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Keys to Learning at Genius: When Learning Doesn't Come Easy. Full Article (17 minutes)

Updated: Feb 19

The biggest lie in education, in my 46 years of experience, is that the diagnosis of a learning disability is treated with the same amount of expectancy and urgency as a life-threatening illness. Parents go through the same grief and mourning stages of death. Many marriages don’t make it through the anger, naming, and blaming stages.


Why? Learning disabilities are not a life sentence. Learning disabilities are just a list of symptoms, based on algorithms that vary from district to district. I have had students who have qualified for a disability in one district, 15 minutes away, not qualify in the next district, with the same scores! The truth is that these symptoms have just highlighted the exact curricula that can be used to treat their ability with tutoring, therapy, curriculum, and strategies. There are Kingdom keys to discovering the genius in your child and releasing them into their potential. Let me introduce to you the first key, the Identity Key – may your child say, “It unlocks the gift of me.” 

 


Key #1 - Newsflash! There is nothing wrong with your child!


There is nothing wrong with the fish that is thrashing around when it is taken out of the water. It just doesn’t have the language to say, “Hey I’m a fish. I need to be in the water.” It’s fine, it just needs to be put back in the lake. Being out of the water didn’t disable the fish’s ability to swim. There is something wrong with the environment. It is lacking what your child needs to survive. If your child is thrashing around, your child needs to be thrown back into the river of life so that your child can thrive. Holy Spirit, we need help! Give us the keys needed for this child and this family’s breakthrough.


Here is a story of hope...

I met ‘Baseball coach Dad’ for the first time one day when he picked his son up from tutoring. His son was not reading. Dad explained that, while at a baseball convention, his son, a fourth grader, became fascinated with the pitching machine. The child proceeded to ask the inventor of the machine all about it. Then, he went home that same weekend, and built a pitching machine on his own, in the garage! He was a genius! Dad also explained that he had put his son in every position on the baseball field, and his son had failed miserably. Dad coached his son in pitching, starting with the fundamentals, and slowly built up his skills to mastery. Then he became an all-star pitcher on a traveling team! Holy Spirit highlighted that moment to me and froze it in time. Unbeknownst to Dad, he had the Kingdom Key! The hidden key was isolating one position and one skill, and building up each skill slowly until he was so fluent in all his skills that he became one of the best in the league. Using this Kingdom key, he soared from kindergarten to fourth-grade reading skills in several months.

I pray that this story fills your heart and mind with hope. Your child’s challenge has a kingdom key. May you gain wisdom, revelation, and the tools you need!

This leads us to your child’s second key, the Joy Key - may your child overflow with love from the throne above. May your child splash in the overflow of Perfect Peace, the Joy of the Hope set before them.

Key #2 - Every brain is gifted, and every brain has challenges. 


Your child is wired for their destiny, gifts, and calling. Your child is a gift from the King, a hidden treasure. Brian Sheppard, a hero, and TikTok influencer, shared with my Camp Genius families that your child is a “seed of infinite potential, limitless genius that multiplies for generations.” “You are on a treasure hunt to discover your child’s gifts and talents.”


Most entrepreneurs, founders, professional athletes, farmers, managers, and CEOs of international companies have the traits and symptoms of ADD/ADHD. They need that ability to pay attention to everything at once! For farmers, emergency responders, and people on the front line of every accident, crisis, and disaster, this ability saves lives. Every one of them has learned who, what, when, and where to focus their attention. Most importantly, to operate in their geniuses they need to know their “why.”

 

Your job is to help your child discover their why, coach them through their challenges, and to train up their God-given talents so that they can soar. Here is the challenge of ADD/ADHD.

Every child has a time limit, a window of time that their memory is open for business. When the window is shut, it's very much like a computer freezing, it is unable to function, and it needs to be completely shut down, rest, and reboot. For kids who need to be in motion or kids with teachers who do not ‘get them,’ that's when you will see behavior. Please understand, that behavior is communication! Pay attention to what they are paying attention to. What is their body language, mood, and attitude when their window is closing or when the window is closed? Teach them to feel when that window is shutting and how to reboot and return to joy. (My Camp Genius students and I have created a form for you called, Returning to Joy, listed in the additional resources.) Wow! So, Karen, are you suggesting that my child can learn to focus? 

