Stowell Learning Center

School’s Barely Started and He’s Already Distracted

With Back-to-School excitement waning and the reality of the new grade level expectations kicking in, struggling students are probably starting to become apparent.  The first and most obvious symptom of a learning challenge is poor attention. This may cause worried parents wonder if their child has ADHD. In our experience, attention challenges can mean many [...]

7 Easy Organizational Strategies to Help Students Start off the School Year Right

People are creatures of habit.  If we create structure and habits around homework from the very beginning of the school year, there will be fewer battles and negotiations later! Important Note:  These may seem obvious to you, but they are not obvious or easy for many students.  Each strategy will take instruction, practice, and monitoring [...]

DON’T Get LOST on the First Day of School!

I woke up this morning a little bit panicked from a dream I was having about the first day of school.  I was attending a new school that was essentially cabins spread out in a huge area in the woods.  (I know – crazy – but it was a dream)! My mom was with me [...]

What Happens When the Wrong Thing Works?

July is the month of summer camps and growing up, our kids were no exception.  One summer, we went to Penticton, British Columbia so that our son, Kevin, could attend a one-week ice hockey camp. We were really fortunate that an NHL professional player, Ray Ferraro, had brought his son to the camp the same [...]

“I Want My Son to Love School Again”

“I just want my son to love school again,” said a mom at a recent parent information meeting.  She went on to share that the summer before her son began kindergarten, he was so excited about starting school that he asked repeatedly, “Can I start today?” That’s how learning should feel!  Like an adventure that [...]

Some Random Thoughts About Dad

On a rest stop on a beautiful river road bike ride yesterday, I found myself skipping rocks in the river and thinking about my dad.  I have a very special memory of my dad teaching me to skip rocks on a lake when I was probably 7 or 8 years old. Yesterday was Father’s Day, [...]

Different and Proud of It!

The Today show aired a fun piece today about a little girl who opted to wear a hotdog costume to her dance class on Princess Day! Now that’s confidence!  I love the individuality of little kids and I love it when people aren’t afraid to be themselves. Being different because you choose to be is [...]

7 Common Mistakes Parents Make When Their Child Has Difficulty With School Part 7

We’re finishing up our series on common mistakes that parents inadvertently make when their child struggles in school.  I hope you’ve found it helpful.  As parents we always do the very best we can for our kids, but often, having a bright child struggle with reading or some other aspect of school is new territory [...]

7 Common Mistakes Parents Make when their Child has Difficulty with School Part 6

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 [...]

7 Common Mistakes Parents Make when their Child has Difficulty with School Part 1

No Wonder Our Kids Are Struggling Research tells us that 30% of the population across the board has some degree of difficulty with the key auditory skill that supports efficient reading. One in five students are now thought to have dyslexia.  The American Psychiatric Association (APA) says that at least 5 percent of American children [...]

Spring Flowers and Special Stressors for Struggling Students

We are getting one of those rare rain showers here in Southern California this morning.  It’s pretty amazing to me how instantly the hills and lawns green up with a little bit of rain.  Spring showers really do bring flowers! Year after year, we have seen that spring also seems to bring with it some [...]

Brain Break

From Break to Meltdown in 30 seconds – How Did that Happen? At mile 20 of a 21-mile bike ride this weekend, my husband and I stopped to take a little break.  It had gotten warm and we wanted to remove a few layers.  When we started riding again, my legs let me know that [...]

Dyslexia –Talents, Tears, and Solutions

A friend at church was catching me up on her grown sons.  As she talked about the incredible mechanical abilities of one of her sons, who can completely take apart car and motorcycle engines and easily reconstruct them, I thought, “He must be dyslexic.” Certainly not every person with strong mechanical abilities is dyslexic, but [...]

