Startling Early Literacy Statistics

Startling Literacy Statistics
Come read with me!


I was reading a blog by Edmentum ( a blog about Educational Issues) called ‘By the Numbers; Why Early Literacy Matters’ and it gave some startling statistics such as the following:

“1 in 6 children who are not reading proficiently in 3rd grade do not graduate from high school on time –4 times greater than the rate for proficient readers1″

However, if you do this, you can make a major difference

“Children who are read to at least 3 times a week by a family member are twice as likely to score in the top 25% in reading as compared to children who are read to less frequently1″

Reading is necessary in our world. Reading and writing is a large part of how we communicate, especially in our digital age. If you can’t read and write an email, read Google searches and put together a PowerPoint, you are at a serious disadvantage.

Don’t let your child be that 1 in 6 that isn’t reading proficiently by 3rd grade and then not graduate from High School on time. I’m a High School Guidance Counselor and I can tell you firsthand how disheartening it is to have to tell a parent or god-forbid a grandparent that has traveled from afar for graduation that their child isn’t graduating. I have sat across from these family members and the tears have flowed down their faces.

You can make a difference and the answer is simple–read with your child. Start early and make it a special time. Pick a comfortable place (a lot of people choose the child’s bedroom, but it could be a comfortable chair or anywhere); have a small library of books (or go to the public library and have your child pick out several for the week) that the child can choose which one they want read to them; and read aloud. Change your voice for the different characters; have your child follow along with their finger pointing to the words and even sounding them out with you; and ask questions about the story to allow the child to think about and process the story.

This is a fun time, a special time that will build your child’s reading skills and vocabulary and will provide you and your child with wonderful memories.

Why not start today?

Read the full article here, edmentum

And to help you with a selection of books for your child, I have several written for different ages that have positive messages.

The Lilac Princess unravels forgiveness. A chapter book for ages 8-10.

A Turtle’s Magical Adventure embraces self-acceptance. A chapter book for ages 6-8.

Little Birdie Grows Up encourages perseverance. A picture book for ages 0-5.

Gloria and the Unicorn addresses self-worth. A chapter book for ages 8-10 (currently available for pre-order).

Startling Early Literacy Statistics


The Country Life

The Country Life
The Country Life with green pastures and sweet cows!


Hi Everyone,

I haven’t written from my heart in awhile, but I’d like to share an excerpt of my life with you today.

When I was little, we had a cow pasture behind our house. It didn’t belong to us, but the fence that separated the pasture from our land ran along the edge of our backyard. I loved seeing the cows grazing on the sweet grass while the sun dipped behind the hill they stood upon. Something about this picturesque scene gave me a sense of peace.

When I was going through my tumultuous teen years, there were nights I couldn’t sleep. I would get up and go to the kitchen window that looked out over the pasture and pull up a chair. The full moon would shine on the scene, now empty of the cows. We had a weeping willow just outside the window. I loved that weeping willow. It would sway in the gentle breeze while I sat staring out into the night.

This simple scene would calm my thoughts and lull me back to sleep. Because of this experience, I love the country life and country music. I know I’ll lose some readers here, but the peaceful, clean-living, hard-working country folk are the ones I want to emulate the most.

I grew up in St. Louis, MO. My life was anything but peaceful. We lived in a busy suburb. There was school, self-centered boys, catty girls, peer pressure, and trying to fit in raking through my life when I walked out the front door. But, when I walked out my back door, there was no one, just a beautiful scene and sweet cows to greet me.

I love the country life!

What about you? What brings you a sense of peace in this chaotic world?

I’d love to hear it!

Please share your thoughts in the Comments.

The Country Life
The country life brings me peace in this chaotic time. Read more at

9 Proven Ways to Create Bounce-Back Kids

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This week’s blog post is brought to you by our favorite School Psychologist, Dr. Valerie Allen.

Bounce-Back Kids

Young children are resilient. They pull themselves up from scrapes and bumps. They recover after teasing and insults. They smile again after life’s emotional ups and downs. Children are concrete thinkers. Young children do not usually project the immediate problem onto future events and all the “what ifs” and drama that go with tomorrow and the day after. They tend to deal with events in the here and now.

Parents can support their child’s natural ability to start over, by encouraging them in the following ways:

  1. Adaptability. Children need to be socially responsive. They need to be flexible and develop the ability to adapt to change, “to go with the flow.” They should be able to take things in stride and not overact or get overwrought in response to a change in plans.


  1. Reflection. Children need to develop a higher tolerance for frustration. They need to know their emotional trigger points and understand what sets them off. They should avoid frustrating situations, consider alternative reactions, and minimize the outcome.


  1. Problem Solving. Children should learn to consider alternatives and make choices. They need to seek solutions and view problems as opportunities to be creative thinkers. They need to feel secure enough to avoid “finger pointing” or the need to blame others.


  1. Self Esteem. Children need to develop “self-love” and a “can do” attitude. They need opportunities for self-efficacy experiences to build self-confidence. They need to understand we all make mistakes and things often don’t go as expected. It is not the problem, but how we handle it, that validates us as worthy individuals.


  1. Optimism. Children need to have a positive worldview. They need to have a good feeling about themselves, others, and life in general. They should be future-directed. They should start each day with the expectation of success and live life accordingly.


