Why Is My Student Struggling?

Posted by The Learning Turtle | September 17, 2015

child-why is my student struggling

Why does my 9th grader’s homework take him all night to finish?

Why can’t my daughter focus? Does she really have ADD/ADHD?

Why can’t my student process verbal instructions but is good at math?

Teachers say my son is intelligent but why can’t he apply himself?

I’m worried. Not again. Someone please help me.

Hold the phone! If these are questions you have asked yourself, please step away from your maze of worry, your mirror, and your microscope of criticism. We are here to help.

If you’ve found your way to our website, likely you or child is struggling in one or more areas at school, or you or your child is doing just fine but wants to excel somewhere. For the latter, good for you! We can help you, too. For this post, however, we will focus on those who are struggling, although the information applies to us all.

Some doctors treat symptoms. Say, they prescribe an antacid pill to mask acid reflux, while your stomach gets sicker.

A good doctor administers tests to find, lo and behold, you have an infection in your bowels, causing the acid to travel back up your esophagus whenever you eat. After identifying the root of your painful symptom, he knows you need antifungals and not a “one-size-fits-all” purple pill. And he checks back in with you until the infection is gone and you can eat normally and happily.

At The Learning Turtle, we try to be the good doctors.

Like the good doctor, we test to identify the root of the problem. Guess what? If you’re having trouble memorizing, the answer is usually not simply MEMORIZE HARDER.

Memory is one of five operations identified by the Structure of Intellect Theory (SOI). Schools usually assume your ability to recall previously cognized material, though they don’t teach you how to do it. Strange, isn’t it? Fortunately, we do!

The Learning Turtle diagnoses and teaches with the SOI model.

SOI is a theory of the functions and products of human intelligence. It was developed in the 1960’s by Dr. Mary Meeker, who was a school psychologist who worked with Army Air Corps doctor, Dr. J.P. Guilford. Guildford was in charge of discovering why the Army AirCorps washout rate was 35% when all of the flight school candidates had IQs of 120 or above. He first developed a cognitive test to place the candidates into applicable positions based on their skill-sets. This helped the dropout rate decrease dramatically by 25%. Then his student, Meeker, adapted it for school-use.

Dr. Meeker identified ninety kind of intellectual abilities, and furthermore discovered that these abilities are malleable. In other words, intelligence can be taught. Symptoms of intellectual deficiencies have roots that can be healed.

We will learn more about SOI in other posts. Let’s return to the first question.

Why is my student struggling? you ask. We can potentially find out. As Dr. Meeker famously said, “We don’t ask how much intelligence, we ask, ‘What kind?’”

Our tutors are waiting to answer that question for you. Just as the human body can heal itself, so can the mind, with the right medicine, and the good will of both teacher and student.


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