How to Repair a “Failing” Student’s Ability to Learn

The Learning Curve July 11, 2011

How to Repair a “Failing” Student’s Ability to Learn

This week’s Learning Curve is important for all parents who have children who are failing at school or who have the consideration that they are “slow,” “dull,” “can’t learn” or “learning disabled.”

Roger and Virginia take you through the process that handles and restores a student’s certainty that they can learn.  It demonstrates to the student that learning is an ability we all have; and the procedure restores to the student their certainty that they can exercise it and actually, successfully learn anything they apply their attention to.

Last week we and our guests from debunked the notion that dyslexia is a “disability.”  We showed that dyslexia is not correctly understood; and that, instead, these folks are what can be called “right brain learners” who exhibit quite remarkable abilities not enjoyed by others.

This week we take on another of the myths held by the educational establishment.

At the end of Chapter One of our book: How to Learn-How to Teach: Overcoming the Seven Barriers to Comprehension, ( we have a section dealing with how to recover the ability and certainty for your child that they can learn and succeed one-hundred percent at their school studies.

This week’s program reveals some of that important information.

For the full discussion of the material, folks who have Kindles or Nooks, can obtain the Parent’s & Student’s Edition of How to Learn-How to Teach: Overcoming the Seven Barriers to Comprehension, from either Amazon (

or Barnes & Noble (

Alternatively, you can download the Nook or Kindle application to you computer and read it there.


Click here to listen July 11, 2011 Roger & Virginia

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Multiple Intelligence: Did You Know Your Child is Blessed With It? Do You Know How to Harness it so Your Child Wins at School and in Life?

The Learning Curve March 26, 2012

Multiple Intelligence: Did You Know Your Child is Blessed With It?  Do You Know How to Harness it so Your Child Wins at School and in Life?

Today’s guest is Jen Lilienstein, the founder of  Jen did her undergraduate senior thesis in 1994 on Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligence and its effect on self-esteem, attendance rates and love of learning.  Post graduation, she kept returning to her passion for non-traditional education.  She currently serves on the Editorial Board of the National Afterschool Association, the Publications and Platform Committees of the NAA, the Quality Committee of the CA Afterschool Network, and advocates for Afterschool for All with the Afterschool Alliance. She is also a member of BOOST and ASCD.

Jen has a wonderful headline on her website: Learning was meant to be FUN!

We concur, of course.

And her mission at Kidzmet is: To help parents, teachers, tutors and coaches understand how to make learning FUN for each unique child.

This is a fun and enlightening interview where you’ll hear a real expert reveal:

  • The limits of conventional IQ Tests.
  • What the eight intelligences are that each child is gifted with.
  • The myriad ways kids learn because of their innate multiple intelligences.
  • Why we need to acknowledge these intelligences and realize they are elastic and change.
  • The damaging affects of our schools’ standardized testing regimen on your child’s multiple intelligences—and what you can do to remedy it.
  • Jen reveals how failure to recognize and facilitate a child’s multiple intelligences sabotages their career and later life opportunities.

Kidzmet has an on-line inventory test you can use to find where your child’s attention, key intelligences and true interests lay.  And this can be used to facilitate and optimize your child’s learning and potential.

Learn why summer time activities (at school breaks) are so important . . . and much, much more.


Click here to listen March 26, 2012 Jen Lilienstein Kidzmet

Roger & Virginia at the Learning Curve


Math Made Easy by the Author of “The I Hate Mathematics! Book!”

The Learning Curve March 19, 2012  Marilyn Burns

Math Made Easy by the Author of “The I Hate Mathematics! Book!”

Mathematics is the bane of too many students; and it need not be.

Mathematics is too often a difficult subject for parents asked to help with homework: it should not be.  Today you will learn how to conquer that fear.

Today’s guest with Roger& Virginia is Marilyn Burns, the founder of Math Solutions, an organization that has been dedicated for almost 30 years to improving K–8 mathematics teaching through providing professional development and resources.

A former classroom teacher, Marilyn has written more than twenty books for teachers, including: About Teaching Mathematics and Math and Literature; and more than ten children’s books, including her first: The I Hate Mathematics! Book, and The Greedy Triangle.

Her most recent project has been to develop Math Reasoning Inventory (MRI), a free online assessment to help teachers find out what their students really know about mathematics. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Information about MRI, including more than 80 video clips of actual interviews with students, is available on the MRI website.

Marilyn continues to teach elementary students on a part-time basis, relying on her classroom experiences to inform her writing and speaking. In 1991, she was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Bank Street College of Education in New York. In 1996, she received the Glenn Gilbert National Leadership Award, given by the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics to one mathematics educator each year. In 1997, she received the Louise Hay Award for Contributions to Mathematics Education by the Association for Women in Mathematics.

