Is Your Child Really ‘Too Thick’ for Private School or Do They Maybe Not Know ‘How’ To Learn?

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‘Middle-class parents need to accept that some children are just too thick for private school.’

This headline about private school education from The Telegraph newspaper might be true, however one of my very early PhotoReading Coaching memories from 10 or so years ago was working with a teenage client who had been thrown of out his private school for not making the grade.  Within hours of working with him I had already seen a transformation.  I also had a Harry Potter actor, also called Daniel who got an unclassified in his mock exams.  I have shared below the magical and miraculous thing that happened after just a couple of sessions with me . . . .

Do you need to admit that your child is 'too thick' for private school?

Do you need to admit that your child is ‘too thick’ for private school?

My client  was accepted at the private school because his older, and traditionally academically bright brother was already a student. My young client however also had dyslexia and dyspraxia to contend with.

Within an hour of our sitting down together to do the private PhotoReading Coaching Session he was showing signs of what I call #AhaMoment #Genius.

Within 2 hours he had proven to himself that he could not only read, recall, and remember new written information with seemingly little or no effort, he was also able to do that thing where he could open the book at exactly the right page to find what he was looking for. What made this a double wow was that it was one of his dads books that we we had randomly pulled off the bookcase behind us just to demonstrate a point.

Within 24 hours he had assimilated what I had shared with him concisely and clearly enough to be able to teach his sister the principles of PhotoReading; something which astounded his mother because he and his sister rarely spoke at the best of times.

Not only did he go on to pass his exams, albeit at the local comprehensive school having been deemed ‘too thick’ for private school, and attain a good grade in history, a subject which had been causing him major problems because of the amount of data, facts, figures, and written information (which can be an added challenge when you have both dyslexia and dyspraxia), he also went on to achieve many things which his previous lack of confidence might have otherwise denied him.

And, not only that, his mother and I, had a Facebook exchange about him earlier this year because I noticed he was celebrating a milestone birthday and is now all grown up, and he is still doing brilliantly!

The Magical Ripple Effect

TranceFormations TM water drop logo - A catalyst for lasting change and transformation

TranceFormations TM water drop logo – A catalyst for lasting change and transformation

I ran into his mum a couple of months later when I was in M&S doing a bit of grocery shopping, and I remember her excitedly sharing with me that he got a B in his history exam, and had spiked his hair, got a Saturday job in WHSmith, and got a girlfriend!  Now I can’t lay claim to the hair, the job, and the girlfriend.  What I do know however from the 1000’s of clients that I have worked with over the past 16 years, is that when your confidence in yourself begins to soar in an area that you had previously thought was unattainable or out of your reach, it can have a miraculous knock on effect, what I call the ripple effect, in so many other areas of your life.

As one of my PhotoReading Workshop attendees shared with me during a recent Coaching Session having had other people notice big changes in her when she returned to work after completing the weekend course:

"Marilyn I don't know what you've done to me! I've moved so far from where I was 2 months ago."

“Marilyn I don’t know what you’ve done to me! I’ve moved so far from where I was 2 months ago.”

The client above works for an investment bank in the City of London and  has raised their own family who have now flown the nest.  By their own admission, they had gone through their entire life holding themselves back and not speaking up even when they knew they had great ideas to share, so this doesn’t only apply to the A Level students and university under grads who are just about to embark upon life.

So are some people just too thick to learn?

There are people who may not cut out for traditional academia. Others however just haven’t been shown ‘how’ to learn in accordance with their own personal learning style.  Once you get that, the world really is your oyster, whether you want to take that on an academic route or something more practical.

The ‘Harry Potter’ Effect

Several years ago I was running mini PhotoReading Classes at a school in North London as part of their educational enrichment programme and there was a student called Daniel who was also an actor on the Harry Potter movies; and no, it wasn’t ‘that’ Daniel!  He had failed his mock exams and gotten an ‘unclassified’ which is believe is kind of as low as it gets.