                          

Yes! Attention, focus, and concentration can be taught. Dyslexics can anchor into their memory the direction, order, and sounds of their letters. They can read above grade level in their field of favor, where they are championed, not just tolerated.


In fact, I authored a book about teaching all the developmental milestones needed in the

brain for a child to be able to sit down and do paper and pencil activities. Here’s a clue: It is by developmental milestones that we introduce new concepts, not by grade level. With Kingdom Love and Patience, those frozen at a developmental milestone can be trained, using their five senses and a lot of repetition. These are the vulnerable ones, in the body of Christ, mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:22. NIV “They are the weaker indispensable” vital organs. In the body of Christ, we, as the ribs, need to wrap around them with boundaries of LOVE.


I believe in you. I believe in the God who works with you and confirms His word with miracles, signs, and wonders! This leads us to the third key, the Hope Key - may your child wake up every morning embracing their future full of hope.

"You are on a treasure hunt to discover your child’s gifts and talents." – Brian Sheppard, a hero, and TikTok influencer.

Key #3 - Every learning challenge has a Kingdom key. 


These challenges are met and overcome with the keys of the Kingdom! It is not a "make it or break it" factor if your child has a diagnosis, or the symptoms of a diagnosis. Nor is it a factor if your child struggles with attention, focus, concentration, or in a subject area. There are strategies, curriculums, therapies, tutors, and coaches, for every season of your child’s life. If you match what your child learns to how they learn, it will help them overcome challenging areas and soar in the area of their gifting. 

 

The first responders’ minds have discovered their gifts and their wills have chosen to use these gifts to continue to train and hone their attention, focus, and concentration skills on who, what, when, and where to focus. Their passion drives them to improve and train to save the lives of others. Their ‘why’ helps them have the courage they need to get through the hard days. They are heroes. “A person of distinguished valor, (intrepidity), bold courage, or enterprise in danger; a great, illustrious (well known, respected, and admired for past achievements), extraordinary person; as a hero in learning,” Noah Webster. Your child is a champion. “A champion is a hero, a brave warrior,” boldly facing their challenges and discovering their genius.

“Genius is the peculiar structure of mind, which is given by nature to an individual, or that disposition or bent of mind which is peculiar to every man, and which qualifies him for a particular employment; a particular natural talent or aptitude of mind for a particular study or course of life; as a genius for history, for poetry or painting”. Noah Webster. 

Your child, fashioned and formed from clay, carrying God’s breath, has a God-given disposition toward any of the “Seven Mountains”: Arts & entertainment, business, family, government, media, church, education, and every combination in between. Focus on your child’s gifts! Give them grace, and use prudence and wisdom in their areas of challenge. Here are the gifts of the most common learning disabilities:

  • People running successful businesses are three hundred times more likely to have ADHD. *The gift of ADD/ADHD symptoms.

  • NASA hires 50% dyslexic because they are gifted in problem-solving, 3dThinking, and spatial orientation. *The gift of dyslexic symptoms.

  • The genetic markers for autism and genius are the same just in varying degrees. Dr Temple Grandin spoke to Silicon Valley inventors, entrepreneurs, and geniuses as the room broke out into applause. *The gift of the autism spectrum.

  • People who have been trained in job skills, mentored in job skills, and shadowed in job training programs, have successfully found and kept jobs regardless of their IQ and functioning. *The gift of a developmental delay.

"Autism is a very big continuum that goes from very severe, where the child remains nonverbal—all the way up to brilliant scientists and engineers. And I actually feel at home here because there's a lot of autism genetics here." – Dr. Temple Grandin, The World Needs All Kinds of Minds, TED2010.

Now you know why labels don’t stick in my world! I see a child’s gifts, the family’s gifts, and the gift in the way a child processes new information, how their memory works, and their academic skill level. I partner with teachers and parents to design a curriculum roadmap to match how a child learns to what they learn. I use their gifts to pull up their challenges. Not every child is wired to be the best in every subject. Not every traditional teacher knows how to work with a gifted brain. Pray and match your child’s challenges with a kingdom, coach, tutor, or teacher. Don’t be surprised if your child’s best teacher is you!


