Friday, March 17, 2017

MARGARET'S ILLUSTRATED BOOK SERIES

THE TROUBLE WITH THE DUNGEON IS THE LATEST IN THE ILLUSTRATED BOOK SERIES FOR EARLY (GRADES K THROUGH 3) BEGINNING READERS. ENJOY THE ENGAGING COLOR ILLUSTRATIONS AND THE FUN STORY.



   






 
 
WELL IF YOU WANT MORE OF THIS ILLUSTRATED BOOK OR ANY OTHER BOOK IN  OUR  ILLUSTRATED  BOOK SERIES JUST CLICK ON THE WEB ADDRESS BELOW:


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

THE RAINBOW KITTY SERIES



ZOE ZOE SAVES THE SCHOOL PLAY IS THE 7TH AND LATEST IN THIS EXCITING FIRST CHAPTER BOOK SERIES FOR BEGINNING READERS. ENJOY!



Zoe-Zoe was an itsy bitsy kitty who accidentally crossed over the Rainbow Bridge into the scary Other World.  Plop! She landed in a dark and smelly dumpster filled with garbage.  And, a family of angry mice threatened to eat her! She was scared and lonely …until she met Maeven, a seven year old, who played Peter Pan in the school play. Maeven wished she could fly, just like the real Peter Pan.  Will Zoe-Zoe use the magic in her tail to grant Maeven’s wish? …Will Zoe-Zoe ever see her family ever again? 



Chapter One

Stuck in a Trash Dumpster

Plop!  Right into the middle of a dumpster full of garbage she

 tumbled. And Zoe-Zoe, the itsy bitsy kitty, didn’t have the tiniest clue how she got into this dark and unfriendly world.  In Her World everything smelled like fresh cut grass and sweet clover.  But not in the Other World.  Here everything was mixed together.  Zoe-Zoe looked up and saw the gray, colorless sky.  She didn’t like what she saw in this Other World. This was a dark and scary world.


Then it happened.  She saw the empty ketchup bottle move up and
down.  The empty milk cartons began to fly across the dumpster. One almost hit her in the head!   Meow! Zoe-Zoe couldn’t believe what she saw next. 

A family of city mice paraded across her long, bright pink tail.  First came the father.  He was plump and twice as big as the mother.  Mother was next, followed by five little babies.  They all held each other’s long skinny tails so they would not get lost or fall to the bottom of the dumpster and bury themselves under a ton of garbage. 

Mother kept a keen eye on her five babies, while father foraged deep into the blue dumpster for the best stuff to eat.  There were unopened bottles of milk, juicy red, round apples, and all kinds of half eaten hamburgers and hot dogs.  There was even pizza. 

Zoe-Zoe watched in amazement as the family picked their favorite food and began to gnaw on it. Yuck! Meow! groaned Zoe-Zoe.  As hungry as she was, the thought of eating rotted food made Zoe Zoe’s stomach churn.  She would never eat here.  She sat perfectly still in the middle of a paper plate of half-eaten spaghetti. 

Suddenly, the father mouse stood up on his hind legs. He stretched his body as tall as he possibly could, with his tiny paws high above his ears. Then he squeaked at Zoe-Zoe in a high-pitched threatening voice that made Zoe-Zoe cry!

“Are you a mouse like us?” asked the father mouse. 

“M-E-O-W!!! Let me out.  I am in the wrong world.  I belong in a land across the rainbow bridge.  Meow! Don’t hurt me!”  In Her World, everyone was polite and helpful.  It certainly was impolite to frighten her.  Zoe wiggled herself into an itsy bitsy ball and wrapped her long, thin, bright pink tail completely around her body for protection.

And then she did something she knew was impolite in Her World.  She did it instinctively.  She couldn’t help herself.  She HISSED!!  …and she HISSED…and she HISSED.  But even her hissing came out itsy bitsy, since she was only eight weeks old. 
“What was that?” asked the mother mouse. “It sounded something like a kitty.   Maybe I am mistaken.  Aren’t we supposed to be afraid of cats?”  Mother mouse  was confused.
“Mom, she has a long thin tail like us. But it’s pink.”  And then all
the baby mice laughed at Zoe-Zoe’s beautiful pink tail. That made Zoe-Zoe very sad.  In Her World, everyone was allowed to be whomever they wanted to be. 

