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The Limbic System and Frontal Lobe

This month is all about the brain! We have three lessons this month due to spring break. Next month we'll be back to four again. It can be helpful to watch the Intro to the Brain lesson before these to get a general overview of brain lobes and brain function.

  • Inner Brain Health

  • Amygdala

  • Using the Frontal Lobe

To see all lessons currently available, go to the Classroom (for current students of the full curriculum) or the All Lessons page (students using unit studies or future students).

Note: These lessons are also available in Health and the Human Body

Your Brain is Perfect for Survival

Your brain is the way it is because it's kept humans alive for a VERY LONG TIME. Understanding how our survival brain works can help us understand why we react in very different ways in different situations. This month, help your family watch for times when the "survival brain" kicks in.

  • When your kids are startled, ask them to notice what happens in their bodies. Notice your heart beat, breathing, how your hands and feet feel.

  • When you notice a child get angry, if the time is right, ask them how their brain is trying to help them survive with the anger. How does their survival brain feel threatened? This can be a great lead-in to discussing how to calm ourselves by remembering that it's not actually a survival situation and helping the frontal lobe come up with solutions.

Understanding Your Brain

After watching this month's lessons can be a great time to talk about the specifics of your own brain to model how important this is for your children.

  • What is a time your survival brain kept you or your kids safe? (For example, were you aware of smoke in the kitchen when something was burning, pulled your child back from the street when a car rushed past, or heard a noise in time to get away from something falling.)

  • What are times your survival brain tried to help you when you were a kid that didn't feel very good? (Maybe before a performance or in a social situation?)

  • How do you calm your own survival brain? (What are the self calming techniques that help you to calm your survival brain and bring the frontal lobe back in control?)

Coming Up with a Plan

As your kids understand their brain more, they can use that understanding to plan for how to calm their own survival brain.

  • What are times their survival brain takes over? (hint: any situation in which they tend to behave "badly" is possibly a time when their frontal lobe has been kicked to the side by their survival brain)

  • How can they help their survival brain feel safe and let the frontal lobe take charge again?

Have fun learning about the brain this month!

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