Five Minute Friday: “Close”

Looking for a reason to write but not sure where to start? Join me and hundreds of others in Five Minute Fridays started by Lisa Jo-Baker. The key is to write for five minutes based on Lisa-Jo’s prompt “No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. Unscripted. Unedited. Real.”

So here we go: “Close”

Well, it’s been on my mind and I was going to wait until next month, but “close” is a good start. I’m reminded of the closeness I had with my father. It wasn’t about the toys he bought when I was younger, it wasn’t the birthday gifts or anything like that. Honestly, he didn’t know my birthday. And it wasn’t that we had such amazing conversations.

But the closeness I felt with my dad came from him being him in the moments we shared…



The After Five: Hm, yeah, I think I’ll have to wait on this one. So instead, I’ll just share this… Being close to someone doesn’t come from the material things shared, but from the time spent with someone. It comes from the little things they do to let you know they care. It comes from the conversations of few or many words, but more importantly, it comes from a special bond, a special connection that allows you to sit for hours, even without words and know that you are special or you are loved. Being close to someone brings a sense of comfort. You don’t have to wear the day-to-day masks that we often adorn at work or basically around people we’re not close to. Closeness brings a sense of vulnerability because you can simply be you. There’s no judgment. There’s no scolding, but there is truth.

Whoever it is that you feel a closeness to, continue to let them know. Continue to make good memories.

As it is Memorial Weekend, for those who’ve lost the person(s) you were close to, I hope and pray you have good memories to cherish. And if you still have that special someone (mom, dad, friend, sister, brother, etc.) just remember it’s the little things that count!!!

Blessings to All!!!


Improve Your Child’s Reading Skills

This was a webinar presented via Many topics were discussed (reading areas of the brain, how teachers can build brains), but what I found most inspiring was the story of a parent who shared how the use of BrainPro and Fast ForWord helped improve her son’s reading abilities and ultimately his math skills and even mannerisms associated with ADHD.

Here’s a brief recap of his 4 yr. progression:

  • Having been diagnosed with ADHD, in the 6th grade, he was reading at a 3rd grade’s level. He began the BrainPro/Fast ForWord program in the Fall of 6th grade and by the Spring of 6th grade he was reading on his own. By 7th grade, he was reading at grade level, and by 8th grade he was reading above level. He is currently a freshmen in high school and maintaining an “A” average in his English (language arts) class.

I find this to be a major improvement and definitely a story of inspiration for other parents who are dealing with similar situations.

So exactly what is BrainPro- Presenters David Dixson and Lynn Gover described it as a combination of the Fast ForWord program with a professional online consultant to help the child. It is designed to improve reading through a process of building cognitive/reading skills of the student in a fun and engaging way. Briefly stated, the program involves:

  • 30 min./day of Fast ForWord
  • 5 days/week
  • 4 months
  • Weekly consults w/tutor

*Now I’m sure someone is wondering the COST of this program, I have no idea….when the question was posed, an indirect answer was provided. 🙂 (So in my mind, I’m thinking there is definitely a price to pay). The presenter only stated that one would have to speak with a representative to determine which program would be best.

Now from the neuroscientific perspective as presented by Dr. Martha Burns, there are several symptoms both parents and educators should be mindful of when determining if a child’s level of cognition might need more attention.

  • Attention- Tunes out or asks “huh?” all the time
  • Memory- Problems learning alphabet, math facts, letter sounds, nursery rhymes
  • Processing- Can’t sound out nonsense words
  • Sequencing- Late to learn grammar (reading words backwards)

So check out these programs for more detailed information. Just wanted to pass the info along to those who may not be aware of the different resources available.

Please feel free to leave any comments or questions. Thanks