How to Support Your Child’s Education After The Pandemic: Luminous Minds, Spotlight and Giveaway

In 2013, the U.S. Department of Education released an alarming report stating that only 35% of students entering 4th grade were reading at or above grade level.  Fast forward to the most recent data (2019) released by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and this percentage remains the same. 

This means that 65% of elementary students are reading below grade level by the time they begin 4th grade and that we, as a nation, have made no progress in improving this percentage for our 4th grade scholars. Couple this data with the COVID-19 pandemic which left many children (and parents) on their own to “figure out” how to navigate through all the challenges and hiccups of virtual learning one must ask, “Who is out there seeking solutions to support our children?”

Meet CEO/Founder/Teacher: Chandra Roughton 

Meet Chandra (Ms. Chandra), a master educator with an extensive career in education. Chandra is well known for always putting her students first and never being afraid to speak up (or speak out) for what is best for kids.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chandra constructed an entire in-home classroom recording studio and created a website that serves as a virtual learning platform to support children in developing critical early literacy skills. At Luminous Minds (LMI), parents and educators can access a variety of instructional videos, worksheets, activities, games, and resources all with a focus on teaching young children how to read.

This isn’t your typical virtual learning platform. All of Ms. Chandra’s instructional videos not only contain high academic rigor; they promote a growth mindset, use brain-based research on how children learn, include multi-sensory learning to reach all types of learners, AND prove just how FUN learning can be.  

The worksheets and activities found in the Shop are high-quality, aligned to Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and incorporate the five key elements of the Science of Reading. The website provides a one-stop shop for parents looking to do more with their children at home, or for educators to quickly access high-quality materials that they can use immediately in their classroom.

To learn more about this incredible story and evolution of Luminous Minds, you can head to the Luminous Minds YouTube Channel and check out their documentary While you’re there, don’t forget to watch some of the engaging video clips, cheers, and Sight Word Songs!

Subscribe Today 

The LMI team strongly believes in closing achievement gaps, now ever so widened by the COVID-19.  They’ve made their monthly membership affordable so that all families (and scholars!) can access their learning materials. For as little as $14.99 a month, you and your family get complete, unlimited access to EVERYTHING on the website. There is also a handful of freebies for you to assess the quality of their materials. The best part? New materials are uploaded every month. It’s almost like having a Netflix account for literacy materials!


To celebrate this innovative virtual learning platform, we’re giving away 5 free one-month memberships. With your membership you will have unlimited access to all instructional videos, worksheets, activities, and more!

Choose one or more ways to enter:

  1. Sign up for email notifications at and (leave a comment below when done).
  2. YouTube: Subscribe to the Luminous Minds YouTube Channel
  3. Facebook: Follow and like Child Life Mommy and tag two friends.
  4. Facebook: Follow and like Luminous Minds and tag two friends.
  5. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy and @Luminousmindsoffical and tag two friends in the post.

References:   U.S. Department of Education, “The Nation’s Report Card,” 2013

National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), “The Condition of Education.” 2020

Giveaway- Play Therapy Gift Certificate


I have a great giveaway that I am super excited about!

Most of you are parents, child life specialists, teachers, play therapists or work with kids in some professional setting. So this giveaway would be perfect for you!

I have collaborated with Play Therapy to do a giveaway of a $25.00 gift certificate to their online store. They offer some amazing toys and books for any type of setting; developmental stimulation, fine motor, medical play, child-centered, sand tray, you name it and they sell it. They even have my book! 🙂

So don’t pass up this opportunity to gather some new resources for your playroom!

Each of the following will earn you an entry:

1. Post a comment below about what you think you would buy.

2. Become an email subscriber at Child Life Mommy and leave a comment here stating it.

3. Become a fan of Child Life Mommy on Facebook and leave a comment on the wall about this giveaway.

4. Become a fan of Play Therapy on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall about this giveaway.

Good Luck!

Giveaway ends on 9/13/14. Winner will be notified by email.

play therapy collagejpgWe have a winner!

Congrats Tamara…Joy’s Mama!!

Thanks to everyone that participated!


My Experience with CPSE

Working as a child life specialist at a pediatric inpatient rehabilitation hospital, I became familiar with the variety of therapies offered to our patients. Occupational, speech, psychology and physical therapists worked with the children on improving specific goals. The staff worked really well together and communicated to both the patients and their families. I understood the importance of therapy and the terminology used. I tried to always have a high level of empathy and sensitivity towards our patient’s and the challenges that they faced. I also supported the families who were coping with their child’s hospitalization and all the additional stresses that come along with it.

Fast forward four years and I have now found myself as a parent trying to navigate my son’s way through receiving services from the Committee of Preschool Special Education. When his teachers brought their concern to my attention, I felt a huge sense of guilt. How could I have missed this? With my professional background and experience working in a rehab setting, I should have been more on top of it. I think I was hoping he would “out grow” it by the age of four, but that obviously didn’t happen.

I’m still in the beginning stages of this whole process. I have contacted the school that he would be attending in kindergarten and was connected with their liaison for parents and CPSE. I met with a therapist at that school who also confirmed his preschool teacher’s suggestion on receiving services.

I have filled out a dozen forms, gathered additional paperwork from his pediatrician and teachers and I have chosen an agency to do a formal evaluation on him. Whew! The hardest part was just reading some of the questions about your child, their behavior, temperament, what they can and can’t do. The questions were intense and heavy at times. I was now in the footsteps that my former patient’s parents had gone through. I felt a larger connection with them thinking, “Oh, I really get it now.”

The agency has done their evaluations and we are now waiting for our formal meeting with a lot of important people; some one from CPSE, the agency, school district, parent advocate and my husband and I.

Through all of this, I have felt nothing but support and sensitivity from the professionals we have been in contact with. They have made this much easier and less overwhelming. My friends who are also going through similar situations have also been a great support system.

I know that there are still gaps in service. What are those and how can we adjust them? I am curious to hear other parent’s and professional’s experiences in this area.