“Are you a mouse?” Mother mouse was straight-forward about it. She needed to know if her family would be eaten by this itsy bitsy kitty.


Meow! No, my name is Zoe-Zoe, and I want to go home.”  She was tired and hungry and scared.

“Get out now!” shouted father mouse.  “This is our food.  We won’t share it.”  When it came to feeding his family, Father mouse was protective.  And then, without warning, the mice all made a circle around Zoe-Zoe and linked tails. 

Zoe-Zoe was trapped!  They picked her up by her long pink tail.  And in one horrible throw, Zoe-Zoe was flung over the top of the dumpster and landed on a rotting banana peel. She slid from the slippery banana peel onto the hard cement, and bumped her itsy bitsy kitty nose on the metal dumpster. 

Meow! she cried.  But no one heard her.  She crawled behind the smelly trash dumpster, close to the wall, and fell asleep with her long pink tail wrapped around her for comfort. But there was no comfort in the Other World.


WELL IF YOU WANT MORE OF THE RAINBOW KITTY SERIES JUST CLICK ON THE WEB ADDRESS BELOW:       
      
MARGARET'S RAINBOW KITTY SERIES

Sunday, March 12, 2017

THE Z-DAWG SERIES



THE SPECTER OF THE BLACK CAT, the fourth book of the Z-Dawg series finds Zack in attack mode deep in the heart of Old Marblehead, Massachusetts. Strange things have been happening. The evil Thaddeus T. Slackbottom has arrived back in town.  And no one’s talking! Church bells ring out and dogs howl at midnight, for no apparent reason, every September 22nd, ever since Wilmot Redd was  hanged as a witch  in 1692.  Nobody can account for why a mangy black cat is stalking the town. In fact, it seems the black cat has been hanging around Abbot Hall for hundreds of years, as long as anyone could remember! Now it seems to be following Zack and his friends, Cory and Bean.  How can that be?  When Zack and his friends find an old box in Bean’s attic, written by Bean’s ancestor, Samuel Martin, admitting to murdering and plundering a ship, for gold and precious jewels, during the Civil War, Zack knows their lives are in danger. Samuel Martin left behind a series of strange riddles.  Can they figure out the
riddles in time?  Because--Thaddeus T. Slackbottom would do just about anything to find out the contents of the box! And time is running out!!!







Prologue
                                                                              
 
The Bloody Massacre 1864
                                   
 

Secrets… buried… layer upon layer… piled up and up… until
generations of townspeople forgot to remember their past. No one remembered the fall of 1864, over one hundred and fifty years ago, when the worst nor’easter of the nineteenth century buried the tiny town of Marblehead, Massachusetts deep in snowdrifts. No one remembered… that is… except for the Slackbottoms and the Martins. But they weren’t telling!

One fateful night in 1864, the sloop Sea Lion was on its return trip to Bath, Maine, from Baltimore, Maryland, when its troubles began. The Sea Lion had unloaded its usual cargo of granite at Baltimore, but instead of riding high in the water on its return trip out of Baltimore harbor, it was riding low, laden with illegal gold, silver, and priceless jewels, stashed deep in its belly. The Sea Lion was on a secret mission, financed by rich Southern plantation owners – Confederate sympathizers – in a last-ditch effort to exchange the priceless bounty for rifles, bullets, and cannons. Their intent was to arm the Confederate soldiers, win the Civil War, and change the history books forever after. The sloop was bound for Nova Scotia, still a British colony at the time.

There was a better-than-even chance that history could have been re-written. The Confederates could have won the Civil War, if they had acquired the weapons they so desperately needed. But a secret operation to pirate and plunder, for riches beyond their wildest dreams, was about to take place off the coast of Marblehead, Massachusetts. Having been inadvertently tipped off by a relative of one of the South-sympathizing fishermen, two devious fishermen and their crew of four trusted friends plotted their greedy plan, inadvertently helping turn the tide of war toward victory for the North and thus ending the Civil War. …Under cover of the worst blizzard to ever hit Marblehead this early in the season of 1864, two long-time friends and expert fishermen, Samuel Martin and Mortimer Slackbottom, set about their deliberate plan to pirate the bounty on board, slaughter its crew, and sink the sloop, Sea Lion. They knew the rugged coastline off Marblehead with its jagged rocks and hidden perils like the back of their hands. They both came from a long and proud line of fishermen, dating back to the early-1600s. When the surprise nor’easter reared its ugly head and churned up the seas, the Sea Lion hugged the coastline, and that made their sinister plot that much easier.

