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Reading Instruction and Technology!

Reading instruction and technology become partners in a child’s reading success.  

Things that used to be done on paper can now be done with technology. 
It is important to get students and parents ccomfortable with using technology in the learning environment.

Reading success begins early It starts at birth with parents reading aloud to their children from interesting and inspiring books, talking and singing with their children to develop vocabulary and the sounds in language.  All these activities provide brain development necessary for the reading journey ahead.  Add in activities to target fine motor as well as gross motor development, spatial awareness, and memory to enhance the recipe for future reading success.

Reading is a ‘learned’ skill.  We are not born with a ‘reading gene’.  Reading is taught.  What happens when a child enters school and reading instruction begins?  Your child will be ‘assessed’ with age appropriate benchmarks for reading success.  Your child will encounter standardized testing as well as informal assessment.  Both are designed to guide your child’s reading journey. 

Parents and teachers and other specialists need to ‘partner’ in this journey

Why?  Well, let’s take a quick look at a typical school day. 

Who Has The time?

  • Teachers are stretched to the limit under time and curriculum constraints each-and-every day as shown in this ‘typical schedule.’
  • If your child struggles in reading who is going to have the time to help them one-on-one?
  • How will you as a parent know they are struggling?
  • Will you know in which areas of the reading process they are struggling?
  • Most importantly, will you know how to help them or do you leave that up to the teacher alone?

Technology has a future for the learning environmentThe United States ranks low in International measures for reading success.  Too many of our students are unable to read and comprehend at grade level.  Reading intervention should begin early for best results.  Use of technology will continue to revolutionize the learning environment.  Technology must join the team to partner with parents and teachers in a child’s journey to reading success!

Nuts About Reading

Nuts About Reading™ is a pilot project that proposes the use of an online platform, with secure video conferencing, to identify grade level reading ability.  It measures age appropriate benchmarks for the reading process that include: phoneme awareness; decoding/phonics/sight words; language processing; and passage reading/comprehension.  Many important weaknesses can be identified early in grades 1 through 3, through informal assessment and suggestions for strengthening any weaknesses can be implemented and monitored for effectiveness.  Reading success begins with reading assessment.

Research shows that a child who is not proficient in reading by the end of third grade is facing a challenging game of catch up!  Q:  Who can help? A: Parents with a home computer and internet access. Using technology and a secure video conferencing platform, where the child can see the screener, the screener can see the child to watch reading behaviors, and the documents needed for the child to see are placed on the screen, allows for identification of grade level reading ability!  Parents can be present but they cannot coach their child’s responses.  A summary of the results is sent to parents with any tips, hints, or suggestions, should they be indicated by the assessment.  Safe, Convenient, and Confidential for parents and children.   

Nuts About Reading™ is committed to assuring parents that the sessions with their child are secure and confidential.  Mrs. Cetone, a Reading Specialist, has fingerprint clearance and substitute teacher certification.  No information is shared beyond parents.  This assessment does not replace your child’s teachers, standardized testing, nor is it a clinical diagnosis for placement purposes.  It is designed to ‘supplement’ and act ‘in addition to’ the partnership of teachers, parents, and other professionals.

Email Mrs. C at kristin@buckaroobuckeye.com to schedule your child’s reading assessment now!


Reading Tips and Summer Slide

School’s out! No more reading?? 

How will your kids spend the carefree days ahead?  

Yippee, more time for TV, video games, play, swimming, sleeping, snacks, sports, and the list goes on.  

Did you know that summer can stunt your child’s reading growth?  It is commonly called ‘summer slide.’  It is very real.  Some children can lose up to two grade levels in their reading ability level!  No parent wants that, and take it from a former teacher, your child’s teacher does not want that either!  

Research has shown that teachers typically spend the first several weeks of the new school year refreshing material that kids learned the previous school year.

Outdoor play is a great exercise for mind and body in the summer but don’t forget indoor play and exercise.  Exercise your child’s reading growth!  How can you make this attractive to your child?  Trade in their paper and pencils for technology.  Help them to become comfortable with using technology for reading!  We are in a new learning environment.

Here’s my short list of ideas for avoiding the summer slide.  These ideas will reap the most rewards only if parents participate with their child on these sites.  Don’t just turn on the computer and set your child free.  I also caution that these sites are not meant to be your child’s sole activity for the summer.  Limit computer time while making their computer time worthwhile in maintaining or improving their reading ability!

