My Kid Hates Seuss!

Monday, May 21, 2012 No comments
I am DEVASTATED!!! T hates Dr. Seuss books! We read There's a Wocket in My Pocket and he sat there as cold as stone. Nothing. No laugh. No smile. No "what is that?" Nothing. He ever so gently turned his head the other way as if to say, "Mom, what were you thinking?" Sigh.
I KNOW! I'll try another Seuss classic! The Foot Book! Who doesn't LoVe The Foot Book?!? I'll tell you who-T
The Foot Book (The Bright and Early Books for Beginning Beginners)
Oh my. What will I ever tell his kindergarten teacher? How will I break this news to my niece, A? What is a mother (and <cough> <cough> teacher) to do?

That mother thinks about her little guy and his love of the elephant! She pulls out Horton Hears a Who, stops talking in third person, and hopes for the best!
Horton Hears A Who!
It worked! He loves it! I had to ad lib about 90% of the story, but who cares??? His love for Seuss has been ignited. Of course, I know in a couple of years he will be so into Seuss that I will be hiding the books! 

Has your child turned down a book before? Which one?

T's First Teacher = ME!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 No comments
Sometimes when I think about being my son's first teacher, it makes me nervous. I have been teaching 5-7 year olds for almost 11 years now. I have taught them to read and write, solve math problems, think for themselves, work together, create a hypothesis, and so on and so on. But when it comes to your own kid, things are different. That is why it so important to have a network of moms. A group of women who will listen to your concerns, share their advice about home and school and volunteering and working with other moms. For me, that group of women includes my gal pals from Mom Congress!
I was lucky enough to serve as Georgia's delegate for 2011. This year I was a mentor and presenter (more on that later!) I headed to DC excited and ready to meet new people, learn new ideas, and be inspired. Check, check, and triple check!
Parenting Magazine's 3rd Annual Mom Congress was held April 29-May 1st and I was lucky enough to once again attend.  I can not tell you how much this experience continues to change me....for the better! I felt inspired, motivated, a part of a group unlike any other, and so on. This year was no different! The moms are amazing. They are doing unbelievable things in their states. I was taking notes! 
(Shondra and Felisa) 
Biggest takeaway of 2012? Hopeful. This was not just the Kimochi feeling on my table, but the feeling I walked away with. I am hopeful for the future of education in our country. I am hopeful that teachers and parents can work together in a positive manner. I am hopeful that our leaders can work with each other and us for the good of our children. I am hopeful that our children, my son, will grow up in an educational system that believes in them and supports them as individuals and as a whole. I am hopeful.
(new logo for 2012!)
Highlights of 2012? Anu Partanen. Her article, "What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland's School Success" has been of much discussion in my grad school class. I love it! In fact, several of us have joked about moving there. What do I love most about schools in Finland? "We trust our teachers." (Am I the only one hearing bells ring?) 

Another highlight--Rehema Ellis with NBC's Education Nation presented a panel discussion about the NEA's latest survey about parent teacher relationships. Find the results here. There were no big ah-ha's for me, but the data is interesting. 

Presenters included Lily Eskelsen (NEA VP,) Betsy Landers (National PTA President,) Sean Slade-a personal favorite (ASCD,) Susan Stiffelman (author, Parenting Without Power Struggles,) Mark Shriver (Senior Vice President US Programs, Save the Children,) Sam Kass (White House chef,) Darrell Hammond (KaBoom,) and Big Bob Lanier (NBA Cares Ambassador) and Byron Garrett (National Family Engagement Alliance.) I could go on for hours and hours!
A HUGE highlight for me as both a teacher and mommy was listening to US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. Read his speech here. His heart is in the right place. Do we always agree? No. Would the world be a better place if we did? Probably not. Am I waiting for his phone call to talk about teacher support and encouragement? YES!

Love Languages

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 No comments
A Perfect Pet for Peyton: A 5 Love Languages Discovery Book
Are you familiar with the 5 Love Languages? I read Dr. Chapman's The 5 Love Languages a couple of years ago and enjoyed it. He has now teamed up with Rick Osborne to make a kid friendly book with the same big ideas-A Perfect Pet for Peyton. T and I read the book and it was a hit! These two clever guys have hidden pictures throughout the pages to make the reading adventure a little more fun. To be honest, it helped keep us going, too. The story is a little long and certainly geared for the over 5 crowd. In fact, I recommend it for ages 5-13! Sure those tweens might find it a little cheesy, but they will love the ending! 

