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Learning to Juggle Improves Your Reading ?

Teachers have linked learning circus skills and learning juggling to improvements in behaviour, as well as improvements in concentration and reading.

How can learning circus skills possibly improve behaviour or reading? It sounds absurd!

Learning Circus Skills Improves Behaviour?

There are a number of reasons why learning juggling and other circus activities can help with behaviour. The most simple is that circus skills workshops are a lot of fun. Even people who don't want to be in school want to learn how to juggle and ride unicycles, or play with diabolos and poi, because these things seem absolutely magical. We're teaching how to break down seemingly impossible tasks, and show that anyone can learn to juggle, or learn to ride a unicycle.

Children love it. Which means that on those occasions when they step over the boundaries, you have an extra carrot to lead them back with.

Now obviously childrens behaviour is not quite this simplistic, but if we're making school a fun and interesting place to be, they're far more disposed to want to be there, and the teacher who brings them the morning or afternoon, or day of circus skills (or makes lessons fun in any other ways), will be a person children will be more disposed to follow.

Circus skills training is just one tool to maintain childrens interest in learning, but because it seems so magical to them, it's an amazing tool.

Learning Circus Skills helps you Concentrate?

We all find it easier to do things we enjoy for longer than things we find tedious.

The more you do anything, the better you get at it.

So concentrating on learning circus skills, will help you become better at concentrating in general. It's just learning the ability to focus the mind, and once you've learned that in one discipline, it becomes easier to apply it in others.

So learning circus skills genuinely can improve something as different as chess, if only through teaching the ability to focus the mind on a set task. Children will learn these complicated lessons, and not even realise they're doing anything other than playing a game.

Interestingly this also means that learning chess can improve your circus skills, which seems even more absurd, but most children would rather learn circus skills than chess, so if you're looking for a way to help children focus and concentrate, learning circus skills is a more obvious place to start.

But How can it Improve the Ability to Read?

Learning to juggle involves training your eyes to follow an object in flight along a steady path.

Learning to read involves training your eyes to follow a line of words along a page. People who learn to speed read will allow their eyes to scan along the line, without stopping at each word to 'absorb' it on the way.

Learning to juggle helps train the eyes to move in the smooth and consistent fashion needed to read. It's not as absurd as it may at first seem.

It gets better. Learning to juggle really well, involves holding the eye still, and just using the mind, and peripheral vision to know where every object is. This is something that simply comes with practice.

People who can read exceptionaly quickly use exactly the same trick to 'absorb' chuncks of information off the page in one go, taking five or ten words in at a time, or in exceptional cases, entire pages.

 

 

Any spelling mistakes in this page are there purely for the sake of irony.

 

this page is copied with permision from 'The Benefits of Circus Workshops' at alightfingers.com

 

 

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