  1. Warmth and Affection. Children should feel comfortable with a demonstration of affection to and from others. They should be able to give and receive hugs and kisses in socially appropriate situations. Physical touch should be a positive and loving gesture, an indication of caring.


  1. Responsibility. Children should be dependable. They should learn to follow up on tasks and promises. They need to know that others are counting on them. This validates their need to belong, to gain acceptance, and feel significant.


  1. Social Involvement. Children should be involved in their community. They should extend themselves through social activities and service clubs to friends, neighbors, and relatives. Their involvement needs to extend beyond their peers, to family support, and community activities.


  1. Learning Experiences. Children should enjoy learning. Formal education should be viewed as an opportunity for growth and enrichment. Casual learning takes place in day-to-day experiences which provide youngsters with practical knowledge of the world around them.

It has been said that the only certainty is change. We must be able to adapt for physical, mental, and emotional survival. Encourage your children to accept themselves and live in harmony with the world around them.


Dr. Valerie Allen is a child psychologist in private practice. She presents seminars for parents and professionals in the field of child development and has published two books for children:  “Summer School for Smarties” and “Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends”. Oh yes, she has also raised six children!

Dr. Valerie Allen

Licensed School Psychologist ~ Rehabilitation Counselor

101 E. New Haven Ave                                                      Phone            (321) 722-3430

Melbourne, FL 32901                                                        FAX                      (321)  722-3431                                      

Basketball Pin


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(They are called ‘Vault’ because they are secret!)


I absolutely love Natasha Daniels from AT, Anxious Toddler. She is a Child Therapist and is doing a great job keeping up with the technology that our kids know about but we don’t.

Here’s a great article of an App you need to know about called Secret Vault Apps. You may or may not have heard about this little app but it comes in all sorts of varieties in order to appear as one thing (say a calculator) when really what’s hiding behind it, after you put in a password, is a photo of your child that they don’t want anyone to know about, especially you. Scary? You bet!

You may think your child wouldn’t do this or that they are too young, but Natasha says children as young as 10 have come in to her office and told her about this secret app. Other children may be asking for these photos and since it may appear to your child that ‘everyone’ is doing it, they play along. Children do not even think about how this could affect them. It’s up to you as their parent to find out about this technology and snoop on your child’s phone in order to deal with it head on.

Natasha tells you the full story and how to find out if this app is hiding on your child’s phone plus she gives some helpful tips for keeping your child safe.

Read the full article here.


blog post app design


10 of the Best Poems about Mothers

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, you might be looking for something special, unique even for her. Why not share a poem about Mothers? Check out Interesting Literature’s list of poems.

Interesting Literature

The best poems about motherhood

Looking for a classic poem for Mother’s Day? Look no further. Whilst sentimental rhymes and rather sappy doggerel fills many a Mothering Sunday greetings card, these ten poems represent some of the best statements about mothers and motherhood ever written.

Ann Taylor, ‘My Mother’. Ann’s sister Jane Taylor (1783-1824) is best-remembered for having written the words to the children’s rhyme ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’, but this poem, written by Ann, is also well-known and has been much imitated and parodied. It takes the form of a question-and-answer back-and-forth where the answer is always ‘my mother’.

John Greenleaf Whittier, ‘Tribute to Mother’. In this short poem, the American poet John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-92) recalls the time when he was a small child and sat beside his mother’s knee. The poet’s mother restrained his ‘selfish moods’ and taught him a ‘chastening love’.

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New App Allows People to “Live Chill” Together

Move over mall! New smartphone apps let people to hang out online with multiple friends at once. Unlike FaceTime, there is no set agenda. Some are calling the trend “live chilling.” New group video chat apps let you virtually hang out with friends. There is no set agenda and you can watch videos, listen to…

via Smartphones help a new generation hang out online — FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV | News, Weather, Sports

St. Patty’s Day Tools for Teachers

Jump Into March with some

FREE Downloadable Resources for Teachers

(Parents you might like these too!)

St. Patty's Day Word Work

From Teachers Pay Teachers, click here for the link

This is Pre-K through 1st grade literacy activity that focuses on the short “a” vowel pattern. There are 8 picture cards which include short “a” words such as bag, cat, and ham.

St. Patty's Day ClipArt
Graphics by Dandy Doodles at

Your children will enjoy coloring this fun St. Patrick’s Day-themed artwork!

Click here for the link

St. Patty's Day PrepPack

Kinddergarten-1st grade–tons of fun St. Patrick’s Day-themed classroom activities!

Here’s the link

Healing The Silent Hurts

Please read and share this wonderful heartwarming post. We need more of this in our world.

Motherhood Made Me Do It

My son came home today with a giant piece of paper with his name written in the middle, surrounded by several incredibly kind words and phrases that his friends had used to describe him. He was beaming with pride when he showed me. It was, by far, his proudest moment in school to date.
To be recognized and appreciated for who we are, and to know that we are truly seen, is something that we all need in life.
When I was in grade 4, I was the new kid in school. Early on the school year I only had a few friends, and my self esteem was fragile at best. Our teacher decided one day to make the kids in our class stand up at the front of the room one by one so everyone could take turns saying something nice about them. Most of these kids had known each…

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