With that being said, I think it is a good resource for parents, too. As you read about the twins and their friends at the Pet Emporium, I guarantee you that you will start seeing your own children. The story is about Peyton's search for his perfect pet. Mr. Chapman matches each character with a pet just right for them based on their characteristics. For example, Peyton's sister Penny received love best when others spent time with her. So her perfect will have to read to find out! 

Another plus (and tween pleaser) for this book is the short quiz in the back. What a great way to spend an evening! Take the quiz together with your child and discover how your child receives love best. What a great conversation starter! (Might even enlighten you!) 

A Perfect Pet for Peyton is surely available at your local bookstore or library. You can also find it on Amazon for about $12. 

A little info about the authors.....(courtesy of

GARY CHAPMAN, PhD, is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling The 5 Love Languages. With over 30 years of counseling experience, he has the uncanny ability to hold a mirror up to human behavior, showing readers not just where they go wrong, but also how to grow and move forward. Dr. Chapman holds BA and MA degrees in anthropology from Wheaton College and Wake Forest University, respectively, MRE and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has completed postgraduate work at the University of North Carolina and Duke University. For more information visit his website at

RICK OSBORNE is a bestselling, award-winning author of both parenting and children's books. One of Rick's main goals is to create resources that help families develop loving relationships and peaceful, happy homes. Among the many children's books he's written and coauthored are, 'The Legend of the Christmas Tree,' 'The Legend of the Christmas Stocking,' and the '101 Questions Kids Ask About God' series. These have sold millions of copies and have been translated into many languages. Rick has coauthored books with Dr. John Trent, Josh McDowell, Larry Burkett, and Dr. Gary Chapman. He helped write and produce the booklet 'The Most Important Story Ever Told' which has had over 50 million copies distributed around the world. Find out more by visiting

I received this book at no cost and was not obligated to do a positive review. All opinions are my own. 

Mom Congress 2012 Tweet Style

Wednesday, May 2, 2012 No comments
Parenting Magazine's 3rd Annual Mom Congress was nothing less than awesome! Here are a few highlights, tweet style! @Lyssareads
(For more tweets, search hashtag #momcon2012 or @momcongress)
Now that you know some big players, feel free to follow them for the latest in education and mom news! If you haven't joined Twitter, give it a try! It is short, sweet (well, not always) and to the point! If you are on Twitter, please leave your handle in the comments! We want to follow!

OK fellow  dels - have 2 share amazing article in today abt. my site,  
Ending  w/ meetings in Senate. Corker & Alexander on recess, so talked ESEA w/ their advisors, each from Memphis. Heading HOME!
RT : RT : Nothing is going to change if you don't get fired up.   || Word!

Check out the National Family Engagement Alliance and the visionary work of Byron V. Garett  
  Your talk was one of the highlights of my  experience. Your cause is where my heart is.
Reading this am Let Teachers Teach - The Atlantic comments section too  

Home and totally inspired by 's delegates! These women r making a better future 4 ALL r kids!
  What an inspiring message from Arne Duncan! Together we all continue to move forward for our future!
: Woohoo  is asking the tough questions about the Talent Act! ” this tweet made my day!
Awesome! " meeting with my legislators! Ready for my headline! Thank you!  
Great farewell dinner at . Thank you  for another great year at Mom Congress!
RT  NEW: Duncan Talks Obama Education Record at Mom Congress   Thoughts?
RT : Be your best spokesperson. Be yourself! Don't compartmentalize yourself.   
 models the perfect thing that White House chef Sam Kass should have worn! 

"Students can be successful if you give them opportunities to be successful." Arne Duncan about what he learned from his own mom

Mom Congress delegates are advocating for educ. of all children, not just their own. Parents need to be part of systemic change
From cradle to career, Pres Obama is leading a transformation in US ed. So are parents like Mom Congress. 
 Champion Felisa Hilbert has seen effects of these diseases - and life-saving power of vaccines 
By the time low-income kids are 4 years old, they are already 18 months behind their peers.  
 good Q on how learning foreign languages shd factor into global education   
RT  Hanging out with mom delegates raising the next generation of advocates-Lasting Change 
Teachers/schools being blamed-this cr8s barriers/defensive environments parents need to b more collaborative  
If you start to blame teachers, they close their doors. It behooves parents to be more open and less judgmental. 
RT : Children from low income families are read to 25 hrs before entering school. From middle income, 1,000. Wow.
We connect through communication and that communication is emotional   


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