Archive for the ‘Author’ Category

December 8, 2014

This time of the year, it is difficult for all of us to focus on what needs to be done. This is especially hard for children. Parents, grandparents, caregivers and teachers can help children learn to focus.

Focus is to give something our complete and total attention, not thinking of anything else, and not being distracted. It is a source of personal strength, the ability to control one’s mind and body is “powerful.”

Adults can teach children through modeling, memory and concentration. They can make paying attention a game. “Remember when you had trouble memorizing your spelling words. You just needed to focus on the way the letters appeared, and you did so much better.”

Find ways to help your children work off their excess energy. Walk with them to school. Arrange play time–jumping rope, playing ball. Fresh air and exercise are important to mental focus. They will then be ready for the quiet time it takes to focus.

Eliminate distractions when they are required to do homework. Turn the TV off and take away the electronics. Give them short breaks during homework time to prevent getting distracted and improve focus.

Keep instructions simple, giving directions one at a time. Too many directions makes it difficult for children to focus, and they tend to become distracted or procrastinate.

The attention rate of children grows as they grow physically. Start with activities that require a short time and increase as the children grow. Behavior change takes time and patience.

If your children go to school hungry, upset, tired or overly excited, it may be too hard to focus on a new or challenging lesson. It is your responsibility to prepare them for a good day of learning, regardless of the time of year.

Drinking water is essential to keep their brains fully hydrated and working efficiently for them to focus.

Teaching focus is a challenging skill, but the habit will pay off throughout your children’s lives.


October 24, 2014

We have this great romance with technology, but realize its limits. Technology does not teach grammar.

In a recent conversation with a mother of school-age children, she claims teachers are not teaching spelling. When this parent contacted the teacher, the teacher replied “We do not need to teach spelling because the children will be using computers, and all computers have spell-check.” Computers do not teach correct usage of our language conventions.

Parents need to learn English grammar with their children so that parents as well as children gain knowledge about how our language is used correctly. We are judged on how we write and use our language, and if not used properly, we stand to be judged poorly. On job and college applications, on letters to teachers and school, even on email, our communication is the basis for future contact. We need to “write for success” rather than “dress for success” due to technological communication in our present and future society.

If you or your children need help, please use the free website or ask Grammar Girl.

September 2, 2014

Supporting Super Students has some advice for you. Control the tech and find that people are interesting and fun–to be with, to talk to,and just to observe. Learn about what humanity is by sharing and watching. Kids are the most fun, but adults qualify, too. Be a happy “hyou-man.”

August 23, 2014

Dear Parents, Grandparents and Kid-caregivers,

Do you need ideas, methods, websites and motivation for you to be the best “learning partner” with educators in the growing of your children into “Super Learners?”  I write a weekly column to do just that.  Books such as Scholastic’s Super Study Skills by Laurie Rozakis, Ph.D and Preparing Children for Success in School and Life by Marcia L. Tate are also excellent sources to make you a “Super Parent”  to a “Super Student.”

For more information, contact me at

July 5, 2014

My blog was to be a showcase of my writing ability and variety, I thought, because I have a great passion for the written word and know of its power.
Since my last post, I have become a columnist for our local paper–the Sierra Vista Herald–on the topic of educating parents with ways to grow effective learners, how to make their children “super learners.” My column has been successful for parents and grandparents, and is one even caregivers read to find ideas to help the children in their charge. Feedback has come in the form of “letters to the editor,” received emails (bettemroz@gmail,) and comments from newspaper readers and grandparents who send the column to their children. I write “500 words for 5 minutes with your children.” I have completed 47 columns and counting. I believe that teachers and school administrators are so busy with meeting standards with their students that they sometimes forget to invite one of the most important people on their team–parents. If parents do not know or realize the terminology and methods that schools are using to educate their children and have not developed tools for helping their children learn, my column provides the confidence and encouragement to push them forward. See my column “Ready to Learn” at I will be waiting for you. (more…)

September 19, 2013

You have got to meet YUGO.  This is from my new book, a non-fiction photo book for
those young-at-heart adventurers into the desert. He is taller than the mesquite tree growing near him.  He is taller than the big trucks whizzing by.  He is taller than the overpass where people drive another direction.  He is unusually tall for his species.  YUGO is a giant! 

Mighty Monster
June 3, 2013

The engine, though mighty, moans and groans as he drags his burden behind him over drifting sands and windy plains.  He glides smoothly past curious cattle and invisible wildlife.  He creeps over soggy rice fields and sunken catfish farms, all the time crying his sorrows through every town and village along the way.

Some hear and commiserate with the lonely wail, but most take his weekly sojourn for granted and barely notice his rumbling passage.

Yet those he carries bask in pleasure at his movements and stare in fascination as they live their moving dreams.

Silent Everlasting
March 24, 2013




It is 2033.  I am traveling with my partner.  We stop in a small town.  It is such a pleasure to be away from the busy, noisy city.  We step out of our car and take a deep breath of the crisp, unpolluted air. As it enters our lungs, we feel its coolness reverberate through our bodies.

“Feels good, huh!”  we exclaim almost simultaneously.

“It’s so quiet, too.  Sure a nice change for us.”

We stop.  We listen.  There is little sound except for the whisper of the cool breeze and the soft chirping of the little birds in the trees overhead. There is a crow cawing in the azure sky while wrestling the drifting clouds. 

