Category Archives: Books

Help Your Struggling Reader Build Reading Confidence

Copy of Power My Learning Twitter Chat

As part of my #SummerLearningChat on Twitter, join me on Thursday, July 17th  at 2:00pm Est with guest Meeghan Mousaw of Sight Sound Reading to talk about ways to help struggling or beginner readers to become more confident readers. Reading is an important part of summer learning, so find creative ways to make reading enticing to your son.

Meeghan will also share tips on helping children with special needs become better readers.  One lucky chat participant will win a Teaching Made Easy Bundle.

If you would like to help teach your student(s) to read, this bundle is a step by step guide -everything you need to know and do to help students to reading success. The teachers manual contained in this bundle consists of 120 daily lessons that take about 15 minutes a day. The students learn new words to read each day. The sight words build upon themselves and the students gain confidence in reading, while learning sight words, phonics, and comprehension. It can be used on it’s own to teach reading, or it is a great supplement to classroom teaching as . It is extremely successful with struggling readers.

The Word Ladder Manual, alphabet manual, sight word books and other materials are great supplements to be used with the program, or on their own to add fun to literacy centers, or desk-time.

This bundled download contains everything you need to teach beginning reading, using Mrs. Karle’s Sight and Sound Reading.

About Meeghan Mousaw

Meeghan Mousaw has her Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame.  She also has her Masters in Special Education from Assumption College.  She re-discovered her mother’s reading program when trying to teach her daughter to read.  She was amazed at how easy it was to teach her, and she loved that her daughter asked to practice reading every day.  Immediately she knew it would be great for ALL children, especially those who struggle to learn to read.  She was inspired to help her mother reach more children with her program.  Meeghan is married and has five children.  Aside from spending time with her family, she loves supporting her alma mater by attending the University of Notre Dame athletic events.

Participating in the chat is simple:

Follow @Sightsoundreading

Join the chat on


Preventing Summer Learning Loss- 7 Week Series

RGM Summer Learning

Join me for a 7 Week series on “Preventing Summer Learning Loss”! Summer is a wonderful opportunity to help your son get ahead of the curve. As much as we want our sons to relax and take it easy, it’s imperative that we provide them with enriching experiences and learning adventures.

Even the American Academy of Pediatrics is encouraging that parents read to their infants.

To participate, sign up for my newsletter to stay updated on interviews on Google Plus,  Twitter chats and Blog Talk Radio.

According to the National Summer Learning Association:

  • All young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer (White, 1906; Heyns, 1978; Entwisle & Alexander 1992; Cooper, 1996; Downey et al, 2004).

  • Most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement, despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains (Cooper, 1996).

  • More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college (Alexander et al, 2007).

  • Children lose more than academic knowledge over the summer. Most children—particularly children at high risk of obesity—gain weight more rapidly when they are out of school during summer break (Von Hippel et al, 2007).

  • Parents consistently cite summer as the most difficult time to ensure that their children have productive things to do (Duffett et al, 2004).

Here are a few resources to get you started for a summer of learning: helps you find and use thousands of F.REE games, videos, and interactives in all major K-12 subjects and aligned to the Common Core.

I’ve asked Dr. Kwame Brown of Move Theory FUNction Community to share a brain game with my community. Here’s his game of the month: Slingshot which teaches physics and gets kids moving!

Also if you’re looking for something to do with your son, check out Michael’s Craft Stores: Passport to Imagination. They have 2 hour classes from 10:00am to 12:00pm for $2.00 each class. Classes are offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays until August 1st.

Also, Groupon has great deals on books and other resources your son will love:
Sesame Street ABCs and 123s Elmo and Friends Bus– $16.99  (74% discount)

  • Sturdy board books
  • Twelve books about the alphabet
  • Four books about numbers 1–10
  • Favorite Sesame Street characters
  • Bus display case

Mighty Machines Children’s 10-Book Bundle-$15.99   (73% discount)

  • Ambulance
  • Bulldozers
  • Diggers
  • Fire Trucks
  • Loaders
  • Monster Trucks
  • Police Cars
  • Tractors and Farm Vehicles
  • Trains
  • Trucks

50 Comic Book Bundle with Collectible Cards– $39.99   (84% discount)

  • 50 comic books, randomly chosen
  • 10 sealed non-sport packs of collectible cards
  • 9 loose non-sport collectible cards

J. R. R. Tolkien Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit 4-Book Boxed Set– $14.99  (58% discount)

  • The Hobbit
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Anime Studio Debut 10-$24.99 (50% discount)

  • Animation software
  • Create comic books or animated scenes
  • Ample tutorials cover multiple functions
  • Built-in characters and scenarios to get users started
  • Enhanced drawing tools
  • Compatible with Mac and PC

Kids’ 4-Book Doodle Bundle-16.99  (57% discount)

This set of activity books invites children to explore ancient worlds, ghoulish beasts, and life on the road. Armed with colored pencils, markers, and pure imagination, they can create funny or creepy creatures within the Monster Doodles book, or draw a cheeseburger in every T-rex’s mouth in Dinosaur Doodles.