It was during that white-out of a nor’easter that the decks of the mighty sloop Sea Lion turned a bright blood-red, in spite of the pounding rain trying to erase the evidence of evil. It was in the middle of a moonless night with relentless winds whipping sideways across the deck, when a man named Mortimer Slackbottom and a man named Samuel Martin, along with their band of four, committed cold-blooded murder of the worst kind.

They surprised the sloop’s crew of six, wielding knives and swords with the precision of surgeons, slicing throats, and killing everybody on board in a matter of minutes. Not a single bullet was fired.

The victims were frozen in time, their lifeless fingers icy white and tightly gripping the mast or railing in a desperate effort to undo time. Their frozen faces were contorted in unnatural ways, eyes staring straight ahead, captured in a still image, in a death stare. Samuel Martin never forgot that haunting look of surrender, that a person gets at the precise moment of death. After the slaughter, the mangled bodies were heaved overboard, including legs and arms sliced into pieces, strewn about and tangled in the loose ropes of the sails. Into the turbulent seas the bodies went, with precision speed and without conscience – for a bounty of silver, gold, and jewels worth millions of dollars.

They pirated and plundered the ship. Their rough and bloodied
hands scooped up the precious jewels of the wealthy Southern plantation owners, who were desperately hoping to barter their gold and jewels for rifles, cannons, and other weapons to win the Civil War for the South. Quickly, the fishermen-turned-pirates loaded their little fishing boat with as much of the bounty as they could muster, before the rudderless Sea Lion sank, being battered against the rocks in the storm. And then Mortimer Slackbottom suddenly turned against the four friends – committing four more murders in front of Samuel Martin’s eyes, tossing four more bodies into the churning sea! Now down to a crew of two, the men struggled against the wind and the bitter cold of the storm, and rowed ashore into a sheltered cove. The atrocities took place in mere minutes, but it would haunt Samuel Martin for the rest of his life.

And on that fateful night, the good people of Marblehead stayed put in their homes, buried under two feet of snow, waiting out the storm by the fire. It was like a ghost town, and the good people of Marblehead were none the wiser. In the white-out conditions of the blizzard and lashing winds, gusting as high as 80 miles per hour, no one heard the gruesome sounds of plundering and the blood-curdling death screams not that far off the shore.

And all the while, through the killings, through the bounty haul worth millions, through the dumping of the bodies overboard into
the salty sea, and for the next twelve years from 1864 onward, Samuel Martin’s conscience ate him up. The boom-boom-booming of his heart raced erratically, a ticking time bomb. He was haunted in his dreams by what he had done with his own hands. He was haunted by the surprised faces of the crew, bloodied and dying on the crimson deck of the Sea Lion, trying to hold onto the rigging, hands frozen in place, faces frozen in a death stare. That sight tortured him relentlessly.

He had never been involved with even a minor crime, never mind a horrific crime that would change the outcome of the Civil War. That’s what kept Martin from insanity, the knowledge that the blood money would prevent the South from buying arms from the British and from winning the war. Martin desperately tried to convince himself that he had had a decisive hand in bringing about an end to this horrific Civil War, which pitted brother against brother. That most noble of thoughts kept him from going insane. Until that fateful day when he actually did – go insane!

No one knew exactly where or even what really happened. For the next 150 years, rumors of buried treasure circulated among the Martins and the Slackbottoms. Other rumors abounded – of a terrible secret that caused a fist-fight between two good friends, and suddenly two families were instant enemies; of the mysterious disappearance of Mortimer Slackbottom, scurrying out of town a few days after the blizzard, to reestablish his family in the South for generations to come; and of the tragic suicide of Samuel Martin twelve years later. Secrets buried.


WELL IF YOU WANT MORE OF THE Z-DAWG SERIES JUST CLICK ON THE WEB ADDRESS BELOW:
                    MARGARET'S Z-DAWG SERIES

Saturday, August 6, 2016

WHICH HOUSE WILL I PICK?

