Saturday, January 13, 2018

Strategies for the New Year....Continued

As we discussed creating goals and writing them down last week, I did the same activity in my own business and life. Below are My Goals and Plans for the year. 

What are your Goals and Plans? I would love to hear them in the comments below! 

Strategy #5: Next, I begin to put them into categories.
1.    Personal Mental Development
     1)   Read one book every week which challenges my intellect.
     2)   One lesson each day with AdVocab (a higher vocabulary learning program)
     3)   Keep a daily journal of the things for which I am most thankful.
     4)   Read Success Magazine, BNI podcasts and literature and other business helps.

2.    Spiritual Growth
     1)   Follow a plan to read through the Bible in one year.
     2)   Study a different book each month on spiritual subjects.
     3)   Teach from what I am learning in church or seminars.

3.    Physical Enhancement
     1)   Sleep at least 8 hours per night and take a 15 minute power nap after lunch.
     2)   Meet with a physical trainer every other month for evaluation and new tasks.
     3)   Daily walks of at least one mile.
     4)   Far-infrared Sauna 5 days per week.
     5)   Weekly and daily Cardio and strength-based exercises

4.    Family and Marriage Desires
     1)   Family Dinner one Sunday afternoon per month
     2)   A weekly date night with my wife
     3)   Find ways each month to bless our children and grandchildren.

5.    Business Plans and Goals
     1)   At least 30 students Attending Stilwell’s Learning Center each week.
     2)   At least 10 Distance Learners each month.
     3)   Stick to the prepared budget for 6 months and review.
     4)   Employ and train 2 part-time tutors and 1 part-time office manager.
     5)   Contract to Webmaster and Face book manager.
     6)   Develop a weekly plan to receive referrals from current clients, former clients, schools, churches, clubs, BNI, etc.
     7)   Take one visitor per month to BNI.
     8)   Interview on a Friday Community radio broadcast.
     9)   Consider 15 second ads on radio stations when budget allows.
     10) Speak to a club or other venue at least once per month.
     11) Develop website blogs to boost internet presence.

6.    Recreational/Vacation Plans
     1)   Train trip to California with wife and granddaughter.
     2)   50th wedding anniversary in Frisco Colorado in August.
     3)   Healing is Here Week at Charis Bible College, Woodland Park, Colorado.

7.    Civic Responsibilities
     1)   Research different community volunteering possibilities, such as city council meetings, Helping homeless children, Salvation Army events, BNI benefits, etc.
     2)   Tithe to Church and give offerings to orphanages in Mexico and U.S. and Africa.

These will become the nuts and bolts of my schedule and my everyday business and personal life framework for the New Year. Month to month, I might make changes, deletions or additions, but it will still be the basis for a tracking record for the year.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Strategies for the New Year

Every year at this time, most of us set goals or write hopes and dreams for the New Year. New Year’s Resolutions! Zig Zigler used to quip that he would always wait until March to start again with the gym workouts, because by then the parking lots would not be as full. Unfortunately, that is about the amount of time resolutions last.

Amazingly, when I sit down and carefully think through my hopes and dreams and quests for the New Year, I find that most of the past year’s goals have been accomplished, even when I don’t always look at them again after first taking time to write them down. Here are my personal strategies concerning my 2017 New Year’s goals or resolutions:

Strategy #1: I make a distinction between a vow and a resolve. A vow is often a negative form of a resolution. For instance, I can make a vow never to be upset ever again. Well, the first time I might get upset, it backfires by accusing me of being a failure. If, on the other hand, I resolve to be more patient with myself, the first time I become upset with myself, I look at it as part of my learning curve. After all, Babe Ruth struck out more than he hit the mark, yet it was the batting average that placed him in the hall of fame.

Strategy #2: I carve out several hours at the beginning of January to think about the past year and be thankful for what has actually been accomplished in my life. Usually, it is a humbling experience, because I find that more often than not the accomplishments were not only of my own doing. I think God initiates the ideas and at the same time gives an order as to how they might take place. I realize how much I depend upon partnering with people who are there to help me with the dreams and goals.

Strategy #3: I admit to and take responsibility for the failures of the past and let them go. They were mine, even though often caused by outside influences. It will not do any good to take them with me into the future, though I can learn to avoid similar failings in the coming year.

Strategy #4: I begin to write each goal or resolution or desire just as they come to me. I can always polish them up later. The object is to first have a vision and WRITE IT DOWN. Later I can make it plain and give it feet. If I don’t write it down it gets lost with all the myriad thoughts that go through my brain.

Strategy #5: Place my goals or resolutions into categories. (Next week) 

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas 2017

Christmas is a fascinating time of year. Think about how it was in Galilee and Judea during the days of Herod the “butcher King” and Caesar Augustus, who proclaimed a census to take place over the Roman Empire.

