The Basics

Don’t Miss It!

Early in the 1990s, I knew in no unmistakable terms that I was to serve “the least of these.” Throughout my career as an educator, I endeavored to do that. But late in 2014, I began to ponder the question again with greater intensity: “Who ARE the least of these that I am compelled to serve?”

Since I had spent a good deal of my time in socioeconomically disadvantaged schools, I had always assumed it was “the poor.” But recently, as I began working with a broader range of students, I realized that “the least of these” fit into an entirely different paradigm. The least of these were not just those who had no material advantages. Difficulty in learning, caused by any number of difficulties, became the great equalizer in this regard.

Was it lack of resources? Yes, for sure, but not material resources. The answer lay in cognitive/academic, social/emotional, and physio-neurological resources. Dr. Mary Meeker outlined it in 1975 to the U.S. Office of Education in the Meeker Paradigm. I had known about the Meeker Paradigm since my earliest exposure to SOI. But as of late, it began taking on new meaning as I pondered the reason for the impact of SOI and why it had so completely changed my approach to learning and teaching and set me on a course that would inform the rest of my life’s work.

As I considered the question, I was admonished by a friend, a fellow educator, and grandparent of one of my students, “You don’t Continue reading “Don’t Miss It!”

The Basics

SOI and the Art of Kung Fu

When most people think about “kung fu” they immediately think about Chinese martial arts. I have dedicated a large portion of the last 10 years of my life to the study of Chinese martial arts with one of the world’s last true masters. There are many Chinese martial arts styles which fall under the heading of kung fu: Tai Chi, Wudang, Wing Chun, Choy Li Fut, Shoalin, Wushu, amongst many others. But, you might be surprised to know that “kung fu” actually translates as simply “hard work”. Calligraphists, artists, athletes, chefs, and school children in China are all said to practice kung fu (hard work) because what they do takes concentration and extreme effort to get good at it. In fact, there are tea ceremonies (much like those performed in Japan) which are considered some of the highest forms of kung fu because they take a lifetime to perfect.

So, what does any of this have to do with SOI and what we do with it? Well, this gets to the very root of what SOI is! SOI is both an assessment and a protocol of proven exercises (both with the body and the brain) to improve learning abilities. In my opinion, there is much kung fu involved in both stages of this process and on both sides of the coin (the SOI practitioner and the client).

As we all know, there is a certain art to learning to give the SOI assessment, both in understanding what each sub test is asking of the client, and what you can and cannot say during the test. But, the client is the one really performing kung fu! Taking the SOI assessment is hard work as is evidenced by: rubbing of the eyes, rubbing the temples, running hands through hair, shaking of heads, breaking of pencil lead, etc. Many people are truly exhausted after taking the SOI assessment. In fact, Continue reading “SOI and the Art of Kung Fu”

Testing, The Basics, training

Learning Abilities Testing: How It Works

The key to remedy learning failure is to know why the failure is occurring and to have a systematic approach for eliminating the cause.


SOI tests are tests of learning abilities. If students are having difficulty learning, the cause may be a lack of learning abilities. Learning abilities are more fundamental than curricular skills, yet most “diagnostics” of learning problems focus exclusively on curricular skills, and thus most remedial programs are focused on the same curricular skills. When the usual remedial programs are not successful, the causes of the learning problems have probably been misdiagnosed.

SOI tests offer an alternative source of diagnostic information, and SOI training modules offer an effective alternative by teaching learning abilities. SOI tests are available for ages ranging from five years old to adult. We have BRAND NEW online option for testing! Click here to learn more!


SOI tests profile the following abilities: reading, math, memory, comprehension, problem-solving, evaluation, and creativity. Comprehension, memory, and problem-solving abilities are needed from the first day of kindergarten to the last day of college.

Throughout Continue reading “Learning Abilities Testing: How It Works”

The Basics

Functional, Integrated Education

One of the things we learn by experience is that truth is truth. We know there are certain immutable, undeniable facts that no matter how some may argue, are found to be true. Whether we are considering the realm of the physical or the mental, the concretely understood or the intangible, the “truth” wins out.

Just as the body will heal itself given the right input in terms of nutrition, we also learn that educationally, if the correct methodologies and input are applied, the mind and body will work together to accomplish learning!