If you’re an HGTV fan like I am, that is the question we devoted fans of House Hunters ask ourselves routinely during the last two minutes of every half-hour segment.  We’ve followed the happy, and oftentimes highly critical couple, on their odyssey to find their perfect dream home!  A home in which they can grow old together…raise their family together, make babies there to fill the house with laughter and the patter of little feet.  Their life-long plans unfold right before our eyes, as we learn their likes, their dislikes, their budgets, their inner struggles--well maybe not their inner struggles--but we do seem to make that deep connection with them. We even want what’s best for them. As viewers, we are even willing to sacrifice our own tastes in houses for the good of what the struggling couple wants. 

And now we agonize with them.  Can they possibly reduce their three favorites down to two?  Can they eliminate one? Maybe one is over budget? “You’ll be house poor,” we admonish them. “Been there, done that,” we chastise them, as they smile and picture grilling on the large trek deck patio, entertaining 50 of their closest friends with steaks and lobsters.

Or…“It’s next to a major highway; don’t pick that house!” we
scream  through the television or computer, as they stand in the back yard on tippy-toes, looking up at a row of tall arborvitae and a ten foot high fence while listening to sirens and honking vehicles speed down a major highway at 80 MPH.  We’re hoping that telepathy, and our sound, objective voice will be heard by this couple.

Or…”It’s in the pathway of oncoming planes? Can you not hear them? Don’t pick that house!” But they seem to be distracted by the beautiful stainless steel appliances and the open floorplan they’ve always dreamed of, and oh-h-h… look at the beautiful granite countertops! “But wait….” we shout! “Be practical.  You don’t want to hear jumbo jets at 3:00AM, do you?” We tell them. We plead, ever the voice of sanity and reason.

Or… “Your dream home is on a winding country road, winding its way into the middle of nowhere! And, you’ll have a four hour commute to work-- one way,” we tell them. And that’s from experience, since we’ve made that same mistake before. Indeed, we have their backs throughout this entire house hunting process—if they would only have the common decency to listen to us, that is.

 My HGTV House Hunters’ moment happened recently as I searched in Florida, for the condo of my dreams, my forever condo (at least for six months each year)! I laughed out loud when I realized that I was playing out a movie trailer from House Hunters over and over in my head.  Having seen three distinctively different condos, and looking for my dream condo where I could entertain both family and 50 of my closest friends, I knew then and there that I had crossed the line into reality television.  I was now role playing an episode of House Hunters—but in real time, in my own life! And I couldn’t get the ticker-tapes out of my head. 

My dialogue went something like this:

“Well, dear, I think we should eliminate the most expensive one.  It’s way over our heads budget-wise. I loved  the condo on the second floor, across the street from the harbor. It’s right next to where our daughter’s childhood friend lived.  But, there’s only one major problem.  They don’t accept two dogs.  Shall we write them a letter telling them we will be good stewards of this condo and lovingly restore it? Then we can slip in the part about having two dogs, instead of the one dog with the 35 pound weight restriction?  Oops! We have two dogs, but together they both equal the 35 pound weight limit. We can’t possibly live without our dogs, both of them. Max is old, almost 100 years old in doggie years. Shall we ask for pet amnesty for Max? (We actually did write that letter!) After all, there are only a few units in this condo complex, and three of them are on the market. I really want to put a bid in on the second floor condo.  But it’s only got a pee-a-boo view of the harbor? But it’s such an awesome view from the second floor.  We could offer a cash deal.  Fingers crossed that they might allow us to bring our two dogs with us. 

That leaves the condo in The Gardens.  It’s reasonably priced, and all completely renovated with (BONUS) --granite countertops (Yay), and all ‘real’ wood cabinetry! And it’s on the first floor with loads of light and a lovely view of the trees.  And it’s walkable to the downtown and Fisherman’s Village. Did I mention, they don’t have a problem taking two dogs?  They also have a heated pool-- which the second floor condo is missing.

 
It’s settled then. We both know which one we want.  Are we in agreement?  Let’s tell Kate (our daughter). She’ll be so excited.  But we’ll just wait until we see if we can actually ‘plead our case for two dogs instead of the one dog limit!  Oh, and did you tell the condo association-- in writing-- that we’ll never-ever have two dogs again? Promise on my mother’s grave!  But Max and Oliver must come with us wherever we go! Swear to God, that’s how the dialogue is going. Just like Cameron Diaz in the movie, The Holiday, where her job is to write movie trailers, and she can’t get them out of her head.  She plays out her own pitiful life in movie trailers, too. 

