Dr.Carol Brown is a special needs consultant with the Home School Legal Defense Association for struggling learners.
We are privileged to work with many parents who homeschool and who have adopted children from across the world. Our desire is to equip parents to implement Equipping Minds with all of their children. If you have a child who is struggling academically, behaviorally, socially, personally or who seems to “learn differently” please contact us. Carol and her educational therapists can work with you and your student individually either in person or online. We request that parents participate in the sessions to equip them to learn how to develop their child’s cognitive abilities throughout their academic career. Carol also teaches Equipping Minds Workshops where she trains parents and teachers to use her cognitive development training exercises with their students. Parents can also purchase the Equipping Minds program on the SHOP.
Classroom Connection with Equipping Minds Once the underlying cognitive skills are strengthened, the academic skills become easier. Though we do not train specifically in math, English or other academic subjects, the students are taught to make the connection to those subjects through vocabulary development, visualization of letters for spelling and reading, oral and written expression, reading comprehension, attention skills, study and outlining skills, and visualization of numbers for math facts and math sense. All of these skills are required throughout life. By improving and automating these skills, the key to learning fast and efficiently is discovered. The Equipping Minds specialist can provide support in writing and curriculum selection if needed.
A Homeschooling Mom
When I adopted my daughter, we learned that she has FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder). I have been homeschooling her since 2012 when the educational psychologist that assessed her recommended to homeschool her saying that the school she was in did not understand how much difficulty she was having nor were the doing the things that would help her to improve. He recommended I learn a phonics-based reading program, and I became a trainer (this was in the UK). He also recommended using Cogmed (to increase working memory). When I moved to the US, I had the opportunity to become a coach for Cogmed.
I have tried many curricula and it has been frustrating. This past year at the homeschool convention I spoke with Andrew Pudewa, and he recommended some neuro development. I searched high and low and amazingly this year HSLDA brought on board with them Carol Brown from Equipping Minds. They wrote about her in a recent newsletter. I quickly realized that her work would probably help my daughter and we started in early September.
I have been amazed at the results for my daughter and I want to share this with as many people as possible. I have seen that the problem is not with most curriculum now … it is with my daughter’s need for greater cognitive skills. With this hope and also with the fact that this work would not be done in public schools in such a comprehensive way – more people would be able to stay homeschooling. I know that school is not the place for my daughter. I have been told and because I taught in a high school in England before homeschooling my children, I have seen that it would not be a place for her. However, I also believe many people struggle with children who “get stuck” at a level and can go no further or struggle greater. I believe many of them would be helped by Carol Brown and her work.
I have been astounded at the progress he has made in his cognitive development. As a homeschooling mom, it has been much easier to teach him because his mind is assimilating things much quicker. Amy
Serena is 14 years old and has Down’s syndrome.
My daughter Serena has been doing daily therapy with Carol since last July. Serena is 14 years old and has Down’s syndrome. I have always homeschooled Serena and her siblings and last year I found to be my hardest year schooling her. We just weren’t progressing as I had in years last. So I put a call in to talk with a consultant with the special needs department at The Homeschool Legal Defense Association about some suggestions to help me in deciding what to do to best help Serena learn and progress academically. The consultant suggested Equipping Minds to me and I promptly put a call in to Carol for a consultation.
Serena has been working with Carol consistently since then. The cognitive improvements that she has made have impacted many aspects of her education. I am going to attempt to explain some of them. For example, Serena before working with Carol had only just begun to do multiplication. Since then, we have progressed through learning all the multiplication, she now knows all her division facts and can do long division with and without remainders.
Serena’s ability to generalize understanding is progressing also. For example, she is learning fractions. I made three meat loaves for dinner. We ate one of the three loaves and during cleanup she said, mom I have a fraction for you. “You made three meat loaves.”
“We ate one of the three, that’s one-third of the meat loaf!” I said, “that’s right and what fraction of the meat loaves are left?”Serena said, “two-thirds”.
She also is showing generalization in her vocabulary and spelling words. She had barge and eavesdrop as words last week. She used both of those words in sentences during conversations. She used barge as a verb, which wasn’t the first meaning in the dictionary but the second one. She used eavesdrop appropriately in a sentence by complaining that her little brother was eavesdropping on mom and dad’s conversation. I feel Serena’s visual discrimination has markedly improved. She can scan pages much more easily and find what she needs. I even see it in tasks she does around the house. Her memory is vastly improved. Her ability to concentrate and stay on task is increased. Her recall of more abstract subjects such as history and science is improved. Her handwriting is better. Her attention to detail isn’t a burden anymore, she is the one paying attention to the details and improving upon them when needed rather than mom pointing it out.
She shares more of her heart when I ask her to write. Her ability to answer the hard questions of how and why are getting much easier for her. Sometimes not even difficult for her at all. How and why questions in the past required a great deal of breakdown to get her to the point that she can finally answer how or why. Now it is much, much better. Reading comprehension has always been hard but with different strategies that I have employed through Carol’s suggestions, I see that she really does understand what she has read, it just wasn’t being observed in the way we were going about it. It is SO much easier discussing what she has read by adding some very common sense methods to ascertain her comprehension of the material. It’s fun too!
Serena loves therapy. Just today when we got done she said, “the dots were hard”. She said, “yes they were but you stuck with it and you did great!! Hard is good!
And she said… “hard is VERY good.”
Equipping Minds has built her confidence. Carol talks to her like a regular 14 year old, no dumbing down vocabulary or rescuing her when it gets too difficult. Serena has matured and wants to do the hard work. Serena knows that Carol has daily expectations of her and she seeks to meet them. We all need to be setting and meeting goals and expectations for ourselves, with or without special needs. Equipping Minds has been a very effective way for Serena to achieve that. People notice her high functioning ability. I recently took Serena to the doctor and he said something like she is so mature for having Down Syndrome. Most kids I see are very child like.
To close and to go back to where I started, this has been a great school year with Serena. We have covered so much material. More than I anticipated covering based on years past. We are at the end of her math book and we still have 40 more school days.
I am very thankful to have the opportunity to homeschool my daughter with special needs. When I began this schooling journey years ago, I went into it with high expectations and great hopes for what Serena could have the ability to do. And with that, I never thought I would be saying that my daughter knows all 50 states and capitals, 45 presidents, and long division all accomplished in about a year’s time.
I am eternally grateful for the work of Equipping Minds. I love the beliefs that they have in these kids and I wholeheartedly believe in the methods they employ in improving the cognitive skills and expanding the skills that special needs kids can be a part of.
Thank you Carol! Serena says, “you’re my friend!”
Thank you, Lora Busch
A High School Mom
We are so pleased with the program results we are seeing with our now junior daughter! She has always struggled with being paralyzed when faced with several aspects of work. As an tenth and upcoming eleventh grade homeschooler, and wanting her to move into a more self directed schedule, we began her program at the beginning of her summer break.
Over the summer, even without school assignments, we began to see her self esteem really begin to shine. She was already a bright girl, and outside of school, really had an easy time of relationships and other commitments, so we knew that it wasn’t a matter of shyness or lack of ability, but we couldn’t figure out why nothing else we tried with her worked.
We are well into her junior year and are seeing a different student. Even with a heavier workload, more papers, more intense projects and chemistry!, we see a girl who is getting all her work done every week, and has much better quality as well. It’s like the whole world of resources has opened up to her, and she wisely chooses which of those she will use to accomplish her work assignments. We couldn’t be happier with the results of this program, not only for the academic achievements they made with our daughter, but for the self esteem that it’s help build.
We’re so grateful for everything that Kyle and Carol Brown put into each of their students, we just can’t say enough about the program!