Oct 012013

Alternate Title: How To Make a Bookworm Momma Cry

This infographic was share this morning on Twitter by Brian Wallace, @nowsourcing and it really saddened me. And shocked me.

I am still in shock, really – and so I can’t even come up with anything constructive to say in my introduction of it. Just check it out for yourself and maybe my brain will stop reeling in a little while.

Math is Hard, But Reading is Harder
Source: Math is Hard, But Reading is Harder

 Posted by at 9:45 am
Apr 242006

I swiped a GREAT book from my son’s fifth grade classroom.

The teacher has a semi-circle table all set up with multiple copies of various social studies books for the kids. I enjoy perusing this table every time I am in the classroom.

And one day last week I found a great one! It is called IMMIGRANT KIDS . It is so incredible. It is about immigration into the United States for the average family at the around 1900. It is full of wonderful, in your face, reality-of-how-hard-it-all-was photographs! I realize that last sentence was chock full of grammatical errors, but, I don’t mind because this book is so good and I just want to get my point across, even if it means grammatical errors – like run-on sentences! ;)

I have heard so often about how people came to the “New World” in search of a better life. There was promise and hope and opportunity here in America. Things would be different. Things would be better.

Things were HARD! And this book shows and tells us all about it.

I’d love to tell you more about the book or how I feel about it or my take on it, but, I am getting very sleepy! I am, yet again, up past my bedtime!

So you just need to go find the book – look on Amazon, eBay, or go to your local library. Just check this book out!



Apr 212006

I ran across a great blog by two moms this morning – and it is, in fact, called…Two Moms In A Blog.

The blog is by Heather and Crystal, who have a lot of great stuff to share for moms and families.

And the post that really piqued my interest was about, you guessed it! Education!

Crystal found some really great products recently to get all our little bookworms busy, and keep them happy, as well!

Read all about it here:

Bright Minds Mind Benders – just for teens?

And please don’t forget to:


UPDATE Two Moms In A Blog is now Moms In A Blog and is owned and run by Tracy Roberts, a very cool chick!

And the company from which the Mind Benders came from is now a part of The Critical Thinking Co. and they have all kinds of great stuff.

 Posted by at 3:20 pm
Apr 192006

Well, this week the kiddos in Texas all have more state testing (TAKS) that they are taking.

Yesterday, my third and sixth grader took math and reading, respectively.

I am actually a bit worried about my third grader and her math test – not just her, really. Quite a few of the kiddos in her class were having trouble grasping the word problems that will surely be on the test. In fact, on the benchmark a few weeks ago, the majority of the class scored in the 70′s.

I feel fully confident in bringing her up to speed at home, and over the summer. I am not worried that she is going to drastically fall behind in her schooling.

No, actually my worry is focused a bit more ‘on the homefront’. When she scored a 97 on the reading test, I was so happy for her. And the reason I was so happy for her was that she was going to get to tell her brothers, specifically the 6th grader, that she got a 97, missing only one problem.

You see, these boys, specifically the 6th grader, love to torment her, as any good brother must. She is frequently bombarded with questions way above her comprehension level and mocked upon not knowing the answers. I actually once heard the sixth grader say to her,

“I bet you don’t even know the square root of pi!!”

Yeah, because every good third grader knows the square root of pi! Heck, I’m probably not even spelling it correctly!

So on the glorious day we received her test score, I couldn’t wait for them all to pile into the minivan and be enlightened with the news!

And oh, how ANTICLIMACTIC it was! Would you like to know what Mr. Sixth Grader said to sweet little Miss Third Grader?

*cue snotty voice*

“When I was in third grade, I got a 100 on the TAKS!”


I will definitely have to lecture him, perhaps adding in the threat of losing video games, before these test scores come in. Life – and school – are hard enough without the humans in your house giving you grief over what they perceive to be your failures!



Apr 182006

I am reading the most wonderful book that was loaned to me by one of my daughter’s third grade teachers. I am going to have to return it soon, and I know I won’t get it all finished, so I guess I will be making a ‘trip’ over to Amazon.

The book is called The Read Aloud Handbook and it was written by Jim Trelease. It also includes a giant treasury of great read-aloud books.

I am so amazed by this book already, only a little way into it, that I think I might have to re-focus my whole website/personal mission to get kids reading! We need to be reading aloud to our kiddos! Now that my kids are older, we rarely read aloud to them, I have to admit. Well, that is going to change!

I also found a great article online about this very subject:

10 Reasons To Read To Your Child
By: Dawn Holland RN

We all know that learning to read is important, but as parents what do we do to facilitate this milestone? Reading to your child has many benefits one of which is simply having time to snuggle together.Here are 10 reasons to read to your child.

1. When you read to your child, he/she will learn that reading is important to you, therefore reading will become important to him/her.

2. The more your child hears sounds, the better he/she will process these sounds into words. When a child is preschool/kindergarten age the listening word starts to become the written word.