Hear Marilyn explain how easy math is to understand along with why so many have had difficulty in “getting it.”

Hear Marilyn in what is Virginia’s favorite part of the interview: the story of The Greedy Triangle that thought it didn’t have enough sides!  It’s the plot of a kid’s book Marilyn wrote which explains that as the triangle acquired more sides, it eventually became so round, it rolled own the hill!  What a great way to excite kids about math and give them needed insights!

Math must be presented to kids in a manner that makes sense to them.

A question parents must learn to use is: “How did you get that answer?”

Start your kids early with math.  Hear Marilyn explain how a parent can teach math to a child by having them help lay a dinner table.

You’ll get the answer to what the difference is between mathematics and arithmetic.

And much, much more.


Click here to listen March 19, 2012 Marilyn Burns

Roger & Virginia at The Learning Curve


What is Integrated Learning? Why Are American Students Behind Other Nations in Science Education, and What can Be Done About it?

The Learning Curve March 12, 2012  Lisa Niver Rajna

What is Integrated Learning? Why Are American Students Behind Other Nations in Science Education, and What can Be Done About it?

Lisa Niver Rajna is an honest-to-goodness science teacher working in the trenches at K-6.

Lisa’s success is evident in the following:

One of her students WON an international award with OXFAM Canada in its contest on making toys out of recycled materials. Her team was the FIRST USA team in the contest in 20 years

Further she has been invited to be Geographic Awareness Editor on the site: Wandering; and most recently has been nominated for a Presidential Award as a Science Teacher.

Hear Roger & Virginia talk with Lisa about the Global Achievement Gap as revealed by Tony Wagner.

We explore with her such issues as:

  • Is there a conflict between preparing students for the world of work and teaching them about their roles as citizens?
  • What does it mean in today’s world to be an active and informed citizen, and how does a democratic society best educate for citizenship?
  • What would be involved in created the ‘challenging and rigorous curriculum’ for all students that many are now demanding? What is even meant by ‘rigor’ today and how do we get more of it in our students’ classes?
  • Are students learning how to think critically, solve problems, work collaboratively, take initiative, communicate effectively, access and analyze information, be curious and imaginative?
  • Learn how the kinds of questions students are asked and the extent to which a teacher (or parent) challenges students to explain their thinking or expand on their answers are reliable indicators of the level of intellectual rigor in a class.
  • What about our kids’ future roles as world citizens? Are we educating them for it?
  • Given that, as a society, we become good at what we measure: are we measuring the optimum things in our students?
  • Learn how Lisa excites her students and interests them in science.


Click here to listen March 12, 2012 Lisa Niver Rajna

Visit Lisa’s website at

Roger & Virginia at The Learning Curve

How Do You Recognize if Your Child is Having Difficulty in School Early Enough to Properly Help? What to Do and How Do You Find the Help You Need?

The Learning Curve March 5, 2012 Dean Larson

How Do You Recognize if Your Child is Having Difficulty in School Early Enough to Properly Help?  What to Do and How Do You Find the Help You Need?

Too often parents fail to recognize their child is having difficulty and by the time they spot it, too much damage and loss has occurred.

Even when parents are astute enough to recognize the struggling student in their child, they still have the problem of what to do to help and where to go to get proper professional help.

Today, on The Learning Curve with Roger & Virginia, we have the return of Dean Larson, Director of Access for Knowledge Learning Centers.

Dean has a wealth of experience in both preventing student difficulty in his own students and remedying the struggling conditions of students brought to him.

Hear Dean describe how you would first observe, and then proceed to handle, indications of your child having difficulty at school.

His first, critical word of advice is that a parent must stand back and examine the facts of the situation . . . don’t dub-in emotion or opinion.

Look for trends in grades and behavior; a change in friends and a change towards the family.

Write down only the facts.  Just gather data.

You must use “reflective listening” with your child—you must ask, and listen: not tell and assert your belief.

Kids don’t have enough life experience to yet be able to understand all the emotions and feelings they go through.

You’ll hear Dean explain how all this is done, and give you the key question to be asked:

  • What are the possibilities of change?
  • Are there medical conditions (hearing, eyesight, biochemical) behind the trouble?
  • What about tutoring services?  How do you evaluate the options?

Dean brilliantly and clearly answers all these questions . . . .


Click here to listen  Dean Larson 3-5-12 redo of e too large 

Jennifer Turner is an Honest to Goodness, Genuine Home-Schooling Mom Who Believes in student-led learning.