I encourage you to allow your child to meet the minimum requirements in their class subjects of challenge and accelerate their classes in the subjects of their giftings. For example, a child who may struggle in math, yet is gifted in English may take consumer math and AP English. God knows the potential of your child. He knows the end from the beginning. Ask HIM. Partner with the Holy Spirit to design your curriculum in each season! This is Kingdom Education. Whatever skills your child is lacking doesn’t have to disable them, it can highlight where you need to instruct and train them in the way that they should go.


I’m going to share with you another story of hope...


At a homeschool convention, I met another special family. The teenage son was particularly impressive. In the parking lot, I watched him be intuitive, load and unload a truck for his family business, and then supervise his younger siblings, while amidst 2,500 people. He was incredibly kind and personable. He was gifted. Yet, at the time, he was unable to read fluently and had challenges with math, writing, memory, focus, attention, concentration, listening, and following directions. Pay attention to what your kids do well. I was given the opportunity to work with him. This young man excelled in a crowd of background noise while performing some of the same skill sets that he failed miserably when I assessed him one-on-one in a quiet environment. Unbeknownst to the family, they held the kingdom key. They had already made the impossible possible. The questions I explored with the Holy Spirit were: What did his family do? How did they train him to help run the family business with background noise? They came into my learning center and camps and were eager to learn. They gleaned from every curriculum, strategy, and spoken, and unspoken lesson. 


With this eldest son, there was no formal diagnosis, which made it easier because it's a process to break off the lies and the mindsets that come from receiving a diagnosis. Some of the lies I tear down with the Lord are: something is wrong with them, that they are disabled, unable to learn, and that they have a ‘learning disability life sentence.’ Thankfully, in this case, we didn’t have to battle those lies. Instead of a negative label, I was able to call out the gifts as I saw them and follow My Curriculum Roadmap.

 

Following my Curriculum Roadmap, mom had brought her son to a level of success. The only thing that remained to work on was the ability to focus. Pay attention to your child. Gifting resides inside those kids who need to be in constant motion. The antidote for this child was allowing him to hang from the beam and do pull-ups, wall sits and push-ups, squats, planks, and burpees in between subjects. A year later, Dad, as a basketball coach, grabbed me in the hall between classes and told me that his son just wasn’t getting basketball. I painted a word picture of how his son learned new information, and how his memory worked. I told him the story of my baseball player. This gave him a testimony of hope. Three years later his son went on to college with a full basketball scholarship! All those beam pull-ups, squats, and planks may not have made a lot of sense at the moment, but looking back,

they showed his genius; he was preparing for his calling. For my families with kids who are in motion, this child needed deep tactile, sensory stimulation at his joints and learned how to use it to self-regulate and control his attention, focus, and concentration. For my families with kids in whom learning doesn’t come easy, he went on to college! In college, he told his mom that he had discovered a learning center that helped him figure out his new classes, “Mom, it was a room full of Karen’s”, he found his tribe, a place that championed him and didn’t just tolerate him and built a bridge from his high school academics skills to college so that he could keep his basketball scholarship. There is a kingdom key for every challenge in every season.


You may say to yourself, ‘Yes, my child is a gift, but how do I get my ‘gift’ to do the math when he would rather build a Lego set, and when given a choice would rather take out the trash or pick up the poo in the yard than sit down and be tortured with a math book?’ How do I get my ‘gift’ to sit down and read when she is spinning and dancing and would rather tell me every detail of the last movie she watched? I’m glad you asked! Are you ready for the next key?


This key is going to take a lot of patience in the line of duty. You are on the battlefield of mind and body. It is going to take your child’s spirit and soul, partnering with the Holy Spirit. It will require your intentional planning, and maybe advice from a naturopath, functional medicine, doctor, therapist, or coach or two to overcome the next challenge. This leads us to the fourth key, the Love Key - may you overflow with love from the throne above. May your child splash in the overflow of God’s love and yours. 


