Creating Capable Kids

creating-capable-kids-xl picture NHP

We wrote Creating Capable Kids simply because parents and teachers are expending endless amounts of time and energy to raise “successful” children, yet kids and teens are growing increasingly anxious, stressed, depressed and confused. Even academic superstars are lacking in a host of capablilites, including creative problem-solving, unbiased reasoning and social-emotional skills. Adults are realizing that children need more than academic skills to succeed. … Read More

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Activate Minds and Thinking / Comprehension will Follow

blog photo active learning

Last month’s blog, When Thinking Gets in the Way of Learning, garnered lots of interest. It’s clear that the relationship between thinking and learning is not as linear as most parents and teachers believe. While personally-meaningful thinking is a significant path to learning, there are many ways that children learn that don’t involve slow, heavy and deliberate thinking. Children and … Read More

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When Thinking Gets in the Way of Learning

Not overthinking

Wait! Learning without much thinking? Isn’t this a recipe for not really learning? Isn’t the purpose of education to improve cognitive skills and create good thinkers? Well, of course but… There is a whole side to learning that is implicit, requiring little overt thinking or teaching. While this is readily apparent in young children as they learn to interact, talk … Read More

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Learning About Stuff — Not What You Think

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we knew the easiest and deepest way to learn implicitly with a minimum of explicit effort? Before I tell you how to learn about stuff in a truly “brain-friendly” way I want to share my own experience about brains work. I recently spent a few hours in an fMRI scanner as part of a study … Read More

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An Assessment Dream

If How Kids Learn suddenly became Secretary of Education in some parallel universe we would transform assessments into instruments that helped parents, teachers and children understand, well, how kids really learn. We live in an age of cognitive and neuro-scientific insight into learning yet we use testing ideas from the 1890’s. After a century of testing centered on reading, writing … Read More

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Kids Learn When They Learn to Listen

It’s shocking that an ability which children rely on for up to half of the school day is rarely evaluated nor a major focus of instruction. Listening is the cornerstone to learning, the foundation of reading and critical to reasoning. It is far more important to academic and personal success than learning fractions, decimals or reading strategies. When was the last … Read More

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Announcing Creating Capable Kids

creating-capable-kids-xl picture NHP

Sorry for long delay in posting. We have been working on our book, Creating Capable Kids. It’s done! But will not be available until the end of May. We will be blogging weekly here at how-kid-learn.com as well as on our Facebook Page How Kids Learn. The FB page has over 500 followers and will include briefer, more frequent posts. Here … Read More

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Big L Learning – Changing the Learning Landscape

Friends with backpacks on climbing the summer hill

Most debates about education are a clash over small l learning vs. Big L Learning. Small l learning encompasses much of standards based education – learn fractions, compare two pieces of literature, write a few paragraphs on a predetermined topic. Small l learning also extends to children’s behavior and development by focusing on changing a challenging behavior, or fostering one … Read More

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3 Types of Students / Children to Worry About


There are three types of children parents and teachers should worry about – They are students like Zoe, Mia and Daniel. We should worry about academically-talented students like Zoe, who everybody thinks is doing a wonderful job in school. Zoe’s parents worry about her because she isn’t being challenged, has no creative outlets and complains of boredom. We should worry … Read More

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Don’t Teach Thinking Skills


Everywhere you turn there are intelligent people thinking in crooked, deluded, unreasonable ways. Harvard-educated and Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz, Benghazi conspiracy theorists and global warming deniers, to name a few, are thinking at the higher-levels of Bloom’s taxonomy (maybe with more analysis than synthesis). Like my favorite lyric in a song whose name I have long forgotten says, “thinking … Read More

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