Ready, Set, Go!

First, start with your local library.   Most libraries have audiobooks and books online that will read the text to them.  Schedule in a library visit at least once a week and check out the offerings. 

Free is always exciting!  Try these sites for books read aloud while your child follows along with the text.  starfall.com; abcya.com; storynory.com [for older kids]; magickeys.com; abcmouse.com; and last but not least, storylineonline.net.   


For some super exciting activities to promote literacy skills try this site, theimaginationtree.com.  There are some really fun motor activities that are both fun and developmentally valuable to do for early childhood.

Speaking of technology, try making your own audio book by taping yourself and other family members, reading your child’s favorite picture book!  And for even more fun, make up your own story or a story both you and your child create, with or without photos or illustrations, and put it all into a Word document or pdf document.  Then go online to naturalreaders.com for a free trial download, upload your document and this site will read your story back to you and your child!  How cool is that? [Note: I have used this site and as a heads up, make it a pdf document if you intend to insert photos or illustrations.  The integrity of your layout will be better maintained than in a Word doc.]

This is a read aloud book to inspire, encourage, and entertain!






Buckaroo Buckeye says “time to gear up for summer and READ ON!”


student concentratingConcentration contributes to self control. There are so many distractions in today’s world.  Children as well as adults struggle with being able to stay on task and concentrate for periods of time.

Have you ever said to your children, “if you would just concentrate you will do better in school” 

Has your child’s teacher told you during a parent/teacher conference that your “child has concentration/focus issues?”

Concentration or attention span is the amount of time a child can focus on something before losing interest.  Every child is unique.  Some children are absorbed in an activity for a long time, while others are unable to focus for a length of time.  There is no right or wrong, as each child will develop at their own rate.  You should not force a child to concentrate BUT INSTEAD provide ways that can help kids develop their ability to tune in.

concentration emoji Reading is the foundation for learning in school, and throughout our life journeys.  Reading success relies upon the ability to concentrate for periods of time.  Reading success requires a lot of ‘direct systematic instruction’ in learning to read.  First is the laying of the foundation to reading or ‘phoneme awareness’, to ‘decoding/phonics’, to ‘language processing’, to the ultimate “prize to reading” which is comprehension!  All of this relies upon concentration.

Developing concentration and attention span begins well before a child enters school, however.


  1. While young, let their attention carry them to explore many things
  2. Provide ways to grow your child’s capability to concentrate with the following activities and be aware of your child’s age/developmental abilities when choosing an activity:
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Matching games
  • Stringing beads
  • Board games
  • Water play: as an example-have your child find 5 items or more that sink/float
  • Use a child’s favorite play item: by example-have your child order their toy cars and/or other toys from smallest to largest or shortest to tallest or slowest to fastest…sort by color
  • Ask your child to take a verbal message to someone, like telling family that dinner is ready
  • Read a page of a story and ask questions about it like ‘what colors they see, how many characters there are, who are the characters, where does the story take place…
  • Take a picture in a book or magazine and you and your child look at it for 30 seconds. Turn the picture over.  Ask each other questions like, ‘what color was the flower or girl’s dress?  How many people or animals were in the picture? Was there anything moving in the picture…’
  • When it’s time to go shopping, ask your child to remember two or three things from the list to remind you of at the store
  • Provide ‘organized’ activities for your child to participate in. Make sure they are developmentally appropriate for your child
  • Assign your child ‘responsibilities’ such as picking up their toys, feeding a pet, making their bed, washing their face
  • Follow a less desirable task with a more desirable task, making completion of the first necessary to perform the second
  • If your child struggles to follow verbal instructions then put them in writing either with words or use pictures and number them if there is a series of instructions
  • Reward your child for beginning, staying on task to completion with such things as TV time, computer time, play time, snacks…you decide
  • When giving instructions make sure your child makes eye contact with you
  • Now You See It…Now You Don’t: I saved this activity for last as it is a great skill building activity for reading and writing success as it addresses ‘digit span.’  Email Mrs. C at kristin@buckaroobuckeye.com if you would like more explanation about ‘digit span’ and ‘reading/writing success’.  Now onto the game.  Place 5-10 objects from around the house on a baking tray or table top.  Have your child look at and name each object.  Now, have your child cover their eyes while you remove objects starting one at a time and work up to three or more at a time.  After you have removed the objects, have your child uncover their eyes and tell you which objects are missing. (some children might respond better if a reward such as a sticker is offered for correct responses)  Put the objects back and repeat the process only this time is a CHALLENGE.  Place the objects in a row.  Have your child look at the ‘order’ or ‘sequence’ the items are in from left to right.  Have them close their eyes.  Move a couple or more of the items around into a different order.  When your child looks again, ask them to tell you which items are not in the original order or have them merely put the items back into the original order. 

