Stowell Learning Center Blog

Start The New School Year Without Panic!

July 17, 2018

Dear Parents, Can we make the opening of school easier for you? Parents have asked and we listened: We’re holding a FREE Back-to-School Planning Event for PARENTS! In just 2 hours you’re going to get: Strategies for helping your child keep from falling behind before the year has started 7 “Must-Do’s” to eliminate homework battles before they start Parent planner to organize all your important contacts and deadlines Specific strategies for how to manage the weekly routine of school activities Strategies for getting homework done without struggle Dealing with yearly events that surprise parents How to prepare for and navigate…

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July 5, 2018

This is Tori, a former Stowell Learning Center student and currently a sophomore Meteorology student at the University of Oklahoma.  At 16, she was the youngest female Hot Air Balloon pilot in the country and this August will represent the U.S. at the Women’s Worlds Hot Air Balloon Championship in Nałęczów, Poland. What an amazing young woman! See more: I have never been in a hot air balloon, but I can just imagine the freedom that you must feel, sailing high above all the hustle and bustle below! If you are the parent of a struggling student, you may be feeling…

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“I’m Listening, But It Sounds Like You’re Talking Through Water”

June 26, 2018

Summer in my family growing up meant road trips across the country to visit my grandparents.  One of my favorite things was getting to go in the motel pool when we stopped for the night. In fact, my brother and sister and I had so much fun that we had this clever little trick.  When my parents would come to the side of the pool to tell us it was time to get out, we would conveniently slide under the water so that we couldn’t really hear what they were saying. They weren’t fooled! But imagine for a second what…

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“I Can’t Hold the Bike Seat Forever!”

June 7, 2018

Do you remember the first time your child rode a bike all by herself?  You let go of the seat and ran alongside while she wobbled along?  It was thrilling and a little terrifying at the same time, but very shortly, she was loving the feel of riding comfortably and independently. Learning to read and being a successful student is kind of like learning to ride a bike.  It takes guidance and support to get started, but before too long, you’re learning comfortably and working fairly independently – at least that’s what we hope will happen for our children. Have…

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Red Flags that May Signal a Learning Problem

May 16, 2018

On a recent radio interview, the host asked me if there was one thing that parents should watch for that would tell them that their child is struggling in school? There are actually many things, not just one, but the first thing that came to my mind was the conversation that a mom starts to have with herself. “Is he just lazy?” “Maybe he’s not that smart.  No, I know my child.  I see how smart he is in other things.” “Could he do it if he tried harder?  No, that can’t be it either – I can see how…

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What a Difference the Teacher Can Make!

May 9, 2018

My favorite teacher growing up was my 4th grade teacher, Mr. Baird.  Mr. Baird had a way of making every student feel like a million bucks and he made things kid-friendly.  We did a lot of really interesting hands-on science activities and he turned boring things like memorizing all of the prepositions into fun contests. Parents of struggling students are well-acquainted with how much a teacher can impact the kind of year their child has.  Teachers who embrace the energy and creativity of their ADHD students and their out-of-the-box thinkers find ways to channel the challenges and support the strengths. …

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“Shakespeare?? Just Shoot Me!”

May 2, 2018

The tenacity and resilience of dyslexic children and adults never ceases to amaze me!  I was doing a radio interview this morning and the host, Christina Nitschmann said, “If only I’d known you when I was in school!”  She went on to say that she was dyslexic and couldn’t read when she entered junior high.  Her parents had been told that she was probably retarded, but Christina knew she was smart. She realized that no one was going to teach her to read, so she’d better try to teach herself.  She asked her teacher for every book she could find…

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Mental Flexibility Makes Choices More Fun!

April 25, 2018

Last weekend I saw a mom and her two little boys at the counter of an ice cream shop trying to decide what flavor to choose.  And there were so many choices!  The little guys were so excited! It made me think about a breakthrough that one of our students had a few years ago.  She was 11-years old and had never, ever chosen any kind of ice cream other than vanilla when her family went to Baskin Robbins, which they liked to do.  She was on the Autism spectrum and very afraid to branch out and try anything new. …

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What About Kids with Autism?

April 21, 2018

Several years ago, my wonderful friend and mentor, Dr. Joan Smith and I were standing around “solving the world’s problems” with learning challenges.  As we talked about what could be done and what techniques to use, I said, “But what about kids with Autism?” Joan said, “Jill, we’re teaching kids.”    Her message was, it’s not about the label, it’s about the brain.  What does every brain need in order to learn? And there it is – the real crux of what we do.  When children or adults struggle with learning or attention – at school, at work, or in social…

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Does Your Child Have the Right Tools for the Job?

April 3, 2018

Weak underlying mental tools cause smart students to struggle in school My husband is fond of saying, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”  But the bottom line is that even though a hammer may be an excellent tool, it isn’t the right tool to do all jobs. There are many underlying learning skills that are needed in order to learn comfortably and efficiently.  Struggling learners tend to have a pattern of real strengths and weaknesses in their underlying skills, causing them to have to over-rely on their strengths. For example: Tony has…

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