  • Dinosaur Doodles for Kids
  • Monster Doodles for Kids
  • Superhero Doodles for Kids
  • Travel Doodles for Kids

Preschool Prep 10-DVD Collection– $39.99  (69% discount)

Preschool Prep’s DVDs captivate children with educational material that’s garnered more than 25 awards. By anthropomorphizing numbers, letters, and colors, the DVDs help children aged 9 months to 7 years easily recognize the characters and understand their functions. Advanced lessons in phonics and sight words deepen a budding reader’s understanding and respect for the written word, even when it’s written mockingly on their forehead as they sleep.

  • Meet the Blends
  • Meet the Colors
  • Meet the Digraphs
  • Meet the Letter Sounds
  • Meet the Letters
  • Meet the Numbers
  • Meet the Shapes
  • Meet the Sight Words 1
  • Meet the Sight Words 2
  • Meet the Sight Words 3

Empower Kids by Giving Them ‘Keys to Peace’

This is a guest post by Rachel Albert, author of “Quest to Telos,” (

Parents and educators are always trying to spark student participation whether it’s in the classroom, in the local community, or throughout the world.

When middle-school students at Allison Academy in North Miami Beach were asked what they could do to improve their country, they focused on what they understood – bullying, violence and racism.

Those problems are all rooted in the same issues, says Rachel Albert, author of “Quest to Telos,” (, a young adult novel where fantasy meets reality and even world peace is possible.

“They stem from a lack of personal integrity and absence of social responsibility,” she says.

“Children who choose to put those values into practice are actively working toward peace. But they can only put into practice what they’ve learned; instilling those values may seem simple, but many parents miss the mark and actually model the opposite.”

Throwing money at social problems like racism or violence doesn’t resolve them, Albert says. But children can.

“The energy from kids’ excitement can make a real difference and we need their energy focused right here at home,” says the mother of four. “They see problems; it’s up to us to give them the tools to address them.”

The following tips can help parents teach their children personal integrity and social responsibility, giving them the keys to world peace.

• Never lie in front of your kids. It may seem obvious, but many parents lie in front of their children or encourage them to lie; misstating a child’s age to save money on movie tickets or allowing them to take credit for school projects completed by the parent.  These seemingly inconsequential lies suggest it’s OK, even good, to distort the truth. This causes long-term damage a million times more costly than whatever was gained in the short term.

• Give your kids a reason why. Author Mark Twain once said that the two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you figure out why.  If you fail to tell your kids why we are here, you have missed the opportunity to
figure out what motivates them and gets them excited. This is the most important key to getting kids’ cooperation and empowering them to help the world.

• Don’t criticize your children. Criticism is toxic, so why do almost all parents criticize their kids?  When we focus on what they aren’t, they believe they can’t. This creates angry children who express their pain by bullying others.  It’s better to tell them how you feel rather than what you think of them, e.g., “I feel frustrated that you didn’t listen to me,” or “Can you say that in a more loving way?”

• Don’t speak badly about other people. This is probably one of the hardest things to do, considering we’re a generation that pays for gossip.  Speaking badly about others teaches kids to look for what they view as the negative in others and take joy in sharing it.

• Model charity. Actions speak louder than any words. When you teach kindness to children, they tend to feel empathy and have more successful lives, a crucial step toward achieving world peace.

Once we tackle the issues plaguing America, then as a model nation, we will be ready to tackle world peace, Albert says. Kids are hungry to form an identity and make their mark on the world. It’s easier to try to bring peace to another country, but that never works. We need to start at home.

About Rachel Albert

Rachel Albert is a certified court reporter and business owner. “Quest to Telos” is her debut novel; it’s being used by a private school to develop an inspirational, critical-thinking curriculum for middle-school students ready by the summer. Albert is currently working on a sequel. She is a staunch advocate of boosting teen literacy while inspiring kids to make a difference starting with their own hearts.

Getting Your Son to Read More with Who?Comics App

Thank you to who?Comics for sponsoring this post and encouraging my child to read biographies in comic book form! Please click here to learn more about the app. And follow who? Comics on Twitter for updates! 

