Every parent of a school-aged child knows students are struggling. The National Center for Educational Statistics ( https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/reading/) reports that reading and math scores for fourth graders in 2022, following the pandemic, dropped to levels not seen in two decades, with the greatest decline in students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) — students who were already struggling and were even further behind than the average.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Roger Stark, who was the first person to deliver a briefing to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Neuroscience in the Classroom, and multiple award-winning educator Betsy Hill are committed to helping children achieve their fullest learning potential by using tested and proven neuroscience with their groundbreaking book for parents and educators, YOUR CHILD LEARNS DIFFERENTLY, NOW WHAT? The Truth for Parents (Seabiscuit Press; February 2023).
Stark says, “We believe that the most underutilized asset in the learning and teaching process is the student. As human beings, we are naturally born to learn, but our individual capacities for learning are different, shaped by our genetics, environment, and our life experiences. While your genetics, environment and life experiences shape who you are, they do not have to define you.”
The book is filled with revelatory insight including:
• What you don’t know could be holding your child back.
• Despite what we were led to believe, intelligence isn’t fixed and can improve.
• At the core of learning are mental processes called cognitive skills, which are how our brains learn. It’s the “how” of learning, not the “what” of teaching that matters.
• By understanding the science of learning, you can help your child turn on their learning superpowers.
Improving your child’s cognitive skills is the key to improving learning ability—brains can change. Scientists call this neuroplasticity, which means that whatever a child’s learning strengths and weaknesses, they can be improved. And building their cognitive skills is the number one factor in improving academic performance. Stark and Hill, as CEO and president of BrainWare Learning Company, know this through decades of education and research. They write:
“Cognitive skills account for 50 percent of the variance in students’ academic performance. That means that half of the difference between one child’s academic performance and the child sitting next to them can be predicted by their cognitive skills. Not teachers, not class size, not curriculum nor technology.”
YOUR CHILD LEARNS DIFFERENTLY, NOW WHAT? is the guide to helping parents understand how brains learn and how their child’s brain learns best. This knowledge will empower parents like never before. Not only will they understand why their child reacts the way they do to school—they will be able to help them. Struggles with remembering instructions or decoding word problems start to diminish when you know what is happening and what to do about it.
All of this can be achieved by helping children “turn on” their most underutilized asset—their ability to learn. That’s when you’ll see the transformation—when your child overcomes his or her struggle to succeed not just in school, but in life. It’s a lesson that will last long into adulthood.
According to Dr. Kenneth Eastwood, former Superintendent for the Middletown City School District, New York. “Roger Stark and Betsy Hill’s new book Your Child Learns Differently, Now What? gets at the real juggernaut in American education around success for all in our K-12 education system. The authors clearly identify and provide interventions for the critical mental processes called cognitive skills, the basis of how our brain learns, a topic too little discussed in teacher preparation programs.”