Fingers crossed.  …and think good thoughts.  Our real-life movie trailer plays out in a couple of days. Stay tuned—“Which house did they pick?”


WELL IF YOU WANT MORE OF LIFE JUST HAPPENS JUST CLICK ON THE WEB ADDRESS BELOW:

GOINGBONKERSMARGARET.BLOGSPOT.COM

 





 


 
 

Friday, August 5, 2016

SISTER, SISTER, SISTER PICK ME


“Sist…Sist…Sist…” That’s the call of the devoted Catholic school student, begging to answer a question to impress Sister!  It was like a chorus of banchies trying to show off the knowledge gleaned through sweaty brows of the previous night’s study session!  It really didn’t matter what the answer was, but was more about the sounds that were made.  And it seemed Sister was oblivious to their and my pleading, almost agonizing calls for attention.  After all, how DO you fairly call on about 61 eager students competing by waving arms and hands while stretching impossibly from their seats to reach Sister, perched on the edge of her desk.  The desk was displayed squarely on a two foot high wooden platform in the front of the class.

 

In any public school, this chaotic enthusiasm would have been rewarded by a teacher’s delirious joy at the prospect of students eager to share what had been learned the night before.  But not here though!  Catholic school children gone mad!  Boys and girls alike, stretching their seated bodies into twisted pretzels as if to greet some rock star, instead of the menacing presence in the front who rewarded such enthusiasm with a stoic look of distain, as if to say, “You had better know that answer!”

We had all come to the conclusion that we were probably chanting “Sist…Sist…Sist…” and waving wildly because it had come to symbolize a ritualistic show of, “I’ve studied, and I want you to acknowledge me!”  Those who “Sist-ed” the longest and loudest, it was assumed had studied the hardest -into the wee hours of the morning.

I was among them.  Since we were chastised for screaming, I perfected my cries into a wailing and blistering “Sist” almost a death cry!  Effective, I thought, but to no avail.

With 61 wailing kids, both boys and girls in our eight grade class, it was a highly inefficient way for Sister to conduct a lesson.

 “Sist… Sist…,” I exclaimed, a hard snake-like hiss enunciating the call.  “Please pick me!  I’m prepared.”

So, Sister instituted a set of name calling cards. This large stack of white paper-stock quality cards, sat neatly perched with one elastic band (a rubber band to non-New Englanders) straining to keep 61 name calling cards in an upright position. And there you have it.  …Tidy, efficient, white, business-like cards, shuffled regularly at the beginning of class each day.  In fact, it was the first thing Sister did after class began.

 

We were all used to the whirling sounds the shuffled cards made in the hands of a highly skilled shuffler.  Perfectly executed.  Sister could have played a mean game of Poker if she played cards, which we all supposed she did NOT.  But looking back on eight grade from where I sit today, she did have a Poker face that no one in the class would have disputed! 

You would think this to be the end of the story, but it’s only just the beginning.  You see, Sister never counted the number of cards in the pile nor did she ever notice the pile dwindling throughout that month of October.  But I can assure you I felt gipped that year.  I was too timid to play the game! …until the opportunity literally fell into my lap.

Here’s how it all happened:  One day in early October, Sister’s elastic band, old and fragile from years of wear, broke!!! Sister just left the name cards stacked high and straight at the edge of her desk as always.  Then it happened!  Just as the lunch bell sounded, Joey walked by Sister’s desk and “accidentally” knocked over the complete stack of name cards with his elbow.  They scattered everywhere like confetti.  Joey made a beeline to straighten up the cards, making sure each name was faced correctly.  The rest of us, and Sister, were anxiously waiting for our dismissal to lunch.  We ALL saw it, all but Sister that is. Between the height of the platform and the desk obstructing her view, only the students were privy to what happened next.  Joey, slyly and without missing a beat, slipped his own name card up his sleeve!  He placed the cards in a nice neat pile on Sister’s desk and lined up like the rest of us.  That might have been the first time I saw Sister crack a smile.  Joey was a quiet boy, long and awkward, a typical boy of 13 years old.
 