Buckaroo Buckeye, Part 2Buckaroo’s Tip to Take Away 
It’s never too young to lay the foundation so start young and make it fun! Concentration guides us through childhood into adulthood.

RESOURCES:  Kidscraftroom.com

Discouraging Words Sprout Fragile Self-Esteem!

selfesteeminfogrphDiscouraging Words Shame and will sprout fragile self-esteem!    

Build Your Child’s Positive Self-Esteem.

As a young child growing up in the 1950s, I was very shy.  My positive self-esteem was low.  I lived in the country and back then play dates were non-existent.  I played with my brother and I invented fun things to do both indoors and outdoors.  Because, are you ready…we didn’t have TV for about the first eight years of my life!  Yes, we had to be creative. But, this is beside my point.  My mother’s daytime was consumed with household chores and my father worked long hours at his career as the responsible bread winner.  My mother was fastidious about neatness and my father held high expectations of my brother and I academically.  As you can imagine, both traits often brought out hurtful words to both my brother and myself.  “Why did you make this mess?”, “Clean up your room, it looks like a pig sty!”, “Don’t track dirt in on my clean floors!”, “You need to study more to bring up your grades!”, “What happened here, you got all A’s and a C.  Why wasn’t this C higher?”. 

Now, I know my parents loved and were very proud of my brother and I.  But, they overlooked the impact of their words.  My shyness became worse.  I was afraid to try things, or speak up, for fear of not being right or making the other kids laugh at me, or shaming myself and my parents.  I spent most of my adult life trying to gain their approval!  In the process, I missed out at a young age in developing my own self-concept. 

The new school year is upon us.  The pressure for kids to quote “be successful” is enormous this day in age.  The pressure to succeed at sports and academics is an immense weight on our kids’ shoulders!  Parents are swept into this pressure and may say hurtful words that discourage instead of encourage our kids.  I know in the heat of the moment it’s not easy to avoid the trap of ‘hurtful words.’  Keep in mind that the more a child is shamed the less confident they become and the more wrong choices they may make.  Kids will conduct themselves based on their life experiences and if they are shamed with constant hurtful words, how do you think they will behave towards others, including their own kids someday?

TIPS for Parents to help develop positive self-esteem in their child:

  • BE PATIENT. It takes time and practice to achieve.
  • REMIND your child that their body is their own, no matter what shape, size, or color it is. They should accept and love these things because they are a part of YOU and make you…you.
  • When your child hears negative comments in their head, tell them to STOP and remember the things they are good at and that they are valuable and special, to the people who care about them.
  • POSITIVE WORD EXERCISE. How do you want your child to feel about themselves? Happy, confident, calm, peaceful, smart, hard-working, cooperative…  Cut pieces of colored paper and write each word on a separate piece and then put up around the house or their room.  Each week, change the arrangement of signs.  These words will become silent reminders to your child of how they can be.
  • WRITE DOWN FEELINGS. When your child is feeling down, help them write a letter to a make believe child who is having a bad day also.  Let your child give the other child advice on how feel good.  As they write the letter, many children discover that their own negative feelings will begin to lift.
  • HUGs and SMILEs. Have your child stand in front of a mirror, smile and give themselves a hug and say “I love you.  You are a good person.”
  • READ with your child. There is a never ending number of children’s books available that speak to self-esteem issues of shyness, bullying, anger management, positive affirmations, good values and more.  Your local library can help or search online on sites such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble.  Don’t forget your Independent Bookstores.  They offer many well written books by self-published authors!  Like me!