3. Reading has a calming effect on a restless or fussy baby. Who doesn’t want an easy way to calm a fussy baby?

4. Reading is a wonderful before bed routine. Studies have shown that a child will thrive in an atmosphere in which routines are present.

5. Reading will help to develop your child’s imagination. Have you ever gotten lost in a good book? Your child can do the same while you are reading to him/her.

6. Reading will foster your child’s ability to listen and pay attention. With all the problems we here about concerning attention spans this is a great way to avoid that.

7. Reading to a young child will teach him/her the correct way to hold a book and turn the pages.

8. Reading to your child will develop in him/her the desire to become a reader.

9. Teachers will thank you

10. When a child is read a personalized story book, he/she will be able to recognize his/her name in print at an early age.

Isn’t it exciting to think that you can have such and effect on your child’s ability to read just by reading to him/her? You have the power to develop a life long joy of reading and learning in your child. WOW! Just read.

Article by:

Dawn Holland is a WAHM of 3 boys and an RN with 12 years of maternal infant and pediatric nursing. She is also a Certified Breastfeeding counselor. Dawn owns Books from the Hearth, an online bookstore and gift shop specializing in personalized children’s books and personalized baby gifts. www.BooksFromTheHearth.com

So let’s all get reading to our kiddos!


Apr 132006

First off I have to say that I do have an issue with the state assessments in schools and the high priority they take in our children’s schooling. The principals are put under undue stress, the teachers are put under undue stress, and the poor children are definitely under much unneeded stress at such young ages!

That being said, I am very proud of my 11 year old and my 9 year old! They are in fifth and third grades. This was my 9 year old’s first time to take the test. My fifth grader got a 100 and my third grader got a 97! They did superb and I am so proud of them!

The lesson I take from this and wish to share with you is that a household that nurtures ‘readers’ from the very beginning, often turns out successful students. There are many factors that could make the above statement untrue, i.e., learning disabilities, etc., however, I truly believe that making your house a ‘reading house’ is one of the very best gifts that you can give your children.

A tiny bit more ’state-testing-soapboxing’ and then I’ll let you go. I have been truly blessed, as have my children, that they have not felt the heavy stress of these tests. Based on my experience in and around the classrooms with many of the children, this in no way has anything to do with their intelligence or aptitude with these tests. I have seen many of the ’smart’ kids very upset on test morning. This completely breaks my heart. In my opinion, these tests are making my job harder – they are working against me and what I am trying to do. I want to teach children that reading is fun and guide them to let reading be a warm and rich part of their lives. If our ’smart’ kiddos are stressed over testing -> which is school -> which is READING….that could be putting a sour taste in their mouth for testing -> which is school -> which is READING. Now think of it, if I/we are having to work that hard to re-train our ’smart’ kids that reading is wonderful, how hard will it be to re-train our struggling kiddos? Ok, I’m stepping off my soapbox – I promised I would, but, I really could go on quite a bit more! ;)


 Posted by at 3:45 am
Mar 312006

There is definitely something to be said for the fact that the very first thing I bought for my children upon finding out I was pregnant with each of them — was books!And I drove my sister-in-law crazy when she was pregnant, because, I kept coming over with more books ‘for the baby’!At one point, upon my leaving, my brother called out to me, “Hey sis, next time you come over make sure you bring a BOOKSHELF!” HAHAHA!!

What I am saying is, that fostering a child’s love of learning needs to start early! Ok, perhaps I go a little overboard, but…

You know, I did often kind of worry that my FIERCE love for books and reading would turn my children off of books, but, it didn’t. I definitely have three little bookworms on my hands.

And that has fueled their elementary school careers in such a positive way.

And our latest evidence of this is my middle son, who is 11 years old, has made it onto our school’s Lone Star Challenge team. This is a fairly new program, but, it is basically an academic decathalon for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders.

There was a group of students chosen from each of the three grade levels, and they had to study the booklet provided, and test onto the team. Only four children from each grade level was chosen.And my sweet fifth grade boy was chosen! I am so proud of him!Now he needs to really buckle down and get studying and get ready for the big event.

It is a one day affair. They will test the students, even giving them an essay to complete, and they will even have a game show style quiz! How fun!

I am so excited! Let’s get those kids reading!


 Posted by at 11:23 pm
Mar 292006

This post is totally unrelated to reading, but, pertains to a subject equally as enriching and nourishing – art! This month is Youth Art Month, and in celebration of this, our public library is displaying art by our school district elementary ‘artists’. Our school picked five students to have their artwork on display. My middle son, the fifth grader, was one of those chosen. Although we are a large school district and there was a lot of artwork there, it was still really neat! They held a reception for the featured artists last night, and my little featured artist got all filled up on cookies! I took some neat pictures so I will have to learn how to post pictures on here.

And while I’m working on that, you:


 Posted by at 11:22 pm