But Joey wasn’t the brightest bulb on the tree and between his shyness and not studying as much as he needed to, Joey felt he would be safe from the “name calling” by Sister.  Little did Joey realize just how many of us actually saw his feat of “magic”.  Make the name card go away, and never have to study for the rest of the year!  Now, Sister would surely notice a card missing from the pile! 

Well, October passed uneventfully, and Sister never did call Joey’s name.  And she never even noticed that Joey wasn’t called on.  Well, Joey even got up the nerve to stammer, “Sist…Sist…Sister.”  And by the end of October, he knew he was home free.  It looked like he studied, for he pleaded to be called by Sister, but as “luck” (NOT!!!) would have it, Joey just smiled and relaxed in class.

 

Throughout the month of October, Sister failed to secure the name calling cards with a new elastic band.  Those students who had witnessed Joey make his name card magically disappear, one-by-one, skillfully extorted their names from the pile, ensuring a comfortable stint in Sister’s class for the entire eight grade year.

The girls in the class, bound by honor but mostly by fear of getting caught, didn’t try removing their names.

All but me that is, and only by accident—or the grace or disgrace of God!  Shy, sweet, study-until-you-drop me!  It happened so naturally.  Sister approached me one day after the students were dismissed for lunch and handed me a wider, new elastic band with instructions to straighten up the name cards and then rubber band them.

“What?” …Opportunity knocked, and I was aghast!

“Thanks, Sister,”  I mumbled, and set to work.  There was my name, typed and right there in my hand.  I had fantasized about a moment like this. What a fantastic opportunity… to take my name out of the pile!  A wave of relief washed over me at the thought of no more pressure to answer to Sister for the rest of the year! 

I even counted the name cards.  I noticed the dwindling pile.  …Ten short of the 61.  Surely Sister should have noticed by now!  Trembling, I took my name card out of the pile and slipped it into my jacket pocket.  I then placed the elastic band snuggly around the name cards, and proceeded to lunch. 
 
Instead of the rush of victory coursing through my veins, the name card weighed me down like a ten ton boulder in my pocket.  My pocket was now a burden and my conscience screamed out-“Cheater”!
 
Should I confess?  Tell Sister what I knew about the other 10 cheaters too?

Upon returning to class, Sister got right to work, and I was safe from her scrutiny.  I felt relieved.  Only I still wasn’t happy.  I still studied each night, but now I wasn’t playing by the rules.  I felt miserable. 

I never did have an opportunity to replace the name card back, which was my intended plan to ease my own guilty conscience.  But I studied hard and in class I still called out wildly:  “Sist…Sist…Sister”, and each time, I looked over at Joey who had started the whole thing.  By May, he was an Oscar contender, but I decided to play it a bit more prudently.

And I suspect that those ten students who “Sist-ed” the loudest were the very ones who were the safest from the name card caller—Sister!

IF YOU WANT MORE CRAZY BUT TRUE STORIES OF A CATHOLIC GIRL  GOING THROUGH THE SOMETIME PAINFUL EXPERIENCES OF A CATHOLIC SCHOOL EDUCATION,  JUST CLICK THE WEB ADDRESS BELOW  AND JUST LAUGH:

talesofacatholicschooleducation.blogspot.com

UGLY SHEEP ?

It was mentioned in a most apologetic way. 

This was the field of ugly sheep, black sheep and all.

The field opposite a bed and breakfast in Scotland,

On which a handful of ugly sheep gathered, trying to fit in.

 

Ugly sheep, big creatures, long legs, long bodies, long necks

Some with bare skin carrying a blueness about the face and legs

Replete with Roman noses

And then there were big ears, more like a donkey than a sheep,

Really!!

 

There were also black and white ones, dotting the landscape

The black ones considered taboo

Hiding out far from view

Unable to contend with the ridicule

Hugging tight to the wall, with backs up

Erect ears like radar, ensuring their own safety

From afar, resembling speckled black dirt

Most unappetizing

 

In some places country farmers cull-

And report ugly sheep in their flocks

“Xtreme sheep”

Undesirable wool features:

Uneven wool; bare patches; worse, no wool at all; or highly rubbery and wrinkled skin

Culled by farmers

Random genetic mistakes,

Sticking out like sore thumbs

 

Whatever will become of ugly sheep?

