Category Archives for "Learning how to learn"

Aug 25

How Does Your Child Learn? And Why You Need To Know.

By Dr. Patricia Porter | Develop learning skills , Learning how to learn , Parent Power


I wonder?

I wonder?

Children learn in many different ways, teachers teach in one or two ways. If your child learns the same way the teacher teaches all will be well. But it is more likely that the way your child learns does not match the way the teacher teaches.

The result ….

Loss of motivation, loss of confidence, low grades … well you know how it goes.

Any mismatch between how your child is taught and how he or she learns – and there is nearly always some kind of mismatch – makes learning much harder for your child than it should be.

You need to know how your child learns best so that you can help her adapt how she is being taught to the way she learns. You need to help her learn simple strategies that make learning quick and easy.

Do you know how your child learns best?

My Good to Great Pathfinder program helps you discover how your child learns and  what you can do to make school make sense.


This is the first step in Making School Make Sense – the 2nd way you can help your child succeed in school.


My Good to Great Pathfinder Program not only helps you discover your child’s unique learning style it also gives you strategies that help you make a difference in your child’s learning life.


Let’s talk!

Aug 11

What to say so your child will learn

By Dr. Patricia Porter | Develop learning skills , Learning how to learn , Parent Power

Don't stop your child learning.

Don’t stop your child learning.

Did you know that everything you say to your child either helps or hinders their learning?


Imagine the situation where you are trying to get your child to bed – you can either say “Go to bed now!”  or “It is time to go to bed so that you are ready for school in the morning”.

The first stops the child from thinking about why he or she should go to bed.  The second helps the child understand the cause an effect between bedtime and going to school.

It works with older students too.

Rather than say “Time to get your homework done!” try   ” If you start doing homework now you will be finished in time to watch your favourite TV show”.

You may not think that what you say to your child is important, that he or she should just listen and do what they are told.  But why waste the opportunity to help your child develop the thinking kills that lead to success?

It is really important that  you say the right things, the things that encourage your child to use his or her brain, the things that help your child develop the skills that lead to learning.

What are you going to say to YOUR child today?


Aug 04

How to make learning fun – one easy step at a time.

By Dr. Patricia Porter | Develop learning skills , Learning how to learn , Parent Power , Provide extra support

When learning is fun!

When learning is fun!

Imagine  your child loving learning, happy to do homework, never again struggling in class!

You can make this happen.

The secret?  Understanding that children need to learn how to learn.  Children need a set of basic skills that they can use in any learning situation.  Without these skills your child will  never love learning, never be happy to do homework, and will struggle in class.

And the wonder is that it is so easy to help your child develop the skills he or she needs.

One way is to Share  (This is one of the 3S’s that lead to learning success)

When you want your child to do something never assume that he or she knows what to do and how to do it.  Her is a simple three step process that you can use everyday to help your child develop the skills that lead to learning.

‘I, We, You’

( suppose that you want your child to make his bed)

1.  ‘I”

You do the task while your child is watching – and you talk about what you are doing and why you are doing it.

2.  ‘We’

Now you do the task together with you helping your child do the task well.   You need to unmake the bed before you do this.

3. ‘You’

Now it is time for the child to do the task on his own – while you stand around and offer help ONLY WHEN ASKED!

If your child can do the task well you can now assume that he is ready to take the responsibility of getting the job done.  No more excuses.

And don’t forget to congratulate him on learning a new skill!



Jul 28

The simple answer to the question ‘How can I help my child learn?”

By Dr. Patricia Porter | Develop learning skills , Learning how to learn , Parent Power

A magic trick that any parent can do

A magic trick that any parent can do

There is one question that parents always ask -“What’s the best way to help my child learn?”

They expect me to tell them about tutoring programs and textbooks that they can buy or how to help with homework.

Well, I have a simple answer, but it is not the answer most parents expect.  And, despite it being the most effective way to help kids learn, many parents are just not ready to hear about it.

Are you ready to learn what it is and then to do the work that makes it happen?

