Category: Reading

January 29, 2022 by clearymf 0 Comments


Honored to speak with author and IEP Specialist Shelley Kenow #nolimits about struggling readers and how we can help them to grow and thrive.

September 18, 2021 by clearymf 0 Comments

Our Article in EP Magazine

Readeezy is honored to have our first article published in EP (Exceptional Parent) Magazine! Here’s the link:…/207412/viewer...

September 4, 2021 by clearymf 0 Comments

Back to School 2021 – Yikes!

I always laughed at that old Staples commercial when a parent was dancing down the aisles buying Back to School supplies. Yes, I could identify, especially after having four kids on summer vacation who had worn out their welcome around mid-July.

But as much as I was happy to see them go back, it always drove me a little crazy as a teacher and parent when my kids looked upon that first day with such dread. What a terrible place it must be to evoke such misery! Shouldn’t it be fun, stimulating, interesting, fascinating? A place to engage with their teachers and peers in challenging experiences that inspired them to grow?

School – A Happy Place?

Plenty of teachers try to make their classroom exactly that. And sometimes they succeed. But often, school is a rigorous place with academic demands that have been designed by curriculum experts. What can we do to make those attractive to our students so they look forward to September with glee and anticipation?

This year, it may be especially hard to do this because of COVID restrictions that find many teachers trying to reach their students through the barriers of masks. Extreme caution and even fear will mark the first days of school until we all work things out to our own comfort level – if that’s even possible.

And What About the Special Ed?

 But here’s the kick. As the parent of a disabled child, I always marveled at my daughter’s love of school. She attended almost all year with a short six-week break in the summer, and went willingly and happily to class every day. When I asked her if she had fun, I always got an enthusiastic “yes!” for an answer. There was never any misery in September when she had to go back.

So what can these young people teach us? Is there a joy we’re missing about the whole school experience? Are special ed teachers doing something different? Do special ed students have a wisdom and appreciation of learning and community that we can’t grasp?

It’s Just How They Are

For the most part, this is how disabled kids are every day. They’re accepting, non-judgmental, willing to laugh and have fun, anxious to love and be loved. Their view of the world is simple and they have few expectations. When things turn out great, they’re happy. When they don’t, they’re sad but just for a while until they are consoled and can move on.

Now, it must be said that not all disabled young people are like this. Some present difficulties that are beyond a parent’s or teacher’s ability to handle on a daily basis. That’s why we get help from caregivers, aides and other support professionals. And the challenge of handling those children and teens cannot be understated.

What Can We Learn From Them?

 But is there some lesson we can learn from the disabled who seem to be tolerant, supportive and totally unbiased. They don’t see differences in color, race, age, body type – all the things that often separate the rest of us. My daughter’s Special Olympics team has a range of athletes from 21 to 54, males and females, tall, short, multi-racial, skinny, overweight, shy and boisterous. And they love each other, unconditionally.

I’m still trying to figure out how that works, even after all these years. And I hope I do. It’ll make me a much better person. And if we all did, it might make going back to school a happy experience.  

August 22, 2021 by clearymf 0 Comments

For Our Struggling Adolescent and Teen Readers…

Reading Can Be Fun Again! - Podcast

podcast on making reading fun again ACE

August 18, 2021 by clearymf 0 Comments

The Little Library

I was born and raised in the Bronx. Despite its reputation, it was a nice place to grow up. We had about twenty kids on the block and we did everything from playing jump rope to stoop ball to singing rock and roll in harmony on our front steps.

May 14, 2021 by clearymf 0 Comments

Learning Disabled? Not My Kid.

“Learning disabled” is a tough label for us parents when it comes to our children. It may be the path to extra services for students who’ve been identified as having problems in class, but that doesn’t make it any easier for us to swallow.

Of course, there are many types of learning disabilities and not all are as serious as others.

But if a young person struggles with reading, the implications for life success may be dramatically affected down the road. Research shows that their chances of employment are greatly reduced as well as their earning capacity.

One thing science knows for sure, however, is that if a child stops reading in middle school (as mine did) neurons in the brain start to be “pruned.” You either use them or lose them. ( Another thing to worry about.

Older students who are challenged readers will often refuse to open a book. They’ll say it’s boring or they just don’t want to but the reality is that the discomfort of reading is just too overwhelming. We parents and educators need to find a way around this so that reading can be fun again.

Find a cozy place to read and a subject they love – even if it’s mostly pictures!