Stowell Learning Center Blog

A POWERFUL Exercise from Mr. Rogers

December 10, 2019

I wanted to share an article with you that my husband David wrote to his business consulting clients at Thanksgiving.  It refers to business, but it’s relevant to us all, whether were building a business or building confident kids. Here it is.  Enjoy! A POWERFUL Exercise from Mr. Rogers Have you seen it yet? “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” (the movie about Fred Rogers) is currently playing in theaters. I was lucky enough to see it last week. (The irony is that this is not a movie for kids! When you see it you’ll know what I mean). There…

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Blessing: Exceptional Talent / Challenge: Lack of Focus and Follow-Through

December 3, 2019

My son was a music major in college and is currently in the music industry as Production Coordinator and Tour Manager.  If you know any really gifted musicians, then you probably understand what we mean when we refer to the “musician personality.” Musicians often seem to be in real need of a manager as their brilliant, creative personality does not always lend itself to being on time, remembering commitments, and organization. A mom at one of our recent parent nights shared that her 16-year old son is just one of those musicians.  He’s been told that he “has it all”…

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Thankful for You – The Persistent Parent!

November 27, 2019

Recently the mom of one of our former students emailed me and said, “We are still so grateful for all that Donovan learned from attending the learning center.  He just thanked me a few weeks ago for sending him to the Stowell Learning Center.”  How cool is that? If you are a parent trying to understand and get help for your child’s challenges with learning or attention, having your child thank you may be a long way off. But pat yourself on the back for your commitment and persistence. Most learning and attention challenges can be dramatically improved or completely…

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My Child’s Spelling is Atrocious. What Does it Mean?

November 12, 2019

I have some avid game players in my extended family, so when we get together for the holidays, we play all kinds of games, particularly word games, of which my mom is a wizard! For a dyslexic child or adult, word games can be an absolute nightmare. I met a neurosurgeon once who shared with me his story of discovering his dyslexia as a result of playing Scrabble. This successful, brilliant physician had gone through medical school by sheer willingness to put in twice as many hours studying as anyone else. He never knew why he had to work so…

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October 21, 2019

We recently tested two boys with very similar learning strengths and challenges.  In testing, they both had good attention, but one became squirmy in his chair whenever he had to read. The squirmy little guy had been diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder without Hyperactivity).  He was never a problem in class, but was reported to spend time staring off into space when he was supposed to be reading or doing seatwork. Medication had been prescribed, but his parents opted not to use it, as they weren’t convinced that ADD was the real problem. Most likely, these parents were right…

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Fooled You!

October 14, 2019

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 learning challenge from your peers or your boss is not a lot of fun at all. Even at a very young age, smart kids who struggle in school can look around the classroom and recognize that they are not performing as well or as easily…

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The Real Reason Behind Poor Motivation or Lack of Confidence in Students

September 25, 2019

What Came First?  The Chicken or the Egg?  I think lack of confidence and motivation in students comes down to this kind of question. “If my son were more motivated, he would do fine in school.” “I think she just lacks confidence.  That’s why she takes so long to do homework.  She’s afraid to do it unless I’m right there to help.” “School’s not his thing.  He’s just not interested.” “He’d rather play than do his work.” Many times, we’d all rather play than do our work!  And certainly, there are things we are more interested in than others.  But…

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Augh!!! My Teacher Talks Too Fast!

August 20, 2019

What does horse racing have to do with people talking too fast?  Nothing really, but I wonder if that’s what it feels like to students with slow processing speed.  Race horses fly by in a blur. What would school be like if words flew by you in a blur? Students with learning challenges sometimes feel like their teacher is talking at breakneck speed.  They’re trying hard to listen; they’re looking at the teacher, but somehow, the teacher is already onto the next question when the student has just barely come up with a response to the last one. When a…

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Do Not Pass Go – Go Straight to ADHD

August 5, 2019

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.  I also know that when a child or teen is struggling in school, attention is more often than not, a symptom of that challenge. When the underlying skills that support efficient learning are weak, particularly those skills at the Core Learning and Processing skills levels…

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Practice Doesn’t Always Make Perfect

July 29, 2019

Most things in life get better with practice.  A learning challenge is not generally one of them. A 10-year-old with a 1st grade reading ability A perpetually distracted student A teen who studies like a maniac but never fails to fail his tests A child who constantly says, “Huh? What?” Who is falling behind in school because she can’t seem to understand what the teacher is saying These are among the many, many learning and attention challenges that will not typically go away with time, tutoring, or special education.  When students struggle in school, parents turn to special education, traditional…

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