Response-Able Parent Newsletter #65

June 25, 2007

Welcome! This is a free newsletter on becoming a Response-Able parent raising Response-Able children.


Mission Statement

Our mission is to strengthen families and improve parent communication skills (including our own) by helping parents learn practical, usable verbal strategies for raising responsible, caring, confident children.

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In This Issue

1. Quote
2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation
3. Bumper Sticker
4. Article: Avoiding the Summer Brain Drain
5. Did You Know?
6. Parent Talk Tip

1. Quote

"Summer should be fun, but parents shouldn't let it be a break from learning. High quality summer learning opportunities keep children healthy, safe, and on track in school."

Ron Fairchild
Executive Director, Johns Hopkins University Center for Summer Learning

2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation

What are you doing for children today that they could be doing for themselves? What if you stopped doing it?

3. Bumper Sticker

Spotted on a green Chrysler Imperial in Atlanta, GA:

School's Out, School's Out

Teachers Let the Monkeys Out

4. Article: Avoiding the Summer Brain Drain

By Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman

Summer is here! That long-awaited school break has arrived. Your children are now enjoying their much-deserved time away from the daily grind of spelling tests, math worksheets, book reports, geography lessons, science projects and homework. It is time for them to play in the sun, swim in the pool, go to camp, walk the beach, shoot hoops, ride bikes, sleep in, relax, and lose three months of reading and math gains that they worked so hard to attain this past school year.

Yes, many children fall almost three months behind in math and reading skills over the summer. This phenomenon is so well known that educators even have a special name for it. They call it "the summer slide." Because of the summer slide, teachers often invest the first two months of every school year focusing on lesson plans that help students regain skills they lost over the summer.

But this doesn't have to be the case. The summer slide does not need to occur in your family. Creating a summer that is totally void of learning is not what children need. You Can provide high-quality learning opportunities for your children during the summer months that are different from those activities children are exposed to during the school year. This gives them a break from traditional schoolwork, yet prevents important skills from slowing draining away.

Below are a few tips you can use to create a different look and feel to the learning opportunities you offer your children this summer.

1. Math skills deteriorate rapidly during the summer. Use your environment to help your children use math skills. When you put chemicals in the pool, take the time to figure out the area, diameter, or volume of your pool. At approximately 9 pounds per gallon, how much does all that water weigh?

2. Taking a road trip? Calculate the mileage by adding up the distances indicated on the map. What does "miles per hour" mean and how do you compute it? How many miles per gallon are you getting? Compare gas prices in different locations and calculate the difference.

3. S
it with your eleven-year-old, balance the checkbook, and compare it to the family budget. Help your teenager create a budget plan or pick a stock to invest in, and track its progress through the summer.

4. Have your children handle money. Take pop bottles back and have them estimate how much money they will receive. Allow them to make change at your garage sale. Have them count the money you have in the family charity jar.

5. Keep it fun. Play games that require the use of skills learned in school. Remember the card game called "War?" It's now called "Top It." Each person turns over a card. Both players look to see if their card is higher. Whoever tops it wins both cards. Another variation is to have the first person turn over a card. The second person predicts whether their card will be higher or lower. If their prediction is accurate they keep both cards. If their prediction is inaccurate the other person keeps both cards. For first and second graders turn over two cards, add them together and see which sum is higher. For fourth, fifth, and sixth graders turn over two (or three) cards and multiply them and see which product is higher. Play Monopoly, Scrabble, Yahtzee, Rummikub, Boggle, Sequence, or Word Up. With a brief stop at the department store game section, your list of options easily multiplies.

6. Keep lots of reading material around your home. Read to and with your children. Create a family book club. Pick a book with your child and both read it. Then have just the two of you sit down together over a bottle of pop or a dish of ice cream once a week and discuss the plot development or characters.

7. Model learning. Turn off the TV and get away from the video games. Let your kids catch you reading this summer. Learn a new computer program. Start that book you've been wanting to write. Expand your horizons this summer with a wood-carving class, parenting workshop, pottery or painting class.

8. Get help. Every community has learning activities for kids. Libraries have reading programs. Recreation centers and churches have day camps. Schools have inventors' camps. Art institutes have drawing, painting, pottery and drama classes for children. Sign your kids up.

Create a summer that balances rest, relaxation, and fun with learning. Use the many opportunities that summer offers to help your children grow their brain. You will help them begin the new school year right where they left off when school ended this year. Then the only summer slide they experience will be the one at the recreation center or water park.

Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman are the authors of The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose. They are two of the world's foremost authorities on raising responsible, caring, confident children. They publish a free monthly e-zine for parents. To sign up for it or obtain more information about how they can help you or your group meet your parenting needs, visit their website today: 

The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose


5. Did You Know?

·          On average, students fall almost 2.6 months behind in math skills over the summer months.

·          There have been 39 studies that show youngsters face a significant risk of losing ground academically over the summer months.

·          Sixty-five percent of the achievement gap between poor and affluent children can be explained by unequal summer learning experiences.

·          Remedial summer school often has little impact on student achievement.

·          High-quality summer programs that combine academics with enrichment demonstrate that these programs can have a powerful and lasting effect.

 Center for Summer Learning, Johns Hopkins University

6. Parent Talk Tip

Having a "study time" this summer isn't going to go over well with your children. "Learning lessons time" probably won't have them real excited either.

We suggest this summer you regularly schedule a "grow your brain time." You have a time when you eat. That's a "grow your body time." You have a time when you ride bikes or play soccer. That's a "grow your muscles time." Muscles need exercise to grow. Bodies need healthy food to grow. And brains need healthy learning experiences to grow.

Doing daily worksheets is not a healthy learning experience.

Doing pages of math problems is not a healthy learning experience.

A healthy learning experience is visiting the zoo, a farm, or a museum. Write about the experience. Read about it. Talk about it. Paint pictures, listen to music, read maps. Make a map. Count stars, pennies, or butterflies.

Collect insects, baseball cards, or buttons.

If you run out of ideas for "grow your brain time," read to your children.

Parent Talk: How to Talk to Your Children in Language That Builds Self-Esteem and Encourages Responsibility


Chick Moorman

Contact Chick at 877-360-1477 (toll-free) or email him at


Thomas Haller

Contact Thomas at 989-686-5356 or e-mail him at

Special Events

The Parent Talk System Facilitator Training

Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are combining their talents to train interested and committed participants in the Parent Talk System, a dynamic verbal skills training that helps parents successfully handle their most challenging situations.

You will leave this training with enough materials, confidence, and skills to train parents in your community, church, school, or organization!

August 2-4, 2007
Spring Arbor University
Dearborn, MI
Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller

Space is limited. To register or find out about the August 2-4 program specifics, CLICK HERE.

Coaching for Committed Parents

We now offer personal parent coaching for committed parents on how to raise responsible, caring, confident children in enlightened and loving ways.


It is now possible to bring one of us, an experienced parenting coach, into your family life on a regular basis. This convenient telephone-based coaching can help you handle daily parenting frustrations and turn those real-world concerns into satisfying conclusions that bring joy and peace into your family.


Featured Product: Special Reports

How to Invest in Your Children This Summer Learn the importance of investing in your children by investing in experiences, not in things.


"I'm bored. There's nothing to do.
Provide your child with low-cost, meaningful learning experiences guaranteed to end summer boredom.


Ten Tips for Making Your Family Vacation the Best Ever Preparing the family can make or break a vacation.


These Special Reports by Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman are available for $4.00 each.


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