Is it possible to let the “ugly” ones live in the world?

Rather than face ridicuLe and elimination?

Fortunately, they have since been moved.
It was all for the best!  
  
ENJOY  MORE POEMS BY CLICKING ON THE WEB ADDRESS BELOW:      

HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILD AVOID TEST ANXIETY

by Margaret M. Desjardins, Ed.D., C.A.G.S., Ed.M.




REMEMBER THIS FORMULA: CONFIDENCE+SOLID PREPARATION= SUCCESS PARENTS,WITH HIGH STAKES TESTING HERE TO STAY, MATH IS MORE CHALLENGING THEN IT'S EVER BEEN BEFORE.  FOLLOW THESE 9 PARENT COACHING TIPS, and you will have a confident and well prepared child who is more confident of his or her math abilities.

1. Coach your child to develop a positive Attitude!

One of the most important ways that your child can do better is simply by having a positive attitude. Don’t let your child sell themselves short by saying things like, "I can’t do math; I am no good at math." If they believe they can do it, they WILL be able to do math!


 2. Coach your child to ask a lot of questions!

There is nothing embarrassing about asking questions. Your child will not look like a "nerd" to their classmates. In fact, their classmates probably want to ask the same questions, but they are afraid to ask! It could be that the teacher is not explaining the math concept fully. Maybe the teacher can explain the concept in a different way. ASK!


3. Make sure your child doesn’t fall behind!


 
Your child is building on a base of math skills and concepts. If they miss something early on, it gets harder to catch up later. Also, to take the next level of math courses, your child needs to master the linear concepts to be successful.
Try tutor services-- professional ones, or try a high school student in advanced classes, recommended by the local high school guidance department. Do not wait until the child is failing. Consider tutoring an investment, and sign them up as an additional booster for math. And keep them in the tutor program. If they"get it", the tutors will enrich them. Tutors can keep up by talking to your child’s teacher, and sometimes they will be able to get a copy of their math textbook. Falling behind can lead to feelings of "why bother?"

4. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE

 THAT'SHOW WE LEARN ANYTHING- THROUGH REPETITIVE PRACTICE
Usually it is not until your child applies the concepts to real problems that they "get it". Practice out in public. Calculate money everywhere.
Find a sequence or pattern of cars driving on the highway, etc. There are life opportunities to show the relevance of math in your child’s life. Coach them to find relevance in the "real world".


5. Build their confidence!

When they do their homework, start with easier problems or problems you know they can do. Review simple ideas first, or material they covered a year ago. That will give them the confidence to approach the more difficult problems. Baby steps….

6. Coach your child to show their work!

It is tempting for you or your child to skip steps, but that does not reinforce the concept being developed. Remember the importance of repetition? It is better they get into the habit of showing all their work. That way, if there is a mistake, it is easier to see and correct. You can also detect a pattern of mistakes and help them immediately. Plus, your child may get partial credit for a tough problem that is almost correct.


 
7. Do NOT ignore wrong answers!

While accuracy is always important, a wrong answer can tell you, as your child’s coach, to look further to see if your child really understands the material.




8. Coach your child to write neatly!!

It is important that your child organize problems and write numbers and variables clearly, so they do not confuse either themselves- or the teacher. Sloppy numbers equal wrong answers!

 


9. Don’t Be Afraid to Go Low Tech! Use Old-fashioned Flash Cards!

Don’t be afraid to use the tactile approach. Symbols, equations, and concepts can get overwhelming. Use flash cards to organize information or test concepts. They can sort facts into piles, and watch the pile of "don’t knows" get dwindled down. You can place unknown facts on the refrigerator so they see them whenever they open the refrigerator door.


Interact with the 10 beserky kids and get tips from them on how to beat math anxiety! 

READ THE BOOK BY DR. MARGARET M. DESJARDINS, MURKY, QUIRKY, BESERKY MATH AND DISCUSS MATH FEELINGS AND STRATEGIES FROM THIS HUMEROUS APPROACH TO MATH ANXIETY.

Visit the website:
www.murkyquirkybeserkymath.com 


IF YOU WANT MORE GREAT PARENTING ADVICE AND A BIT OF HUMOR JUST CLICK ON THE WEB ADDRESS BELOW: 


 margaretsparenting.blogspot.com