Stowell Learning Center

How Retained Reflexes Impact Behavior and Learning

It’s the holidays, and along with the fun comes a whole other set of stressors that may cause already inflexible children (and their families) to miss the magic. Why Does My Child Act This Way? A big snowstorm near one airport can cause flight delays and cancellations all over the country.  While people got to [...]

7 Common Mistakes Parents Make when their Child has Difficulty with School Part 5

When smart kids struggle in school, it’s confusing and frustrating for all involved.  In my experience both as a parent and working with thousands of parents, we suffer along with our kids and we will do anything to help them be happy and successful. But since kids don’t come with instruction manuals, we have to [...]

The American Dream and LD

Yesterday was President’s Day and it brings back memories from my childhood of my parents saying, “If you work hard enough, you can do anything.  You could even be president of the United States someday!” What a great message for our kids! As parents spend hours and hours and hours wading through tears, avoidance, and arguments [...]

Why Does My Child Act This Way?

How Retained Reflexes Impact Behavior and Learning There was a big snowstorm on the east coast a couple of weeks ago.  It caused over 2000 airline flights to be cancelled.  I assume people got to their destinations eventually, but I also imagine that it caused a great deal of anxiety and disruption to people’s lives. [...]

Growing Pains- A Family Affair

If you are the parent of a growing child; if you’ve ever been the parent of a growing child; if you’re a child; or if you’ve ever been a child, you need to see the movie Inside Out. My husband and I rarely see animated films, now that our kids are grown, but at my [...]

The Hidden Meaning Behind Disruptive Behavior

Someone emailed me a cartoon of a principal on the phone with a parent saying, “I wouldn’t say your son is a bad child.  He’s gifted in disruptive behavior.” Augh!  Not the phone call you want to get! Many years ago when I taught 4th grade, I had a student, Tony, who constantly made clever [...]

It’s Fourth of July. Dogs and Sensitive Kids Beware!

It’s Fourth of July.  Dogs and Sensitive Kids Beware! My neighborhood happens to be one of the few in Southern California that allows people to shoot off their own fireworks.  With Fourth of July right around the corner, our evenings are now punctuated with unexpected explosions as people try out their fireworks. We love Fourth [...]

Watch Out for the Technology Trap!

This adorable picture of 19-month old Jaxon matching letters on an iPad was posted by his mom on Instagram this week. Isn’t it amazing what technology can offer our kids these days.  Even more amazing is how adept kids (even toddlers) are with it!  It’s mind-boggling! What fun it is to see the problem-solving, attention, [...]

Do Not Pass Go – Go Straight to ADHD

Pay attention!  Pay attention!  Pay attention!  How many times can you tell a kid to pay attention before they finally get the message?  For some parents and teachers, it feels endless. Having worked with thousands of struggling learners over the years, I recognize that ADHD is a real and sometimes a devastating challenge for families. [...]

Do Not Pass Go – Go Straight to ADHD thumbnail

Tippy Toes and Learning Challenges

Starbucks is one of my favorite writing spots because 1) it’s acceptable to sit there alone with your computer, and 2) there are no interruptions.  And okay, 3) I like the drinks! So I was sitting at Starbucks the other day when two different families came in with their toddler boys who were almost exactly the [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

I Never Make BIG MISTEAKS!

When I was growing up, we had a giant pink eraser printed with the words, “I never make BIG MISTEAKS!” Obviously, it was a joke, but there are some people who would not find this funny at all.  For some students, learning is so full of potholes that every little mistake they make is a [...]

Fright is Not Just for Halloween Night

BOO! A few weeks ago at our information meeting, a teenage girl shared:  “I want to do things without fear.” Struggles in school often have much bigger consequences than poor grades. Socially, kids, especially teens, are often fearful that someone will know they struggle and think they’re dumb. Students are afraid of disappointing their parents [...]

Sit Still, Already!

Legs swinging, feet kicking – at the dinner table, at the homework desk, any time seated in a chair.  That was my M.O. as a child.  I wasn’t even aware of it, but obviously my mom was, because I heard the infamous, “Sit still!” very often. I still have a tendency to fidget with my [...]

The Gift of Movement and Unstructured Play

Living in Southern California, it can get pretty hot during the day in July, but it cools off really nicely in the evening.  One of the things my husband and I love to do is to sit outside at an outdoor food court near our home that has a huge round fountain in the center.  [...]