The Learning Curve February 27, 2012   Jennifer Turner

Jennifer Turner is an Honest to Goodness, Genuine Home-Schooling Mom Who Believes in student-led learning.

Jennifer is lucky to be able to benefit from A Cyber Charter School with on-line curriculum along with on-line teacher back-up and testing.

The benefit of all this to Jennifer’s two children is that, while they have to meet the state testing standards, she can allow the kids to progress through each item on the curriculum at the pace that best suits the child and also ensure mastery on all subject matter.

Hear how Jennifer practices Student Led Learning.

Hear how she works the interests and needs of each child into the lesson plans and material.

She is also able to allow each of her children to learn in the style best suited to the child—indeed she pays special attention to facilitating her children’s two different learning styles.  And this further enhanced by her practice of Student Led Learning.

Jennifer says this method of educating her children has developed in them a wondrous love of learning, and the ability to discover and master anything they will ever have to deal with in later life.

And the big bonus Jennifer has found is that Home Schooling allows families to be flexible in meeting all of the needs of each member of the family.

Hear Jennifer answer these questions:

  • What is student-led learning?
  • How do home school parents incorporate their children’s interests during instructed learning time?
  • How do our children meet state and federal school requirements by following the student led philosophy?
  • Can traditional school settings incorporate a student-led philosophy?

More wisdom from Jennifer at her Blog:


Click here to listen  February 27, 2012 Jennifer Turner

Roger & Virginia at The Learning Curve



Imagine a parenting technique that doesn’t tell you what to do, but teaches the art of self discovery that can be implemented with your child for its benefit.

The Learning Curve February 20, 2012 Socratic Parenting

Imagine a parenting technique that doesn’t tell you what to do, but teaches the art of self discovery that can be implemented with your child for its benefit.

The big question parents should be asking is: when it works, why is it working; and if it doesn’t work, why not?

Our guest today with Roger and Virginia on The Learning Curve is Laurie Gray, the founder of Socratic Parenting.  Laurie’s experience includes having been a high school teacher, a civil and criminal trial attorney and author of young adult literature.  Currently she writes, speaks and consults through Socratic Parenting LLC as well as working as a child forensic interviewer and as a College Professor.

What would happen of you used “open inquiry” questions with your child instead of telling and indoctrinating?  Would it lead to greater self discovery and appreciation of truth?

Socrates is said to have stated: I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.

Only the practice of “open inquiry” opens the mind for thinking.

Many wise educators have deplored the current educational system’s practice of treating kids as sponges to be filled with the attempt to wring them dry at exam time.  It is an unwise parenting practice also.

As Laurie explains, there is nothing more useless than a mind filled with others’ thoughts.

Hear Laurie explain the principles of Socratic Parenting — principles such as:

  • Be aware versus beware.
  • Don’t cause a child’s life to be ruled by fear.
  • Have the child being present with interested.
  • Acknowledgement and appreciation is a very important first step.
  • Accept who your child is.
  • Appreciate the positives.
  • And much more.


Clock here to listen February 20, 2012 Socratic Parenting

Roger and Virginia at The Learning Curve


Are There Advantages in Single Gender Schools for Children? Does it Work Better for Kids the Way Schools Were Prior to Going Co-Ed?

The Learning Curve February 13, 2012 Cherokee Creek Boys School

Are There Advantages in Single Gender Schools for Children?  Does it Work Better for Kids the Way Schools Were Prior to Going Co-Ed?

Today’s guests are Beth Black and Denise Savage of Cherokee Creek Boys School. 

Beth is the founder and Chairman of the Board of Cherokee Creek Boys School, which is a therapeutic boarding school for middle school boys, ages 11-15, in Westminster, SC.The school is dedicated to “challenging boys and their families to discover what is real and true about themselves and the world around them.”  The program seeks to build character by offering a path of self-discovery that addresses the emotional, psychological, intellectual, and spiritual needs of adolescent boys.  Among her many accomplishments, Bet was an Adjunct Professor for Florida State University while teaching “Communicating Disney Style” and “Marketing the Good News About Schools,” as well as a facilitator for the popular program “Disney Approach to People Management”, designed to share Disney’s internal marketing and quality service strategies with business professionals.