    As the years passed, in my adult years, I realized that being proud of my accomplishments, no matter how small, were rewarded from within first.  We all face bumps and bullies as we travel our life journeys of self-discovery.  We all have dreams to follow and passions to fulfill.  We can’t let the naysayers, whether parents or not, hold us back.  This was my focus for creating my children’s book character, Buckaroo Buckeye™-A Little Nut with Big Dreams.  It is not our ‘size’ in life that determines ‘success’.  Today, ‘success’ is measured more often by physical prowess, celebrity, or wealth.  My character is a tiny nut-seed that pushes on despite the bumps and bullies he meets along the way, to fulfill his passion and dream of finding his purpose and worth.

bbcoverBuckaroo Buckeye-A Little Nut with Big Dreams.  A great read aloud book for parents and their children to encourage positive self-esteem, entertain, and teach life lessons. https://buckaroobuckeye.com.




Homework: Yes or No?


Homework has been a part of students’ lives since the beginning of formal schooling in the United States.  Many believed homework could accelerate knowledge acquisition. The mind was viewed as a muscle that could be strengthened through mental exercise which could be done at home with drill, so homework was viewed favorably.    But what about the value of social experience, outdoor recreation, and creative activities?  Then along came rigorous mandated academic standards and the push for homework was refueled. [Gill and Schlossman]

Boy, talk about a roller coaster!  I was raised in the 1950’s and 1960’s with homework at the center of after school and evening chores.  When I was in high school I studied from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. every night.  My parents were adamant however that I go to bed by 10 p.m. because rest was just as important to school success as was my nutrition.

Today, the value of homework is cycling back around to the idea that ‘less might be more’ by both parents and children.  Are we in the midst of another homework revolution?


Reading, Writing and Arithmetic are the building blocks for academic success!  Higher order thinking skills and problem solving is the mortar to stabilize the foundation and can incorporate as your child grows.  I feel any homework should balance these needs while keeping an eye on minimizing stress and pressure.  Homework needs to be tailored for access by all.  Now, the question is HOW SHOULD HOMEWORK LOOK IN THIS DEBATE?

OVERVIEW:  Make homework relevant, first and foremost. If it is extra tutoring help that would benefit your child the most, then that is the focus for your child’s homework.  The following TIPS can be shared responsibilities and include all family members and extended family like grandma’s and grandpa’s.  Make use of technology and places in the community that provide access to technology beyond the home setting, for those who don’t have this access.  Community fundraisers may be needed or seek corporate involvement?

TIP 1:     READING is THE foundation brick to education.  Parents should read with their child every day.  “I can’t read English, you say?”  Well, local libraries and your child’s teacher and school library can help.  Audio books and digital ebooks all offer ways for you to read with your child.  Tape yourself reading a favorite book of your child’s so they can listen to it whenever they want.  Ask your child’s teacher to host a parent night where you can tape books for your child with the aid of others.  PTOs can contribute by sponsoring book fairs, free book giveaways, and family literacy nights at your child’s school.  Don’t forget about the older kids.  They love to read to younger children just as much as younger children love being read to by them.  Take a menu, bus schedule, or article from the newspaper or online and create a reading activity.  For example, the youngest children can look for words with a certain beginning letter?  Count the number of letters in words to see which are the longest?  Circle all the sight words?  Higher Order Thinking Skills:  Chart the findings from smallest to largest number of letters.  Prepare a powerpoint document for sight word mastery.  Put one word per slide and queue the transition rate to automatically flash at 1 word every three seconds or less.

TIP 2:     MATH can be incorporated into a shopping experience.  Maybe you don’t need to go shopping every day but use newspaper ads or online ads/searches to simulate such an experience and incorporate whatever level of math your child needs. No access to ads, try your local library who carry many magazine choices.   Counting the number of objects to adding costs, dividing for unit costs, measurements, smaller or larger, cheaper or most expensive comparisons and graphing.  Create word problems.  For younger students, count buttons or beans…add and subtract using them.  Use favorite recipes to explore measuring and fractions.

TIP 3:     WRITING is putting thoughts to paper or computer.  Encourage your child to journal.  Journals can be hard copy or set up as a document on a computer.  Many times inner issues will be expressed through writing.  Take an example of a real life episode from the news, newspaper, or online, and ask your child to write their thoughts to this: “what would you have done?”  Let your child write the grocery list and have them check the spelling as they go through the grocery while shopping with you.

TIP 4:     HIGHER ORDER THINKING SKILLS are the prize to reading and comprehension.  Ultimately your child will be expected to take the mechanics of education listed above and apply them in real time throughout their life.  Work the development of these skills in while building their educational foundation.