Hence, we come to an understanding of functional, integrated education. In the Structure of Intellect, as in good health, we obtain good results by healthy input – the combination of sensory integration, visual skills, and cognitive training.

Just as in strong physically healthful practices, the strong foundation of SOI – the immutable truth of how human beings learn – has yet to be disputed successfully. The Meeker Paradigm points this out:

  • Area 1 is cognition and intellectual function
  • Area 2 is social/emotional
  • Area 3 is physio-neurological

All must be in place for a human to function and learn with efficiency and success.

Years of well-intended ideas, methodologies, schemes, and theories in the world of education only bring us back to these same truths about what works long-term – not just as a Band-Aid to get through the next standardized test – but also as a solution that allows a student to overcome obstacles to their destiny.

Knowing these truths, we at SOI are able to discern and impact learning in ways that no amount of conventional tutoring can. And that’s the truth.

written by: Renee Anderson, SOI Systems Senior Program Consultant

Renee is the founder of EducationPathways in Lubbock, Texas. She has also opened a new center, Synap2it! Learning Center, in the Austin, Texas area.

The Basics

What is SOI? A Tool for Learning Success!

Help your struggling students. Challenge those that are gifted. Give them all a solid foundation for their academic career!

For those who don’t know much about SOI, here is a quick summary:

SOI is a system of assessments and training materials that develop intellectual abilities/learning functions. We equip students with the necessary intellectual skills to learn subject matter, do analytical thinking, become more creative, and, most importantly, learn how to learn.

For those of you who already use SOI, you know this is true! Continue reading “What is SOI? A Tool for Learning Success!”

certified learning, Classrooms, inspiration, learning skills, SOI News, soi-ipp, Testing, The Basics, training, Unique Issues

Building a Real Student Support Team


What if you were able to…

  • anticipate, identify, and intervene with ninety percent of your “at-risk” students in kindergarten or first grade
  • help eliminate students’ self-esteem issues related to failure in school
  • bypass reliance on the observations of overextended classroom teachers for most intervention referrals
  • develop an individual and developmentally appropriate plan to effectively intervene with students by the first semester of kindergarten
  • develop an efficient, systematic, easily documentable Student Support Team/RTI procedure for teachers as well as students
  • significantly reduce your Special Education referrals and greatly reduce the number of non-qualifying referrals

What do schools need besides money?

More important than money, they need the information to make good decisions. We have an education system that demands more of young children than they can deliver developmentally.

The system is demanding academic skills that are not accessible to a child until their motor sensory, visual, and cognitive skills are in place.

Our frenetic lifestyles, work schedules, and testing agendas rob our children of appropriate early learning experiences both cognitively and physically. As a result, we are labeling some students with learning disabilities that, given the right interventions, might never cross the threshold into Special Education.

Teachers are frustrated and dismayed because at least twenty-five percent of their students are not able to do what they are asked academically. They come to a Student Support Team meeting with their concerns. “Student can’t read, can’t spell, can’t do math, and can’t pay attention.” What are we to do? How can the student go to the next grade level without the requisite skills in place? How will they ever pass the standardized tests? Continue reading “Building a Real Student Support Team”

The Basics

The Least of These: A Conversation

Twenty five years ago I stood in front of the storage closet in my special education classroom. It was the second semester of my first year of public school teaching. The bloom was off the rose.

Tired and depleted, I had spent money that I didn’t have to supply and equip my classroom with items that were truly needed, but not in the budget. I sighed and closed the door, wishing I could go home, but knowing there was still much to do to prepare for the next week.

My resolve and enthusiasm was giving way to the harsh reality of the system. I had determined as I began my career in Special Education that no student would endure what my nephew had experienced, even at the hands of well-meaning educators.

But now the demands of high expectation and increasingly low hope had taken its toll as I experienced too many students with too many problems, too little time, and too few resources. There is nothing new under the sun.

“I won’t be doing this next year,” I assured myself. “This is certainly not what I expected when I signed on to this ‘noble profession.’ I am an intelligent, educated person. I can do something else. At least in another profession, I could physically and emotionally have something left at the end of the day to give to my family.”

I shut the closet door, plotting my exit, and was startled to hear these words, inaudibly, yet unmistakably, invade my consciousness, “Inasmuch as you did it unto the least of these, you did it unto me.”

“The least of these?” I stopped, I stared, and I sighed, having recognized these words. Continue reading “The Least of These: A Conversation”