Denise is Academic Dean, having been a teacher since 1992, she brings extensive classroom experience with her to Cherokee Creek Boys School.  Denise has an exciting mix of strong language instruction skills, as well as extensive knowledge of Individual Education Plans, testing and interpretation, and experience evaluating and developing diverse curriculum models. At Cherokee Creek, Denise works to foster, in her own words, “enthusiastic and dynamic teaching as a means of creating and nurturing a lifelong love of knowledge.” She does this through Curriculum Development and academic oversight of a staff of teachers, by teaching a themed English and Social Studies class, and by preparing the boys for the moment when they actually leave the school. In a therapeutic environment, she feels her job is to get boys to reclaim their love of learning and back on an academic track so they are better able to perform as independent learners once they leave the therapeutic environment.

Learn why it is often better to have boys and girls separated in school  . . . it’s to do with their learning styles tending to conflict with each other.

The public school system currently forces boys to learn in the style best suited for girls!

Did you know there is an association of Independent Educational Consultants who can help parents find the best learning environment/school for your child?

Cherokee Creek Boys School


Click here to listen February 13, 2012 CherokeeCreek

Roger and Virginia at How to Learn Easily


What are the Real Benefits to You and Your Child of Going to Camp?

The Learning Curve February 6, 2012 — ACA

What are the Real Benefits to You and Your Child of Going to Camp?

Did you know many families go to camp as a family rather then sending the kids off alone?

Today’s guest is Peg L. Smith, the Chief Executive Officer of the American Camp Association, where she has been for over a decade. She has had a wonderful career and extensive experience in childhood, adolescent and young adult work.  With her BS in early childhood and family studies, she began her career in 1974 as a Head Start Teacher.  Later, in 1977 she created a career program that was implemented in five counties inIndianafor young people, following which she made Director of the Head Start Program for Child and Adult Resource Services.

Eventually in 1991, due to her performance in a number of other positions, Peg was appointed to the staff of the Governor of Indiana as Director of the Governor’s Step Ahead Initiative, and while there she also created the first Bureau of Child Development for the State and in 1995 became the director of the Indiana Youth Initiative.

Peg has vast experience in the service of and helping youngsters, so she is well qualified to give us some points of wisdom on how best to serve our children.

Hear Peg explain how best to select a camp for your child.

  • Should you make a whole family holiday out of it?
  • What special camp experiences are available?
  • How can you plan it so your child’s regular school grades benefit?
  • What other benefits can you anticipate from a properly planned camp for your child?
  • What funding and financial arrangements you can benefit from?

Peg is a font of wonderful information in this show with reference to the above and many other topics you’ll want to know about.

Contact the American Camp Association


Click here to listen February 6, 2012 Peg Smith

Roger and Virginia at the Learning Curve




American Camp Association linked to


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How Can Parents and Students Work the Educational System to Best Advantage? What Are the Advanced and Innovative Ways to Tutor Your Child to Top Grades?

The Learning Curve January 30, 2012 Elaine Sigal

How Can Parents and Students Work the Educational System to Best Advantage?

What Are the Advanced and Innovative Ways to Tutor Your Child to Top Grades?

Today’s educational system is a labyrinth of bureaucratic pitfalls.  Even going outside the school system for private tutoring services has its short-comings.

Today’s guest is Elaine Sigal who has had near 40 years of experience in education at all levels from grades 8-12 and teaching at university.  At one point in her career in education she founded and ran a classroom based ‘brick and mortar’ educational company (from 1995 – 2009)

Based on this experience, Elaine founded

STIZZiL is quite unique in that it is an online supplemental education company that offers tutoring, enrichment and support for students, parents and professionals of all ages. STIZZiL brings together the best US licensed, credentialed, and experienced educators from all over the United States and matches them to students, parents and professionals in need of help.  


Elaine’s experience has shown that “not just anyone can teach.” So she created a service that enables students, from the privacy and safety of their own home, to work with STIZZiL’s vetted educators, who teach in a synchronous manner using the best and latest in modern technology: audio, video, chat, whiteboard, and archiving capabilities.


Hear Elaine answer our question of how can a parent best raise concerns within the educational system regarding concerns they have about the learning environment of their child.  Who can or should you report to and how best to do it?  What are the best avenues to take action on?  How should you prepare?

What are the pit-falls in “No Child Left Behind”?  How can you “work” this part of the system?

In actuality, No Child Left Behind has drastically altered educational practices . . . teachers have been driven away from educating with the end result of the children actually learning things of value: instead teachers are forced to “teach to the test.”  This results in approximately half of teaching time being spent on practicing to pass mandated tests versus actually learning something.

It’s true . . . boys and girls behave and learn differently!  Learn how best to work with the difference.

Learn how you can help your child get better grades by providing a better learning environment at home.


Click here to listen January 30, 2012 Elaine Sigal

Roger and Virginia at The Learning Curve