Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Stick that in your mouth and chew it!

We first started implementing a constant supply of gum in our home after reading the "Connected Child" by Karyn B. Purvis. Her crew at TCU work specifically with attachment disorder, and they have found great value in chewing gum. It has calming effects (for the chewer - not for the parent listening to her five kids smacking!).

The October 2007 issue of "Eating Well" gives a nod to a study on the benefits of chewing gum (which I take with a grain of salt - seeing how it is from the Wrigley Science Institute, created by - you guessed it - Wrigley's!). I put much more stock in Dr. Purvis. However, their little study did suggest that gum-chewers "performed better than non-chewers on a memory test."

Apparently, the process of chewing jacks up the amount of blood that is pumped to your brain. It's a theory, anyway.

All I do know is that there are times that I actually prescribe gum to my kids ... especially before we start into any deliberate schoolwork. If one of them is stressing or getting near rage level, I send them to grab a piece.

So, while most teachers in organized classrooms have to outlaw the little sticks of yum, I would suggest that homeschoolers add it to their repertoire ... not only for when they're kids are working through a difficult task, but when you are trying to assist, encourage, or otherwise berate walk with them through said task ... or subject ... or chore!! It works for mom, too.


17 comments:

kimschell said...

I can't chew sugarless ... the fake sugars hurt my tummy =(

Leann said...

All of J(14)'s teachers with the exception of band, for obvious reasons, let them chew gum. Cool!!! :)

CJ Merrell said...

SWEET -- I'll try it.. makes sense..

Brenda said...

Great idea. It would work for all but Bear who has braces.

ali said...

awwww i am such a gum hater too lol but jackson LOVES the stuff. last year, his teacher's husband worked for wrigley, so the teacher was always giving out gum last year LOL we still have a pile of it!(does gum expire??)
i'll try it!

Sara said...

We used to use gum with one of the autistic children I worked with. It really calmed him. Great idea for sure!

Terroni said...

FYI...you can chew gum with braces. It's not that sticky when it's wet with spit. Avoid the salt water taffy, though. That's an extra trip to the orthodontist.

Christine said...

Thanks, T! Last night I was watching a teenager smacking away on her gum with braces. I was thinking, "I should accost her and find out how she gets away with that so I can tell Brenda!!" :)

Amie said...

So I have talked to you several times about homeschooling my 10 year old son...well, I met an awesome woman (that I think God put next to me) and my son and I have been meeting her homeschooling group for park play days once a week. I've been able to ask questions to my heart's content and soak up all of it. I'm reading a great book on it right now and I think we're going to take the plunge for fall 2009! Excited and nervous...but thank you for your encouragement!

Cammie said...

I used to work in an elementary school that was very big on brain research. We would study how the brain works and implement activities that enhanced the brain and, therefore, learning. We used gum with our 1st - 5th graders! That was before that stupid law was passed where educators can no longer give food/snack/candy items to their students...you know, because that is what is making American kids obese!

Christine said...

Amie, that's great. I'm just glad that you've received some answers that help you know if this is the best thing for you two!! I appreciate, so much, the serious thought you have put into this decision. You're a super amazing mom.

Jill said...

I am a true believer of chewing gum and education. I always broke the rule and allowed my students to chew it in class...less discipline problems and better work. Now, I too love it when my young ones are doing difficult work. Glad you got the word out.

MrsNehemiah said...

the smell of cinnamon is supposed to improve recall also, so I give my boy cinnamon gum to chew when we work on his reading.

Mrs Nehemiah

familygregg said...

It's probably related to/similar to pacifier sucking....which is sorta kinda like suckling.

Gayle said...

We'll.... at least I now know why they allow my daughter to chew gum in her public school! We do have a great district!

Perspective is Everything said...

k -- I'm slow.. but we tried gum.. lol in my last post..

Alison said...

Makes sense to me. Gum is wonderful for fidgety kids, and parents who are feeling unfocused!