Mary, young girl who is barely child-bearing age is promised to her legal husband, Joseph, but not permitted to have an intimate relationship until he had been approved by the family of Mary and probably Mary, herself.

Mary appears to be in a direct line of impressive forebears, as well as Joseph. The messiah, the anointed one with the anointing of God, was prophetically promised to be in the line of the great King David. Surely this would be no problem since Joseph was in the direct line of King David. Yet, the circumstances of the birth of Jesus, the long sought messiah of Israel, were otherwise.

Joseph honored God and had a heart open to the things of God. He appeared to have a heart of mercy. When he found that his betrothed wife was pregnant, he surely was broken-hearted at first, yet did not want to see his seemingly “unfaithful” wife stoned. So, he devised a plan to quietly divorce her.

The girl, Mary, had encountered Gabriel, an archangel of God, who told her she was going to have a son who would deliver his people and be the redeemer of mankind. There are enough verified instances of angels even in our modern day experiences to no longer doubt the scripture about the veracity of angels. They are God’s messengers.

Mary readily accepted the angel’s pronouncement and tells him she is honored to be the Lord’s handmaiden. She probably didn’t understand all he meant when he told her she would conceive, not through Joseph or any other man, but that the Spirit of God would impregnate her. However it is not hard for us to believe that she knew the moment it happened.

She followed the lead of the angel and goes into the hill country to check if he was correct that her aging cousin, Elizabeth, was already in her sixth month of pregnancy with the one who would become John, the baptizer. Perhaps Mary wanted to make sure she wasn’t going crazy. Sometimes we can believe something for the moment and question it in the distance of time.

As it turns out, the moment she crosses Elizabeth’s threshold the child in Elizabeth’s womb leaped for joy in the presence of the seed of God in Mary’s womb. Elizabeth gives her famous and awesome prophetic word concerning Jesus. Mary magnifies the Lord and her spirit rejoices in God her Savior.

She seemed to understand that she was the one who would be called blessed, by becoming the mother of the Messiah, who would have all the DNA necessary for a man, except there would be no necessary chromosomes signifying a human father. Instead, he would be born of a virgin by the supernatural touch of our Loving Heavenly Father through the Holy Spirit. The one to be born would be Emanuel, God with us, Redeemer of Mankind and his name would be Jesus, Savior.

When you celebrate Christmas or even Hanukah this year, realize that you are celebrating the true Light of the world. The One who’s light never goes out. The one who promises that the darkness which seems at time overwhelming at all its levels of evil intent will never put out the Light of God. The prime factor of light is that in it, there is an absence of the “dark side”.

The Light of the world is still Jesus, the Creator who became a child with the blood of the Loving Heavenly Father; who came to die for the entire world’s sinful iniquity and to redeem mankind and make a covenant as a man with God Almighty in our behalf. Then he died and rose from the dead, conquering death itself.

That’s the God/man who is no longer a babe in a manger and who we celebrate on the fascinating day called Christmas. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah Light!

Friday, December 8, 2017

We Get Results!

As report cards are delivered and end of the quarter approaches, remember to not get discouraged with your child's current results! We are here to help you and there's still time to get those grades up before the end of the school year! We Get Results! 

Many years ago, a parent asked the school principal why after several years in special school programs, her child made no progress and in some ways regressed. Then she said, “I finally took my child to Stilwell’s Learning Center and he has progressed several grade levels this past year.” The principal remarked, “Well, they do get results!”

Since that time, our byword or branding has been We Get Results! Here are some of the reasons I believe we get lasting results:

1. No matter whether a student is diagnosed or suffers from ADHD, Dyslexia, Learning Disabilities, spelling, poor reading accuracy, poor reading comprehension, poor grades, poor vocabulary or learning frustration of any kind, we believe every student can learn to excel. We don’t put roadblocks of impossibilities in their way. Dyslexic students have completely conquered dyslexia. ADHD does not have to remain a problem and new focusing skills develop. The characteristics of different types of Autism have decreased and the student has begins to excel.

2. We diagnose for causes rather than just symptoms.

3. Many children have been “dumbed down” by harmful medications given for non-diagnosed or misdiagnosed ADHD.  It appears much of the medication often destroys brain cells and takes the natural curiosity, ingenuity and energy away from those students. Parents complain that their child is no longer the pleasant creative person he/she used to be. The grades might improve, but usually the root cause of learning problems still emerge the next year to be a problem all over again. Omega 3 supplementation is just one example we suggest parents investigate. Sometimes students seem to change overnight with such natural supplementation. Our learning programs also help eliminate dyslexia and ADHD and many other kinds of problems.

4. Encouragement is one of the key elements of our tutoring methods. Encourage, Encourage, Encourage. 

5. To get really good results, we also use a method call Auditory Visual Impression Pairing of information. Every 2-3 minutes the student works on a completely separate exercise in reading or math, increasing their focusing skills while impressing the brain to retain the information that has been sealed by both auditory and visual input and application.