When Clever Girls Collective emailed the opportunity to review who?Comics, I jumped on it. I was especially excited because I am always on the lookout for ways to get boys reading. I also wanted to check it out for the after school book club for boys I am starting in NYC. 

Who? Comics are the real life stories that offer biographies of "10 of our greatest leaders of today and 19 historical figures of the past" .  What's great about these stories are that they are biographies that are read in comic book form.

Since this is an app, my son was happy to join me in reviewing. I think the fact that it is an app fools boys into thinking it's not really a book.  If you're a mom of a teenage boy, you know that reading for pleasure is not high on their priority list. When we first downloaded the app, the first thing that appealed to my son who enjoys reading anime and manga books, was that the comics closely resembled this animation style. That alone was a big plus for him!

He also liked that there was a variety of comics that the he can choose from.  I liked that there is a variety for boys and girls.  Some of the stories that are available are Hillary Clinton, J.K. Rowling, Martin Luther King Jr.,  Barack Obama, Steven Spielberg, etc.  Each download is $4.99 which is a great price considering it's 150 pages and you'd pay much more for a book.  They also have a fun way for kids to collect badges for each story which my son didn't care about. I think younger readers would be interested in collecting these badges. 

We chose Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking. Since he is learning about physics in science class, he was looking forward to learning more about Stephen Hawking.  He found the comic book style less intimidating and overwhelming. He liked that the storie were funny and educational.

Overall, my son liked this app. His only complaint was that they are a bit long, but he when he started reading, he forgot that it was 150 pages.

I will definitely recommend this app as an option for our after school book club and look forward to the developer offering more stories.



Thank you again to who? Comics for sponsoring my post. Please click here to learn more about the app. Visit who? Comics for updates. I was selected for this opportunity by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own. #CleverWhoComics #spon

Oh, The Places Your Son Will Go


Two of my favorite children's authors are Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein. I am a fan of whimsical and fun books for kids.

One of my favorite Dr. Seuss books is Oh, the Places You'll Go. It's all about the childlike wonder of life, anticipating the highs and lows of life and being optimistic.

I think its a book worth reading by kids and adults (because sometimes we forget how great we are!).  I thought I'd share the best part of the book with you so you can share it with your son. Remind him of how much potential he has, remind him of how great he is, remind him of what he has to offer the world. Remind him how he can change the world.


You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest….

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!



Book Review- They’re Your Kids Too: The Single Father’s Guide to Defending Your Fatherhood in a Broken Family Law System


Today, I am providing a review for Anne P. Mitchell's book-They're Your Kids Too: The Single Father's Guide to Defending Your Fatherhood in a Broken Family Law System.

I wanted to review the book because I believe part of raising an emotionally healthy son is being able to have a mature and respectful relationship with his father. It is imperative that as mothers we do not create friction or conflict in the father/child relationship by involving your child in adult conflicts. This book was of particular interest to me because I know that father and son relationships are the least nurtured and in divorce or separation, this relationship can suffer.

A father who is willing and able to provide for his child with healthy and loving intentions should be allowed to do so. Ms. Mitchell's book equips fathers with the tools and resources they need to not only empower themselves with legal information but also information to protect the well-being of their children. The book covers everything from parental alienation, co-parenting to how to ensure that you are not falsely accused of abusing your children. The book provides you with resources in every state as well as a kidnap prevention and emergency checklist.

Ms. Mitchell includes everything a dad will need to protect his rights and not feel hopeless or helpless when it comes to being actively involved with your children.

Ms. Mitchell gives singles dads a road-map to advocating for their rights with her practical and insightful advice. It is clear that Ms. Mitchell not only has experience with helping fathers in the family court system, but that she is passionate about advocating for fathers and their children.

Anne P. Mitchell is a nationally recognized fathers’ rights attorney and spokesperson. One of the first fathers’ rights attorneys in the country, Anne is the founder of,and a leading advocate for children of divorce to have a strong relationship with both parents, even in a social and legal
climate that often seeks to reduce fathers to weekend “visitors”.

With more than 20 years experience in fathers’ rights, Anne has been invited to speak and consult about fathers’ rights issues with judges, state legislators, social workers, and family court workers. Her website is one of the top fathers’ rights sites on the Internet, and more than 12,000 fathers have benefited from the material and advice.

Young Economist-Book Written by 12 Year Old Boy

Give a boy the opportunity to shine and he will! It's great that this young man took the initiative to question our country's economy and wrote a book from his point of view.You can purchase the book on Amazon.