The one most effective, efficient, easy to do, guaranteed to succeed, powerful, proven strategy that leads to your child’s success is SHOWING your child how to learn.

And it is so easy to do.

All you have to do is show your child that you are learning and let them see the process you are going through.

Want your child to learn to read?  Let him see you reading.

Want your child to love math?  Let her see you enjoying math problems

Want your child to get good grades?  Let him see the effort you put into doing good work.

Does adopting this strategy mean that you have to change things? Well it might, depending on what you are showing your child right now.

But what is  a little lifestyle change when, for no money, little time, no retraining and hardly any effort you can guarantee – yes GUARANTEE – that you can turn your child into a better learner.

Now that is a tip worth having!



Jul 21

Does your child know how to learn? Three ways you can make this happen

By Dr. Patricia Porter | Develop learning skills , Learning how to learn , Parent Power

Portrait of a happy girl showing her school report

Does your child know how to learn?

Are you sure?

The #1 reason children underachieve in school is because they are missing one or more to the basic skills that help them know how to learn.

Whether you know it or not, you are always either helping or preventing your child from learning these basic skills.  You are always influencing how well your child learns.


Well, not so fast.  It is really easy to help children develop the skills they need to become good learners and do well in school.  All you need to remember are the 3S’s

#1.    Show 

Your child loves you and wants to be like you. Show your child how to learn by learning something yourself and talking about it to your child.


#2   Share

Sharing tasks is a great way of helping your child learn how to do them, helping them learn the skills they need to get tasks finished.


#3   Say

Be careful how you speak to your child, ask the kind of questions that make him or her think and use the skills that lead to learning


3 simple ways you can help your child learn how to learn and develop a  lifelong love of learning.

Now that wasn’t too scary was it?

If you want to know more sign up for my free report and get weekly tips on how to help your child succeed in school.



Jul 15

What a difference a day makes!

By Dr. Patricia Porter | Develop learning skills , Learning how to learn , Parent Power , Provide extra support , Work with the school


I can read now!

I can read now!

Do you remember this song….?

“What a difference a day makes
Twenty-four little hours
Brought the sun and the flowers
Where there used to be rain”

The song is about falling in love but 24 hours (or only a little longer) can  change rain into sunshine and flowers for children who are struggling to learn.

Jenny is a bright Grade 3 student but she was only reading at Grade 1 level.  She hated reading.  She did whatever she could to avoid it.

No child should hate reading – something had to be done.

An assessment of her learning  showed she was a visual learner who had been taught to read using phonics and was trying to  read by sounding out every word.    No wonder reading was difficult for her.

When she was introduced to a visual approach to learning to read – (looking at the words and the shapes they made) reading began to make sense.

Jenny soared.  In three weeks her reading level went from  Grade 1 to Grade 3!!

Ok – this didn’t happen in 24 hours – but increasing reading level by two whole grades in just three weeks, well, that is even more impressive than falling in love.

I can’t help you fall in love but I can help you make a difference in your child’s learning life.




Jun 25

3 Stress Free Ways to Stop the ‘Summer Slide’.

By Dr. Patricia Porter | Develop learning skills , Learning how to learn , Parent Power , Provide extra support


Avoid the summer slide!

School is out.  Summer is here.

Everyone want to have a good time and that does not include having to do schoolwork!

But all teachers know about the ‘summer slide’ – kids can lose up to three months of learning during the summer.

All because students ‘switch off’ from school type work.

Some students go to summer school. This can help keep them in a ‘thinking mode’.  But what about this kids who don’t go to summer school? What can parents do to help them avoid the summer slide?

I have read several articles that tell parents to buy workbooks and to set a work schedule for their child.  This seems like a lot of work and I doubt parents have the time or energy to follow through.

So here are three simple, practical, ways you can help you child avoid the summer slide and be ready for the new school year.

1.  Talk to your child.

Summer is the perfect time to help your child learn more about the world.  Talk about what is in the news,  what TV programs she likes, what activities he wants to do and why.