  • Comparison: compare the cost to unit size of food items on a grocery list
  • Prediction: using a bus schedule, predict how long it will take to get from point A to point B
  • Analysis: what are the common factors for a successful soccer game
  • Inference: what is a possible outcome for a child who says hurtful words to another
  • Opinion: how does family time benefit you?
  • Summarize: starting with this morning, tell what things you did today

Parents should be engaged and supportive.  Well-designed homework can strengthen a child’s learning and create connections between school and family and insight into their child’s curriculum.  Homework should be used as an extension to classroom learning and an individual child’s needs.

CALL TO ACTION: Email me at kristin@buckaroobuckeye.com with your opinion on homework.  Start the conversation.

Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites by Marcia L. Tate

Don’t Get Caught on the Summer Slide in Reading!

What Does the Summer Slide in Reading Look Like?

fnlsummerslideNeed a Road Map?

Are you going on vacation this summer?  Going by car?  By Plane?  I remember how much I always looked forward to visiting new and exciting places during my summers when I was young.  Dad spent weeks pouring over road maps to find the best routes to travel to the many destinations we were going to see.

 When it’s summer, I still like to read road maps.  Summer journeys are times to grow.  Here is a road map for parents to help your child avoid the summer slide in reading.  If you and your family aren’t going far away this summer, don’t despair!   My road map will offer your child many opportunities to experience far away places from the comfort of their home through reading.  Yes, travelling is a great way to incorporate reading into your child’s summer schedule BUT your local library or book store can open up the world to your child through books also.

CLICK HERE for this downloadable copy of my road map for reading and avoiding the summer slide.  Let it guide you and your child to many exciting adventures and places this summer.  Follow Buckaroo Buckeye’s blogs and social media this summer for more hints.  

buck1Bon Voyage!


Do You Have a Literacy Plan for Your Child?

Q:  Where does your child’s reading success begin?     A: at birth
Q:  should it be a two, five, or ten year plan?     A:  Reading Lasts for a Lifetime
Q:  How much is this plan going to cost?     A: It’s priceless!

planDid your parents have a literacy plan for you and your siblings? 

Parents are constantly asked to ‘plan’ for things in their lives and the lives of their children.  There are plans for education, career, emergencies, housing, health, vacation, finance, and retirement . . . but what about Literacy

At this point you are probably shaking your head, rolling your eyes, and saying, “you’ve got to be kidding!”  No, I’m not!

One of the most important tools to build the path of our life journey of self-discovery is literacy: mastery in reading and writing.  Reading success is the foundation to our life successes.  Am I saying you can’t have success without reading success? No, but to have sustained growth you need strong literacy skills.  Reading lasts for a lifetime!

Like any contract or ‘plan’, there are ‘terms of the agreement.’  Your child’s literacy plan should be no different.  Rules and regulations should be clear to all parties.  These terms of agreement in your child’s literacy plan may not be legally binding, but should outline clearly what can be reasonably expected.

Start with the Beginning Foundations for Reading:  My Child’s Literacy Plan:  Birth to 3 Years

  • Read, Observe, and Plan. Parents have to recognize the positive traits in their child, what they like and don’t like, can they focus in order to learn? 
  • Are they developmentally ready to learn the skills presented?
  • Am I committed to time, consistency, and patience?



  • It is the responsibility of parents to begin their child’s literacy plan upon their birth.
  • Talk to your baby to develop speech, give your child physical activity every day, play music and sing to develop listening skills, put up mobile’s that excite and engage your baby visually.
  • You and other family members should introduce books by reading stories to your child.
  • Create experiences that excite and engage your child’s senses of hearing, seeing, touching, smelling, tasting.
  • Develop a sense of accomplishment for a pathway to self-esteem.
  • Motivate your baby and toddler with words of encouragement and acknowledgement using a happy voice tone. Body language to a child is very important.
  • As development allows, play games: peekaboo, clap your hands, toss a bean bag, counting… crawl, run, skip, hop, jump, rock and roll. This increases your child’s hand-eye coordination and eye tracking and sense of balance. 
  • Clear out a kitchen cabinet and put items in there they can reach and play with.
  • Color and scribble.
  • Build creativity with puppets.
  • Toddlers love puzzles and busy boxes that give them textures to touch and create with.
  • Introduce science and math into their daily activities and while you are teaching them about rain by watching a rainstorm, don’t forget to go to your local library and get books on the subject.
  • When you introduce nature with a nature walk, don’t forget to read books about nature and animals in nature.  
  • Most importantly, give them your time . . . and take your time.

