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Brain Gym International

Brain Gym International is the trade name of the Educational Kinesiology Foundation, a California nonprofit organization that promotes a series of exercises called "Brain Gym" that the company claims improve academic performance. The underlying ideas are pseudoscience, and as of 2014 there was no good evidence that the exercises are effective in improving learning.

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Brain Highways is a similar movement based learning program, founded in California. The primitive movements they promote are different, but they have adopted some patterns similar to that of Brain Gym. I learned about this program through the family I nanny for. The boy I nanny, now 7, suffered a brain injury when he was three and his speech was incomprehensible. Daily Brain Highways has allowed this child to not only speak clear, full sentences, but he is now the most well spoken 7 year old I have ever met. I believe part of their success is owed to what Brain Gym is lacking and that is the attitude they sell with their program. Brain Highways teaches parents to enforce a loving discipline which holds the child responsible for their own success. They promote the child to be a "Champion," and have a list of what champions do and do not do. As a nanny, it is liberating to ask the child if they are being and champion and how they can correct that behavior. As a significant caretaker who loves this child, it is rewarding to see the smile on his face when I congratulate him and say, "You are a champion."

Contributed by Mallory Kraus

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