Our Story

Academic Tutoring and School Supplies

Our Story


During the past four decades that Nola Smith has been a professional educator, she has witnessed many exciting improvements in the field of education.

She has witnessed improvements in both the understanding of cognitive processes and in the development of technology and techniques for helping people improve their cognitive skills.

In 1971, after her first year of teaching in a regular classroom in the public school system, Nola became interested in researching better methods of teaching children who struggle with learning. But it wasn't until 1974, when she and her husband adopted a five-year-old boy who had learning difficulties, that her research quest blossomed. Nola now found herself passionately seeking to understand how to help her own son, as well as other children with learning problems.

As Nola worked in public and private schools over the years, she deepened her understanding of cognitive processes and learning problems through her experience with a wide range of children and through her continued research.

Finally, in 1986, after 16 years as a professional educator, Nola founded Pacific Learning Solutions.

PLS became a venue of Nola's design, giving her the freedom to implement programs of her choice to assist people of all ages who seek to improve their learning skills.

Nola's staff was soon rewarded by discovering that students with a wide range of learning problems could be greatly assisted by carefully selected and administered programs.

The learning problems include the following:

  • Attention problems
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Visual and auditory processing deficits
  • Memory deficits
  • Dyslexia
  • Reading comprehension problems
  • Math computation difficulties

Today Pacific Learning Solutions offers a number of carefully researched and developed programs to help an interested person improve their cognitive skills.

These programs include the following:

  • PACE — Processing and Cognitive Enhancement
  • Learning Breakthrough
  • LiFT — Listening Fitness Training
  • Essential Learning Systems
  • Academy of Reading
  • Specialized reading and mathematic curricula

Many students who had been struggling with learning have been so greatly assisted that their academic performance has risen to the level of excellence.

Through arrangements with both public and private schools, PLS is also able to offer accredited classes for middle-school students and high-school students.

Although located in the modest country town of Arlington, Washington, about an hour north of Seattle, Pacific Learning Solutions has realized the opportunity of serving students throughout the Pacific Northwest, as well as in places as distant as the state of Pennsylvania and the country of Sri Lanka. Nola and her staff are able to work with students in any location in the world by employing computer technology to train and to monitor progress.

Here at home, Nola offers parent workshops throughout the year and speaks at many diversified community functions.

Two primary topics offered at Nola's workshops are these:

  • How can we best help individuals with learning difficulties so that they can learn more easily and more quickly?
  • How important is lifelong learning to every person?

Nola and her staff find their mission deeply rewarding, for they are able to help families work together, transforming the educational process from an experience in failure to a pathway toward success. The lives of many of the students have been transformed from mediocrity to excellence, as Nola and her staff have endeavored to fulfill her goal of

Unlocking our potential for lifelong learning

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