 Literacy success with reading and writing is more than just words in a book!


WATCH for my next literacy plan Ages 3-6SIGN UP FOR MY NEWSLETTER on my website for more insights about the reading process, and activities to build your child’s pathway to literacy success!


http://www.amazon.com/Learning-Fundamentals-0-3-Early-Years/dp/0806975210   http://www.readingrockets.org/article/literacy-milestones-birth-age-3

Reading Symptoms or Causes?

boy reading

Reading Symptoms or Reading Cause?  Which are you treating?  

Reading is a lot like those spring allergens and treatment!  If your child struggles with reading, do you know their reading ‘symptoms’ apart from the reading ’cause’?  

Do any of you suffer with spring allergies?  Do you just take medicine for the symptoms or do you know the cause, also?  I know, you just want quick relief from the sniffling, sneezing, and scratchy eyes, but if you know the allergens that cause your symptoms…doesn’t that help you more?  You can avoid the cause to thus avoid the symptoms better?

I’ve spent several visits this spring at the doctor.  I explain where the issue lies and what it feels like.  All I have gotten so far are prescriptions (best practices) for ‘symptom’ relief but no one seems interested in finding the ‘source’ (cause) of my issues.  Have any of you, or your loved ones, had the same experiences?  Defeating isn’t it.  You still have the uncomfortable and concerning issues that make your life much more challenging.  Sometimes the medicine helps the symptoms and sometimes it doesn’t.  Maybe it is the wrong medicine and you get no relief so back to the doctor you go. 

Your child’s teacher is very capable of relaying the reading ‘symptoms’ that your child is struggling with in reading.

Symptoms such as:

  • omits words when they read
  • reads the  word wrong but doesn’t stop, and just keeps on reading
  • not able to identify the sound for a letter
  • taking a long time to complete a reading assignment
  • can’t remember what they have read
  • ignores punctuation
  • omits complete lines of text when reading
  • has a limited vocabulary
  • can’t decode multi-syllable words
  • their sight word vocabulary is low
  • your child doesn’t focus on their reading and are easily distracted
  • they performed very poorly on their standardized reading test

…and the list goes on.

So you start your child on the prescribed remedies:

  • increase their reading time
  • take away their play time and make them read more
  • no TV or computer
  • increase their sight word vocabulary with flash cards
  • play reading games
  • don’t give them the word when they are reading but rather suggest they look at other parts of the word, or get their mouth ready to say the sound of a letter, or skip over the word and read to the end of the sentence and let the rest of the words help them figure out the unknown word

Don’t get me wrong!  These are all ‘best practices’ (prescriptions) from the classroom and the many reading experts.  They are scientifically, and research based remedies and necessary skills.

But many times the ’cause’ is much deeper than just the simple application of reading more.   

  • Why can’t they decode a word?  Maybe their foundational reading skill in phoneme awareness is weak.  This is the single most important framework to reading success.  If your child’s phoneme awareness is weak…so to, will be their decoding skills.
  • Your child’s sight word vocabulary is low and no matter how long they practice, they can’t identify those words in text.  Perhaps they need to strengthen their ability in ‘symbol imagery.’  They need to image those letters in those words on the screen in their mind.  Shadow write that image on their screen also.  Repitition at least fifteen times to get it into their brain’s storage room or ‘memory.’  And also, parents.  This is needed for spelling.  Do you have a poor speller?  Chances are they avoid writing of any kind then, right?
  • They just read it!  OMG, why can’t they remember what they read?  Think about this.  When you or your child sees a movie, they more than likely can recount the entire story from beginning to middle to end!  How can this be?  When they read text, they can’t remember a thing?  Will making them read more correct this?  No!  Maybe their ‘concept imagery’ is weak and needs to be strengthened.  They need to be able to image what they are reading in order to remember what they read.  Movies are nothing but ‘images’ so recalling the movie and its parts in sequence is much easier.  Think about it!!!