Old people are ambling along the sidewalks—some in deep conversation, others, just sitting on benches gossiping.  The stores seem to be experiencing slow times as we see the shopkeepers on the sidewalks conversing with passersby.

There are no children.  There are no youngsters playing and running.  The playground equipment is still and rusting.  There are no balls barely missing our heads aimed by improvised bats made from tree limbs.  There are no teens with MP3 players hardly seeing us so engrossed are they in their music  Only old people crossing our paths.

Where are the children?  They must be in school.  So we walk over to the school and find it shuttered.  The swings don’t swing; the slide is dull; the grass is tall.  There are no children here either.  We thought the children were missing only in the city.  We expected to find them here in this small town.

My partner and I look at each other.  Could it be the norm in our society that caused this?  Could it be our actions as loving human males that allowed this to happen.  I love my partner, and I married him 20 years ago.  That is a long time to be married, even in this age.  Of course, many of us did the same back in 2013.  We just wanted to be happy.

So many of us married our loving partners that there was no union of male and female.  We had so much love, and we were so happy.

There are no children now!  We miss the laughter, the crazy antics that brought smiles to our faces.  Some of us miss taking children to the zoo or the circus or the park.  We miss McDonalds’ Happy Meals.  Where are the cotton candy and the lollipops? 

On a more somber note, who will care for us when we grow older?  Who will pick out our assisted living home, or cry at our funerals or treasure our cremains?

I guess we did not think of that back then; we only wanted to be happy and loved.

And now, all there is………….is silence

Memories a-la-card
March 17, 2013

“Bette, you are the sweetest thing to remember my birthday. You are always so thoughtful!”

With these words, my cousin-friend acknowledged the birthday card I had sent. It was fushia with tiny frosted flowers and the words “Happy Birthday to a Special Cousin,” but what was written inside was the best. “Thinking of our fun times together, the happy memories we share…” I had written the memories I had of our time together.

My brother and I would leave Chicago for the entire summer to spend our school vacation on our maternal grandparents’ farm in Iowa where we worked, played, adventured and learned thrifty (sometimes difficult) lessons from our dear relatives. My cousin would come to the farm to spend some of the time with us since she lived in the city closest to the farm. She was younger and would often have a bout of inconsolable homesickness requiring a trip back to town in the middle of the night. This was just one of the memories I shared with her.

About a month later, it was my birthday. I received a card from my cousin. When I opened it, it looked familiar. It was the card I had sent her.

“Didn’t she like it?” I wondered. “Why would she send it back to me? Why would she return it? Was there something offensive about it? Did it contain memories she would just as well forget?”

As I pulled the card from its envelope, a neatly-folded sheet of ivory paper fell onto our rustic wood floor. I retrieved it recognizing the writing on its invisible lines. My cousin had written her memories of the love and emotions we had exchanged in our growing-up years.

No email or phone call could have carried the timeless bonding we had bequeathed to each other on our birthdays that year. Seeing the memories written activated the sights and feelings, the joys and fears we shared when we visited our favorite farm.

New memories have been made over the years in our lives with our families, but the warmth of these shared memories has become an irreplaceable treasure not tarnished by time. Perhaps, our children and grandchildren will discover and prize these written gems.

“Family is a feeling that neither time nor distance can diminish,” a truth from the greeting card.

The Gift
March 22, 2012

“Just what are you doing?  Why are you cutting that perfectly good five-gallon bucket?  What are you making?”

“Questions!  Questions! Questions!  Why not wait to see?”  My husband quipped.

Impatiently, I watched as he cut the bottom from the bucket.  It was one of many left over from building our new home, but five-gallon buckets can be used for so many things, and they are hard to come by.

He continued to sever the white bowl from its towering sides. With his special jigsaw, he cut it carefully and precisely along the border he had penciled. Then, with his metal file, he smoothed the rough edges left by his cutwork.  He ran his aging hands over and over the cliffs until he could feel no more roughness.

The next thing I knew, he was marching out the garage door holding the dish he had made tenderly in his arms.  He made a sharp turn around the shell of our retirement home to a pipe protruding from our water supply.  It was above an indentation he had made in the softened ground.

“I noticed we have quite a few desert visitors, and I thought they might get thirsty.  Besides, this connection drips at just the right pace to keep this filled.”


Day after day, the creatures came.  First, it was the sparrows, thirsty from their nourishing visit to our bird feeder on the other side of the house.  Then, the cottontails dipped their little lips to the cool drink.   Soon, the quail coveys paused in their rapid dash across the harsh ground.

One day, there was a little quail form in the water.  I opened the door and  ran to rescue the little one, but I was just not quick enough.  My “St. Francis” husband installed a little green fence netting held by miniature boulders so that even the tiniest creature could drink safely.

Did I say “drink?”  Now, the sparrows, chickadees, and finches use this small white basin for their weekly bath.  They flitter around, shooing off their companions with water pellets, or taking turns hopping into the drink, testing the temperature.

It seems even a mystery guest under our deck has discovered the convenience of the water works.  I suspect it is that pesky raccoon who washes left over pumpkin pieces gathered from our patch.

My husband is gone now, but the desert dwellers continue to seek “the gift” of his making before they continue their trek across the mountains and deserts of the high country.

There are more five-gallon buckets, but the one cut off and buried in the ground is the most appreciated by the creatures–and I, who derive so much pleasure from witnessing their antics.