Back-to-School Prep

1Back-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 with school, the hope of a new school year and a fresh start is often mixed with dread.

What if this year isn’t different?

What if we’re still spending hours and hours doing homework?

What if this year’s teacher isn’t as understanding?


In a Back-to-School segment on the Today Show this weekend, they said that $73 billion (yes billion) would be spent on school supplies(including technology) this year.  Astounding!

Unfortunately, once the newness wears off, even the fanciest pencils and folders don’t assure that the work gets done and organized.  The best computers and I-pads don’t guarantee that the research project will actually get researched properly.

I love new things as much as anybody, but I also know that being successful in school takes more than the right supplies.  It even takes more than being smart.  Smart kids find all kinds of creative ways to get around or disguise their learning challenges, but if they are really going to read, do math, and learn comfortably and independently at their intellectual potential, they need a strong set of underlying processing learning skills to support them.

If you and your smart child or teen are dreading the new school year instead of jumping onto the Back-to-School train with excitement, then chances are your child is working too hard or too long because of some area of weak underlying learning/processing skills.

Academic and social success depends upon a solid foundation of cognitive learning skills.  If you think about these skills like a ladder or a continuum, academics and school subjects are at the very top.  Many other skills must be in place in order to learn easily at the top of the ladder.  When the underlying skills, or skills lower on the continuum are weak, they may keep children and adults from learning and functioning as well and as independently as they should.Learning

If we want to permanently correct the learning challenge so that the student doesn’t need extra help or accommodations, we have to identify and develop the underlying processing/learning skills that are at the root of the problem, and then remediate the reading, math, spelling, or writing skills.

Brain research in the last 20 years tells us that the brain has plasticity, or the ability to change with training.  Through intensive training that “stretches” an individual’s thinking, chemical and physical changes can occur in the brain.  Because we know this kind of “neuro-rehabilitation” is possible, we also know that with the right tools and strategies, new, more efficient neuro-pathways can be developed to permanently improve student’s overall processing and performance.

At Stowell Learning Centers, we are on a mission to help every student look forward to going back to school and enjoy, not only their shiny new school supplies, but the process of learning!

If you know a struggling learner and are ready to make permanent changes,

JOIN US for a FREE Parent Information Meeting.  Go to for details and RSVP.

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Speak to a Learning Specialist to learn more about the results from students and parents at Stowell Learning Centers.