Key #4 - Your child’s behavior is their communication.


For every gift that the enemy is trying to disable, there is an equal and greater gift on the other side of that challenge. You might not have words to describe the challenge, and your child most likely won’t have language to express what they need. Take the time to interpret their behavior. Get to know your child by asking questions led by the Holy Spirit. Talk to your child, and people who know and love your child. (My Camp Genius students and I have created a form for you called, To Know Me is To Love Me, listed in the additional resources.) It all starts with your child’s name.


At Camp Genius, in 2022, Rodney Thompson, a student of Reinhard Bonnke, shared, “Your child's name has meaning. It holds their character, their DNA, and their future full of Hope! When anyone calls your child’s name, they are calling forth your child’s destiny, gifts, and calling!” Lord, I pray that you send myriads of angels around each child to protect their identity, destiny, calling, gifts, and talents. I pray that every time someone calls their name there is an increase and release of Your angels. May they feel the tangible presence of your love and be everything they were created to be and do everything they were created to do! 


At Camp Genius, we have learned that Kingdom Education is to teach the whole child, spirit, soul, and body. Revelation 22 education. We begin in the throne room, and jump into the River of Life, to empower and grow each child to flourish in their identity, talents, and gifts, and discover their destiny and calling.

"Our human spirit, our intellect, our genius sentiment, the center of our emotions and passions, is subject to divine influence." – Noah Webster, (https://webstersdictionary1828.com/)

The Holy Spirit. The Triune God. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the Divine Influence. Miracles happen when every dimension of our spirit, soul, and body is one with our Creator. This is when you can truly partner with the Holy Spirit to discover the genius in yourself and your child. Then plant that seed, your child, in the right soil, with the right nutrients, in the right season, with the right amount of rain and sun. In the right climate, with the right plants, friends, family, and coaches around them that champion them and not just tolerate them. Firmly rooted and grounded, this seed, your child, bears fruit and more seeds, multiplying for generations for King and Kingdom.


Let’s talk more about the body and brain. The computer was invented after studying the human brain. Like a computer, your child’s brain needs data, (input), and programming, (framework), to function. Every child gathers new information, and data, into their memory through their five senses. Your child is either going to get their programming through you, the Kingdom of Light, or from any other source, the Kingdom of Darkness. Family, school, and church are a three-braided cord that cannot be broken. This programming is the framework, through which they learn, grow, and have their being. It is the lens through which they process and store all information. This is where your child's sense of right and wrong, good, and evil is filtered.


The family, church, and school mountains need to be a predator-free zone AND that three-strand cord needs to be Kingdom. If it has not always been a kingdom and free from predators, repent and ask your family for forgiveness. You can start rebuilding the walls of protection like in Nehemiah, back-to-back, arms locked with your spouse. You get to reestablish Him as Your Strong Tower and the Head of your home. He gets to call the shots.


“There is no junior Holy Spirit.” Pastor Lenny and Tracy LaGuardia have spoken this truth to my own children since the ninety’s. Each child's spirit, soul, and body are ignited, transformed, and renewed with the fullness of the same Holy Spirit promised at Pentecost. So, we need to model and bring our children into encounters with the One True Living God. Be born again daily, beholding the King and to know who they are as sons and daughters. They can be filled with the Spirit and be renewed in their minds daily by the washing of the Word. They can enter into a covenant and learn how to rule and reign as citizens of the kingdom: princes and princesses. We need to bring our children into our conversations with the Lord, to sit in His presence and hear His sweet and gentle voice, and learn to be a friend of God. This is the foundation of your child thriving and walking in their God-ordained potential. This is how you train your champion. On this firm foundation, you build their identity, using the Kingdom's keys of joy, hope, and love. When learning doesn’t come easy, you build out your child’s gifts and talents. You train your child’s character and basic skills in areas of challenges.

