A Life in Balance {A Schoolhouse Review}

As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I was given the opportunity to review A Life in Balance from the Learning Breakthrough Program which tells the story of Frank Belgau’s life and how his professional experiences and desire to help children with learning disabilities led to the creation of the Learning Breakthrough Program. I received a PDF copy of the book and read it on my iPad via the Dropbox application.

The book is 210 pages and was written by Frank Belgau’s son Eric. It will be of interest to all age groups including adults, children, stroke rehab patients, traumatic brain injury patients and any student who is facing learning challenges. The creators like to describe the program as “brain fitness” because improving our cognitive functioning can benefit any of us.

As a mom of three children with learning challenges, I so appreciated reading about Frank Belgau’s passion to help children who learn differently in a time when it was easier to just ignore them, give up on them or segregate them.

The book resonated with me as I’ve long understood the link between movement and learning. I’ve even used a balance board with my son who has Down Syndrome at the recommendation of his occupational therapist. Through our therapy experiences, I learned about the importance of the vestibular system in processing information.

I did find the book to be a bit rambling at times and this could entirely be my own personal overload on the subject of therapy and learning disabilities over the years! I have also relentlessly pursued multiple avenues of help. But I was really moved by Frank Belgau’s desire to help kids overcome their learning disabilities.

The first section of the book tells the story of Frank Belgau and his work with special needs children with various classifications. Mr. Belgau worked for a time as an air force mechanic and it is easy to see how he was able to transfer his love of science and mechanics to working with and trying to help special needs children.

His experiences with select groups of students are detailed in the next part of the book. As a result of his experiences and over a long period of time he was able to create the Learning Breakthrough Program. The book concludes with an appendix of program activities that are easy to try out at home so you can see if this program might be a good fit for your child.

The complete Learning Breakthrough Program is available as a kit for $399. It is out of reach for us but I will be trying out some of the activities with my children over the summer. I would love to see a way to make the program more affordable to parents who would like to try the program, perhaps a DIY ebook? We’ve made a balance board ourselves in the past for my son.

A Life in Balance will be of interest to any parent who wants to try a natural, drug-free intervention with their child. It’s available for $16.94 on the LearningBreakthrough website. It will require time and commitment just like any other educational endeavor. But if you find that it works for your child, it will be well worth the effort.