Parent Education Classes and Registration

Need strategies for helping your child with homework or schoolwork?  Check out these Parent Education Classes held at SLC Chino. For more information and steps to register: click, download and print from the link below! Parent Education Classes and Registration

Back-to-School Apps Support Organization and Learning

There are Apps for absolutely everything these days, and sure enough, there are even Apps for Back-to-School! With so many students going back to school today or at least very shortly, I thought I’d share this article by John Patrick Pullen from Time Magazine: 6 Must-Have Back to School Apps http://time.com/3982036/back-best-school-apps/ This article highlights some [...]

Auditory Processing, Attention, and Survival

My mom is a huge fan of the TV reality series Survivor. She (and millions of others) never misses an episode.  If you watch the show, you’ll know that people will go to almost any lengths to survive.  And in fact, our brains are wired for survival at the most basic level and will work [...]

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 [...]

Did Henry Ford Have it Right?

Henry Ford said,  “If you think you can, you can.  If you think you can’t, you can’t.” There’s a lot of wisdom and truth in that statement, but there are times when gutting it out just doesn’t work. I once knew a young man in his twenties who couldn’t read or spell. His dyslexia was [...]

The Common Core Controversy

Most teachers and parents seem to have strong, emotional opinions about Common Core, the current emphasis in school curriculum.   It puts a huge emphasis on working with information as opposed to memorizing and reproducing information. If we want children to become good problem solvers and self-initiating learners, they need the kind of thinking skills developed [...]

Learning Differences Don’t Really Make Me Different!

In Southern California, we are the very definition of a “melting pot.”  We have people of every color, culture, and religion from every part of the world.  I love that!  I think it makes us interesting. One of the things I’ve noticed, working with thousands of families who are dealing with learning and attention challenges, [...]

What Do I Say To My Child About His Learning Difference?

  A mom walked by with a baby who was wearing a soft helmet.  Being an unusual sight, I and most other people they passed glanced a little longer than typical at the baby. Why was a baby wearing a helmet like that? The question was quickly answered by the statement printed in large colorful [...]

It’s a Turtles Life

Turtle Lessons Lesson #1 Standing on the beach in one of my favorite spots in the world, Honokawaii, Maui, I saw a giant sea turtle lazily sunning on the shore. With the start of school, most families are feeling anything but lazy.  But as I watched the turtle, it was a good reminder that no [...]

Back-to-School Prep

Back-to-School – Excitement or Dread? Back-to-School sales are everywhere! When I was a kid, I loved the preparation for going back to school – new clothes, new shoes, and all the cool new school supplies! People like NEW!  Our brains like NEW – it’s interesting and different. But for families whose children have traditionally struggled [...]

Lessons in Organization from the Circus

This weekend we went to the Ringling Brothers, Barnum, and Baily’s Circus.  Besides being truly amazed and a little bit terrified by some of the acts, I was struck by the incredible amount of organization involved. Everything ran like clockwork and everyone and everything was in its place, right down to the shovels and buckets [...]

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, [...]

Auditory Processing Problems Like Listening Underwater?

It’s Pool Time! From the time I was 12, I spent virtually everyday of the summer hanging out, or lifeguarding once I was old enough, at the high school pool.  Even now, the smell of chlorine at a pool brings back fond memories. If you’re an underwater swimmer, you know that sounds are very muffled [...]

You Get an A For Effort but You Need to Try Harder!

I’m having trouble writing my blog this morning because I’m sitting at Starbucks trying to write and everyone around me is talking about the Kings’ huge win last night. I’m a big Kings fan, so it’s hard to not engage!  For those of you who are not NHL Hockey fans, the Los Angeles Kings are [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

I Can’t Wait to Go to School and Use What I Learned!

Ten-year-old Hannah spent 6 weeks of her summer working 3 hours a day in an intensive learning program at our center.  As we sat down to begin her retesting, I asked her how she was feeling about what she had learned. “I’m very happy that I came,” she exclaimed.  “I can’t wait to go to [...]

Hooray for Persistent Parents

In a couple of hours, my brother-in-law, who was born with Down Syndrome, will fly home from Los Angeles to New York on his own.  This is quite an accomplishment for a guy whose parents were told when he was born, not to even bring him home from the hospital. Rob has been all over [...]

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, [...]