These are just a few reasons we get solid results with children, teens and adults. With our specialized type of instruction, students receive, lock-in, and retain information as well as build logical connections which help restore even damaged areas in the brain. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Encouragement and Persistence

Over the years I have witnessed the importance of both encouragement and persistence.

When I was a teenager, I was given the task of building an addition onto a home. The wealthy business man came home on the weekends and instructed me for the work week ahead. It was to be an adobe house with a tile roof and decorative tiles on the steps and entry area.

In order to even start on the project, I had to dig out a very tall and mature palm tree. I must have worked on that tree with my pick and shovel for hours, when the lady of the house came out with some much needed lemonade in the 110 degree sun. She told me I needed to rest and drink the lemonade. Actually, I had just heard a voice for the 3rd time call my name. It wasn’t her. I had just realized it was somehow God speaking to me to get out of the sun for awhile when she came with the lemonade. I was determined to get that tree loose and out, but encouragement was what I really needed to be refreshed, both mentally and physically. The home was later written up in a magazine as “an island in the sky” with a Latin beauty to it.

I remember once, helping a 2nd grade girl with penmanship and sound-blending words. She had many learning difficulties and found writing and following instructions very difficult. As we do with all of our students, I kept encouraging her and showing her how to form the letters correctly and blending the sounds of the words without stopping her voice. After awhile she began to succeed. A glow came over her when she realized she had finally spelled the words correctly by sounding them out and writing them correctly. It was only her second day at Stilwell's Learning Center and she was already feeling more confident.

Another time, while I was in the grocery store, a parent of a former student proudly told me her son was now taking pre-med courses at the university. This student had also needed much encouragement and training in persistence. In turn, her comments encouraged me that I had been a help in preparing him for his life goal to be a doctor.
If you are in a position to encourage a child, a young person or even an adult, just think how it might influence him/her. You are an important person in the life of that person. Don’t underestimate the power of encouragement to mold a spirit of persistence into someone in need!

"Be like a postage stamp. Stick to it until you get there." Harvey Mackay 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Short Biography of Chuck Stilwell

After graduating with his Bachelor’s degree in 1964, Chuck Stilwell became part of an 18-man team sent to Zaire, Africa, which is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. From 1964-1967 he helped train about 100 hand-picked students to become leaders in their country.

Returning to San Diego in 1967, he became Vice Principal and teacher with the San Diego, CA, City & County Schools for 2 years in Outdoor Education, which serviced 24,000 6th graders per year.

Between 1969 and 1972, he taught 5th and 6th grades in disadvantaged schools in San Diego for 3 years. It was during that time period he developed a private learning center in San Diego and was soon supervising 15 other centers using the same program he helped to promote.

Chuck Stilwell earned his Master’s degree in 1972 in Human Behavior & Education with an emphasis in educating those with various learning deficiencies. His Master’s Thesis included a project which involved testing the lowest-scoring 150 students in an elementary school of 900 students. He then took the lowest 75 of those students and developed a plan to teach them reading, spelling, vocabulary, focusing skills and cursive handwriting. The students were pulled out of regular classes 5 days per week for 45 minutes per day. By the end of the 7 month project the students gained an average of 2.7 grade levels in reading accuracy, comprehension and spelling, and vocabulary. That was significant, since most of them were regressing before attempting the programmed tutoring.

After 10 years in San Diego, Mr. Stilwell and his family moved to Arizona, where in 1980, he again established a learning center in Sierra Vista, AZ and remains its present owner/director.

For over 47 years, Mr. Stilwell has continued to help students achieve at least 2-3 grade levels improvement usually during periods of 6 to 12 months. Some have been seriously handicapped with learning disabilities, dyslexia, ADHD symptoms or autism. Others just needed advancement.

Mr. Stilwell has been contracted by Expressways To Learning®, Inc. to consult in 14 states, American Samoa and Sonora, Mexico and with the Apache Indian Nation with learning labs using the nationally acclaimed Expressways To Learning® Reading and Math systems in public and private schools and learning centers. He also oversees ETL’s distance learning program. Among other things, he is writing a strategic manual for home businesses to be ready for publication in 2018.

In his spare time, Chuck enjoys landscaping and working with his acre of plants, fruit trees and garden. His wife, Sue, owns S&S Tours.  They both enjoy traveling during vacation times to other countries as well as exploring our own country. Chuck enjoys reading, writing, hiking, family and church activities.

He is having too much fun to retire anytime soon!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Did you know?

There are Advantages of Learning Cursive Handwriting 

One advantage of cursive writing is that each word consists of one continuous line where all elements flow together. The brain learns better that way. That is perhaps why the brain is disturbed by some of the rap music, whereas it is benefited by the fluidity of certain symphony music, such as waltzes and polkas.The rhythm in cursive writing promotes the automatic nature of the writing task. After correctly learning cursive handwriting, attention can be directed to the message to be conveyed.