So, where is this all leading?  Parents, you are your child’s first responder to their reading symptoms AND causes.  It is your responsibility to monitor their grade level reading ability for ‘symptoms’ and deeper rooted ’causes.’  I am a Reading Specialist and can help you monitor your child’s grade level reading ability with informal reading assessments.  Done at least twice a school year will allow you to seek help in strengthening the weak areas of their reading process.  Maybe this alone is not showing progress in your child’s reading.  It may be necessary to look deeper for the ’cause.’  Are they dyslexic?  Do they have speech difficulties?  Are they non-verbal and perhaps on the Autism Spectrum?  Do they need an eye exam by a pediatric specialist? Your child may require deeper therapy.  

Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed.  Research shows that one of the most important responsibilities voiced by parents is to see their child succeed!

4x2bannerLICALLING ALL PARENTS:A preliminary ‘symptom’ relief for your child’s reading struggles is through early identification of weak areas in your child’s reading process.  How?  By using a supplemental, informal, reading assessment such as my Nuts About Reading.  Let’s take a closer look for the  ’causes.’  CONTACT ME at kristin@buckaroobuckeye.com for answers to any questions you might have about your child’s reading ability.  Go to the products page and sign up and purchase your child’s informal reading assessment using my online format and your home computer.  SAFE, CONVENIENT, CONFIDENTIAL, and AFFORDABLE.





Reading sprouts at home.

Refresh your child’s reading, self-esteem, and confidence.  Spring is the time for renewal.
Time to put the winter coats away and get out the spring reading coats, parents.  How are your child’s reading skills?  No better time to build your child’s self-esteem and confidence than with reading success.

words to encourage










Buckaroo Buckeye is my name, Family and Literacy is my game! 


ARE READING AND EATING CONNECTED?  How can reading possibly connect to eating you ask?

I had this exact conversation recently with a food service manager and publisher.  We both concurred that school lunches in the United States need to be more nutritious to support academic success.  We both, being of the baby-boom era, remembered how our school lunches were more balanced nutritionally, tastier, and were enjoyed and not just tossed in the trash can as is done with so many school lunches today! 

When your child is hungry do you hand them a processed food snack or rely on a fast-food drive through?

“Researchers have found that the more frequently fifth grade children reported eating fast-food, the lower their growth in READING, math, and science test scores by the time they reached eighth grade!.” http://bit.ly/1pwIvIY

“This study does not rule out fast-food altogether however.  The results of the study suggest that fast-food consumption should be limited as much as possible.  This, and many other studies, have shown that fast-food and many school lunches lack certain nutrients, especially iron, that help cognitive development.  In addition, diets high in fat and sugar and salt—similar to fast-food meals—have been shown to hurt immediate memory and learning processes.”

Multiple studies have evidence to support that fast-food consumption is linked to childhood obesity.

As a reading specialist I have observed connections to reading discrepancies and the kinds of snacks, and the lack of nutritious breakfast and lunches, of the students who came into my reading intervention sessions.  A most popular snack was, and eventually was banished by me, were the ‘fiery cheetoes”!  Nothing but salt and sugar!  Such an interference to their ability to focus and comprehend!  If you struggle to focus, your ability to achieve the prize to reading, which is comprehension, is harder to accomplish.

SO, WHAT IS IN YOUR CHILD’S SCHOOL LUNCH?  I thought it would be interesting to Google school lunches from other countries.  Here are some samples of what I found.  There is much less fried and processed offerings.  High calorie to meet the needs of a growing child for learning, but with less harmful fat and sugar.  Protein, with an emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables, with no sugary desserts.  Looks like winning combinations.


United States: Fried “popcorn” chicken, mashed potatoes,
peas, fruit cup and a chocolate chip cookie.


Brazil:  Pork with mixed veggies, black beans
and rice, salad, bread and baked plantains


Italy:  Local fish on a bed of arugula, pasta with
tomato sauce, caprese salad, baguette and some grapes.


Finland:  Pea soup, beet salad, carrot salad, bread
and pannakkau (dessert pancake) with fresh berries.



South Korea:  Fish soup, tofu over rice, kimchi and
fresh veggies

So, can you conclude that what you eat impacts how well you read?  YOU BETCHA!!  Good nutrition begins at birth at home.  

Here are some websites that can help you provide nutritious foods.




BBheadlogoBuckaroo Buckeye wishes you and your child Bon Appetit!  MOMS, I AM INVITING YOU TO SHARE YOUR RECIPES for HEALTHY and NUTRITIOUS SNACKS and MEALS with BUCKAROO!  at buckaroobuckeye.com  TIME TO HELP EACH OTHER.  😆 

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