers are often exasperated at the end of a long day. Why can’t the students just sit still? We all operate with a conceptual idea of what students and classrooms should look like. But does it encompass embodied beings, or a dualism of mind/body? Are the students as exasperated as we are? This seminar will explore the concepts of child development and embodied cognition with a basic tenet of classical Christian education: that man is created in the image of God.

Athena Oden

Athena Oden earned her degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Texas Medical Branch and has spent the past 30 years in pediatrics. She is the owner and operator of Ready Bodies, Learning Minds and consults with public and private schools and nonprofit organizations for children. Athena has presented at the local, state, national, and international level on topics dealing with the neurological and physiological development of the child in the classroom. As author of the book/curriculum Ready Bodies, Learning Minds: Cultivating the Whole Child (third edition, 2016), she hopes to help children and schools perform at their peak. Athena has a passion for classical education, old musty books, and a good cup of tea. She and her husband, David, classically homeschooled their three children and live in the beautiful Texas Hill Country.

Why Can’t They Just Sit Still? An Exploration of Dualism’s Impact on Modern Education

The culture of American education is increasingly focused on one goal: higher performance at a younger age. As a result, very young hearts are anxious and fearful under the pressure of expectations that are perhaps beyond their ability. Our pre-kindergarten to elementary children struggle to sit “properly” in classrooms and wield a pencil to demonstrate their intelligence. Is the dualism of mind/body separating us into minds to be filled and bodies to be subdued? How do young children learn as whole human beings? This session will relate our contemporary understanding of child development to a basic truth of classical education: that man is created in the image of God.

Athena Oden

Athena Oden is the owner and operator of Ready Bodies, Learning Minds and consults with public and private schools and nonpro t organizations for children. She has presented at the local, state, national, and international level on topics dealing with the neurological and physiological development of the child in the classroom. As the author of the book/curriculum Ready Bodies, Learning Minds: A Key to Academic Success (ReadyBodies, 2006), she hopes to help children and schools perform at their peak. She earned her degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Texas Medical Branch and has spent the past 30 years in pediatrics. Athena has a passion for classical education, old musty books, and a good cup of tea. She and her husband, David, classically homeschooled their three children and live in the beautiful Texas Hill Country.