If your child still has learning challenges, then you need to look at how your child is inputting data and how the data is being collected through the five senses. Think of it like a garden hose. If the hose is clogged, the water can’t flow. For example, if the letters are getting mixed up, check their vision. If their vision is good, then it's the hose or connection from their eyes to the memory. This connection may be getting letters flipped, turned, or mixed up. If they can read and not mix up their letters but mix up their letters and words when they write, the hose from their memory to their hand is clogged. There is a diagnosis for each of these ‘oversimplifications,’ but hey, in my world, diagnoses and labels don’t stick. Unclog the hose. Whatever doesn’t come naturally, teach it. Break that skill down to the smallest parts that they can do, and then build up from there, just like my baseball and basketball Dads did!


When you are coaching areas of challenge you need to make sure that your child’s emotional gas tank is full. One mom taught me to do that by:


Key #5 - Discovering and speaking each other’s learning styles and love language:


At the beginning of my educational therapy days in the nineties, I went into a home to help a mom who was in tears. The mom felt so guilty because the only thing that seemed to help her daughter was putting her daughter in her son’s room which they painted deep blue with glow-in-the-dark stars and planets. So, in the daylight, the mom felt like she was sending her daughter to the dungeon, while she laughed and sang with her son in the bright sunny kitchen. I tested her daughter. She was mixing up her letters and a little behind in reading, BUT her visual memory was her superpower and workbooks were her friends! I tweaked the kind of workbooks to include letter reversals and visual memory as the road to reading. She was also highly distracted by anything that moved and any sound. Anything she did hear sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher. So, we made sure that she was practicing skills that she had already learned when working independently in the solar system room. The mom planned activities that her son could do in another room so that she could spend one-on-one time teaching her daughter new concepts.


Concerned, she later asked me to test her son, and sure enough, Mom was right about needing to separate her kids for them to be able to learn! He was very talkative, needed a lot of motion, had poor auditory memory, and had challenges in listening and following directions. That’s why the mom would sing, dance, and stand on her head to get his attention to get information into his memory. The very things that her son’s memory needed were the very things that impeded her daughter’s ability to learn!


She did the love languages quiz with her whole family. She made sure that, regardless of the different learning environments, each family member felt loved in their own love language. Huge smiles were on the parents' faces when I left. Dad hugged his wife whispering how incredible she was. They called me something like, “The Homeschool Doctor,” making house visits. My mission was to affirm and confirm what a great teacher she was, customize how she was using her curriculum, and supplement with some visual therapy for her daughter in the form of workbooks and auditory therapy in the form of computer games for both her son and daughter. 


We are now closing in on the finish line of this chapter. May the Holy Spirit fill you with love, joy, and peace that surpasses understanding. May you know and receive your God-given identity! May the Father give you your next steps. May your child(ren) be the first fruit of your prayer. And may you experience a breakthrough that lasts a lifetime! Pay close attention to the end of this last story, this could be your child.


EVERY BRAIN IS GIFTED AND EVERY BRAIN HAS CHALLENGES 


There was once a child who, when he was little, had a big head and was labeled mentally retarded. All his teachers said that he was “unteachable.” His math teacher said, “That’s right, I can't teach him because he already knows everything that I know!”


Pay attention to the child in front of you. Just because you don’t understand them doesn’t mean that they will not create the next invention or harbor the next idea that completely changes our world.

 

Why couldn’t this child be put in accelerated math and science classes by teachers, mentors, mathematicians, and scientists who love what they teach? Why couldn’t this child be assigned a social skills coach, and simply have tutors in his areas of challenge? 


His teacher sent home a note saying he was unteachable. Instead of his mom reading that note word for word, she improvised and told him that he was too smart for his teachers to teach and that he was going to change the world!”  


He was home educated, and trained in piano and violin, which helped build and strengthen those genius neuropathways he already had. He hung out with mathematicians and applauded when they solved great problems. As a young adult, he spent years developing his social skills in art galleries and museums. Sure enough, it was a mom who was right again!


This child was Albert Einstein, and he DID change the world!

There was not just one way to teach Albert Einstein,

and there is not just one way to teach your child!


It's time to discover the GENIUS in your child!

 

The adventure is finding the right key, for the right door, in the right season...



I am just a tap-a-way! (™)

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