Use this time to really get to know more about your child and to help him or her get to know more about you.

2. Expand experiences

Can you take your child to your work for a day?   Can you help him or her get a part-time job?  Set up a schedule for household chores – after negotiating which your child will do and which you will do – and expect him or her to be responsible enough to do them.  Talk about your school life, what you enjoyed and what you didn’t.  Ask about your child’s school life, talk about feelings rather than results.

Summer is the perfect time to learn something new, and to keep the brain active.

3.  Schedule time to be together

Can you set up a family games night once a week?  How about a time to go for a walk or even a time to sit together and read?

Your child needs to know that you are there to support him when he needs help – making time to be together is one of the best ways to do this.



Apr 28

A crisis in education – and it affects your child!

By Dr. Patricia Porter | Develop learning skills , Learning how to learn , Parent Power , Work with the school


I read recently that in Ontario thousands of kids are on the wait list for assessment to determine what support they need in school.


Even when they have been assessed, resources are spread thin and many children will not get the support they need.

Waiting two or three years for an assessment is as useless as many children will be so far behind that they will never catch up.

What can parents do?  How can they ensure their child gets the support that he or she needs, and get it NOW?

Don’t wait until your child’s learning difficulty has become  a learning problem.  Try one of my programs and get the advice and help you need immediately.  Your child deserves it.

Sorry – but I get really upset when i read that children and parents are having to wait years to get a learning assessment.  That is why I created my own – ones that parents can use now to help children learn.



Apr 14

How do parents matter?

By Dr. Patricia Porter | Develop learning skills , Learning how to learn , Parent Power , Provide extra support

The Homework Hassle

The Homework Hassle

‘We have not really figured out how parents matter’, states Keith Robinson, co-author of ‘Broken Compass: Parental Involvement with child’s education’.

Well hello!  Perhaps the authors haven’t been reading my blog.

But maybe they can be forgiven because Robinson also states that ‘Just because you think you should be … supporting your child’s education  doesn’t mean that … your support… is effective’.

Surely we know that too?  Every parent who struggles to help kids with homework worries about how effective their help is.

Robinson states that what you believe is more important than what you do. Rather than helping with homework parents – you – have a bigger impact on your child’s success in school when you believe in your child’s long term potential.

Mmmmm … I sense a problem here.  Belief in your child’s potential is fine, but belief without action seems counterproductive.

Don’t get me wrong. I really believe that parents should be ‘stage-setting’ (Robinson’s definition of how parents can support their child’s education in an effective way).  In fact I call it ‘setting the scene’ for learning.

But there is something about the way the results are reported on that riles me.

Robinson seems to assume that parents are happy with how they are helping children learn.  My experience shows that parents are constantly looking for help and advice on finding the best ways to support their children’s school success.

You don’t need telling what doesn’t work, you need help discovering what does work for your child.

That’s why I started Leading to Learning.


Jan 13

Myths About Learning #1

By Dr. Patricia Porter | Develop learning skills , Learning how to learn , Parent Power , Provide extra support

Tick mark and Cross mark icons on a simple scales.

Your child is either bright, average, or not so bright –

and there is nothing that can be done about it!

Totally untrue!

It used to be thought that children were born with a certain level of intelligence and that level stayed the same for the rest of their lives.  Children were condemned even before they had started learning!

Remember the old IQ test?  I even worked in a school which catered for children with an IQ of between 60 and 80.  The kids were labeled as ‘slow learners’.

Nothing can have been further from the truth.  Yes, these kids had learning difficulties but once they had gotten the help they needed they overcame their difficulties and – guess what  –  their IQ jumped up!

IQ (the old measure of intelligence) is not fixed.  It can be changed.  It can be increased.  A child’s ability to learn can be improved.    I have seen it happen many, many times.

YOU can help your child become more intelligent, more able to learn, more ready to move into the future they dream of.

And, as my mother used to tell me -‘ It’s easy when you know how”