Of course one might say he was artistic rather than academic.  Given that he was still at school he was required to do a resit, and Mr Birch, the Deputy Head suggested that he take my class.  A couple of weeks later he re-took the exam and passed it with a good grade, a B I believe.  When Mr Birch asked what he had done differently his reply was:

“I just did what Miss Marilyn said to do.”

The school had some wonderful results using a host of what might be considered my weird, wonderful, and cutting edge techniques!

Queens Park School Testimonial: "Marilyn is always rated excellent."

Queens Park School Testimonial: “Marilyn is always rated excellent.”

I have shared a collection of  some of these ‘failure’ stories and the miraculous results we’ve achieved when people learnt to PhotoRead in a compilation Blog: The Blog posts also give tools, techniques, processes, and strategies that you can use to overcome these problems and academic challenges.

As delegates always discover once they make the decision to attend a weekend class, PhotoReading goes way beyond reading and helps to improve and enhance your creativity, intuition, confidence, problem solving skills, memory, self-esteem, analytical skills, oh and yes, you also learn to read faster!

As one of my PhotoReading Workshop attendees who was writing an academic submission paper at the time put it:

“I can really recommend this workshop if you want or need to absorb information quickly and with depth. Don’t assume or mistake it for “speed reading.” 
Its a really valuable tool and the week I came back from it I wrote a great 1000 essay on something I knew little about within 3-4 hours research included…without plagiarising.
Plus Marilyn is a really engaging lovely trainer!”

So What Did We Do?

In a nutshell I took him through the 5 Steps of the PhotoReading Whole Mind System.  Each of the steps takes just minutes to do, however you can see that they pack a really big and effective punch.

Step 1 is about getting physically and mentally prepared so that your mind, brain, memory, and physical body are all working in alignment.  Once you have the technique down you can do this in as little as 20-30 seconds, so I recommended that he get himself into this ‘accelerated learning state’ during classroom lectures and most importantly whilst studying and during his exams, because you can then recreate that same accelerated learning state in the exam room, or office meeting room, or in front of the camera is you are using this for business or public speaking and presenting.

Step 2 is about previewing what is to come so that you develop that all-important sense of familiarity because the mind and brain work best when you are familiar or at least have sense of what is to come.  This step takes just 60-90 seconds, so I again recommended it as a strategy for reviewing all class notes and new course material.

Step 3 is where we started reading at 25,000 words per minutes.  Given that on average you typically read at 150-300 words per minute, that is pretty fast . . . . . Until you realise that people like TV personality Paul McKenna has done tests reading at up to 1,000,0000 words per minute, and yes, that’s one million, and then taking comprehension tests and scoring upwards or 70%.  In the context, our starting point is pretty slow!  This step, where you PhotoRead a whole book in approximately 5 minutes, is about doing a data download of the whole book.

We then moved into a little bit of incubation time with me chatting about other things to give the mind and brain time to assimilate the information.

We then transitioned into what we call the postview to start strengthening the new neurological connections, and then into the final stage of Activation.  Here I put some extra emphasis on Mind Mapping because it was much more in alignment with how his mind worked and stored information, and is so much easier for aiding recall during revision and the actual final exams.

In a nutshell that’s it!!!  Very straightforward yet powerful stuff, the results of which have been nothing short of miraculous for people whether or not they were suffering with dyslexia, dyspraxia, brain inflammation, brain damage, autism, and the host of other things that my delegates have presented with over the years.  All of them have walked away TranceFormed and delighted!

If you would like to attend the next live workshop go to:

To take the Online DVD and Skype Coaching Sessions or CD Homestudy Programme go to:

Marilyn Devonish

Teaching Accelerated Learning Since 2002



About the Author:

Marilyn Devonish has been described as the UK equivalent of Oprah Winfrey, Marianne Williamson, Anthony Robbins, a dash of Doreen Virtue, and the trio from Charmed all rolled into one. I (Marilyn Devonish) have admit that was too big of a statement for me to own, but I equally admit that I do like the sound of it and it did make me smile. Marilyn Devonish - Herself since Year 2000.

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