Stowell Learning Center

All Kinds of Talents, All Kinds of Minds

I’m writing this on Memorial Day, a holiday that many of us value as a day off we get to spend with our families, but also a day to remember, with tremendous gratitude, the soldiers who have given their lives for their country and freedom. I got to thinking about what it takes to be a [...]

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STOP The Band-Aid Approach

STOP the Band-Aid Approach to Dealing with Learning Challenges Dr. David Angus, author of A Short Guide to a Long Life was recently on talk radio speaking about preventing and reversing disease and pain by addressing the root cause of the problem.  What struck me, besides my interest in health, was that his message was [...]

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It’s an Intervention Class! Intervene!

Attention challenges are really hard to understand – even for students who have them.  They have good intentions, and then find themselves daydreaming or doing something else when they should be working. A parent recently shared with me that her son, who has auditory processing, reading, math, and attention challenges, is in an intervention class [...]

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“I Got Glasses! Now I Can Be Smart!”

Homework is traditionally a battle of wills and tears at eight-year-old Sam’s house because he is so frustrated and struggles so much with reading. The day his mom got him some (secretly) plain glass glasses, Sam was ecstatic.  He told her, “Now I can be smart!”   Two thoughts struck me when Sam’s mom shared [...]

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“I Don’t Want My Son Accommodated!”

At a Parent Information Meeting recently, a mom shared about her 7-year-old’s reading challenges. She finished by saying, “I Don’t Want My Son Accommodated!” This is not a stubborn parent or a parent in denial. Of course she wants support in place at school to help her son feel more successful. But fewer spelling words [...]

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High IQ and Academic Success

I once worked with a young man who was so dyslexic that he couldn’t recognize his middle name in print.  But he was also so smart, that he dated a reading specialist for several months and she never knew he couldn’t read! Smart children and adults who struggle academically are often pegged as lazy or [...]

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Aren’t Our Kids Awesome!

When my daughter was 5 years old, she and her friend, Drew, decided they would play an April Fools joke on us, so they glued 3 pennies to the pavement right by our front door.  They thought they were so clever!  And they were! Don’t you just love the funny, creative things kids do? We [...]

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Just Call Me “Braben”

After repeatedly reversing the d in his name, Braden told his teacher, “Just call me Braben!” I laughed when I heard this because this young boy is so delightful and good-natured.  But on further reflection, this is the very last thing that I want for our dyslexic students – to have to spend their life [...]

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Sometimes You Just Gotta Dance!

A couple of weeks ago, a family with a little boy about 8 years old walked into church a little late – the worship band was already rocking and everyone was standing and singing. The boy started dancing down the isle.  I thought, “Wow! He’s got great rhythm!” His dad, trying not to call attention [...]

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Voracious Reader

Yesterday at a baby shower, I ran into the mom of a former student who shared with me that her son, now 31, came to Stowell Learning Center when he was 7. She said, “We’re so grateful.  I don’t think he would ever have learned to read if it hadn’t been for his time at [...]

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Go Moms!

Perseverance is Not Just for Athletes!  Go Moms!   I normally try NOT to watch ads on TV, but I’ve been quite drawn to some of the commercials aired during the Olympics. I’m not even sure what they’re advertising, but I love the commercials that show athletes as children going through both the excitement and [...]

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CNN Analysis

CNN Analysis:  Some college athletes play like adults, read like 5th-graders OK.  So now that the Super Bowl Hype and parties are over…Oh, wait, discussions of the game, the coaches the players, the ads ought to be worth another week, right? We love our sports and our athletes in this country, and having a son [...]

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Awesome Even on Your Worst Day!

As a competitive ice skater our daughter, Christy, could be quite hard on herself.  We would say to her, “On your worst day, you skate circles around everyone else.”  I don’t know if it made her feel any better, but it was true.  She was (and still is) a stunning skater, even when she’s having [...]

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Take a Break!

Recess is NOT just for school If you’re like me, you’re frantically trying to get presents wrapped and packages sent.  Here’s a gift you can give yourself and your kids in this last week before Christmas, and going forward into the new year:  a quick break to refresh and regroup. Learning to take a break [...]

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Special Gifts from Kids and for Kids

The Best Gift FROM Kids My grades are amazing!  My grades are amazing!  One of our junior high school boys came busting into his session at the learning center with this news recently.  Now that’s a great gift!  All the hard work that we, parents, and most importantly our student are putting in is paying [...]

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Fooled You!

I remember playing Hide-and-Seek as a kid. Our very best games were down at the state park by the beach because there were lots of fun places to hide.  We got such delight out of fooling our friends with a really great hiding place. In the right context, hiding can be fun.  But hiding your [...]

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Did Einstein Feel Stupid Too?

I don’t like to point fingers at the schools because I know there are so many wonderful, caring teachers out there serving our kids and feeling terrible about those that they can’t seem to help, but Einstein’s quote does point out something that we find to be true all of the time at our center: [...]

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Great at Sports but Lazy at School?

At Starbucks not too long ago, I overheard a group if young teenage girls talking about a softball tournament they had just participated in. They talked excitedly and knowledgeably about the game for a while, and then the conversation turned to school. One of the girls said about her performance at school, “I’m really lazy [...]

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Football and Fresh Starts

I’m not really a football fan, but I have to admit, the sound of football on TV brings a smile to my face.  It signals the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. Don’t get me wrong, I love summer, but each new season, especially Fall, seems like a new beginning – a fresh [...]

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Heartbroken Teachers

While in Colorado recently, one of our Distance Learning parents invited me to speak to a group of parents and teachers.  There was a kindergarten teacher in the group who was literally moved to tears by the plight of smart but struggling students. She shared that, as a classroom teacher she could see when a [...]

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Real Life Word Problems and Other Ways to Apply Skills Over the Summer

I’m looking out the window at Southern California’s June gloom, so I know summer is right around the corner. While the end of the school year and homework often comes as a relief to parents, many also become fearful that their kids will lose ground over the summer break. For the next couple of weeks, [...]

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Sometimes it Takes More Than a Tutor (Part 3)

This week we’ll finish looking at 5 big differences between tutoring and cognitive educational therapy, and how you know which is right for your child. #1 Tutoring typically focuses on supporting academic skills or school subjects and cognitive educational therapy addresses the underlying processing or thinking skills that are needed in order for a someone [...]

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Sometimes it Takes More Than a Tutor (Part 2)

5 Differences Between Tutoring and Cognitive Educational Therapy Last week we started talking about 5 big differences between tutoring and cognitive educational therapy, and how you know which is right for your child. #1 Tutoring typically focuses on academic skills or school subjects and cognitive educational therapy addresses the underlying processing or thinking skills that [...]

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Sometimes it Takes More Than a Tutor

5 Differences Between Tutoring and Cognitive Educational Therapy (Part 1) “Jackson HATES school!  He feels like the dumbest kid in the class.  He gets very frustrated and angry doing homework.” “As a family, we can’t stand this anymore.  We need to get Jackson a tutor!” Are you sure?  Will getting a tutor really be enough [...]

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