The Adventure of Teaching Little Ones to Read

I’d like to talk about an aspect of adventure that many of you might not have thought about…teaching kids to read. If you’ve ever done it as a teacher or parent, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, I’m hoping this will inspire you.

As to the adventure aspect, learning to read opens you up to innumerable adventures, From real to imagined, from actual to speculative. I’ve been on a journey with Gandalf over a ring. I’ve been to Hogwarts with Harry. I’ve climbed Everest with Hillary. I’ve crossed the Atlantic with Heyerdahl. All through reading.

I’ve also experienced the adventure of opening up those worlds for others as a teacher. As many of you know, my wife and I homeschool our kids. Two are old enough to read, and the third one is just now learning. In regard to that, I have to say that one of the biggest joys thus far in life that ranks right up there with mountain summits and marathon completions is hearing my 4yo son scream out, “I just read a whole sentence.”

If you have young ones or have the opportunity to be a blessing to other young ones, I urge you to try it out. Aside from the joy of it, teaching little ones to read also helps you personally cultivate the virtues of patience, longsuffering, and courage. That’s my way of saying it’s not always easy, but it is always worth it.

Aside from an attempt at inspiration, I’d love to offer you some concrete advice and mention a resource that we use. After trying out several programs we were so happy to try out a recommendation someone made to us. Two kids now have exclusively used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann to learn how to read. From there we simply moved on to reading books and learning grammar.


This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!


Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann

Creating a Functional Education

Teaching in the Weird



Bear Grylls Puts My Kids to Bed at Night

Since the early days when my first kid was too young to even understand what I was reading, I enjoyed reading to them at bedtime. There are innumerable reasons why this is beneficial ranging from aspects of relationship to cognitive ability, so there’s really no excuse not to do it. It doesn’t have to stop as they grow older either. Just change the subject or age level of the books.

Because our family focuses on adventure in everything that we do, Bear Grylls is not only a big part of our lives, but a focal piece of our bedtime tales. He’s not really there, and we’ve never met him, but we’re certainly open to that (in case you’re reading this, Bear).

Awhile back we read Facing Up, one of his earliest books, that detailed his summit climb of Everest in his twenties, and the boys loved it!

Our current bedtime read is A Survival Guide for Life- How to Achieve Your Goals, Thrive in Adversity, and Grow in Character. This book is absolutely perfect for bedtime reading as each chapter is only a few pages long and focuses on a particular character trait. Even with the short chapters, they are powerful and quick to the point. There’s plenty of room here for you to expound on the lesson for your kids or let them ask questions or seek examples. Bear also tells a lot of his own personal stories in the chapters, some of which I’ve never heard before.


So, here’s the deal…

  • Read to your kids, at night or anytime you want
  • If you like adventure, read anything by Bear Grylls
  • If you’re seeking character developing stories, check out Bear’s Survival Guide for Life
  • If you need more adventure in your everyday life, get in touch with me

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!


Facing Up by Bear Grylls

A Survival Guide for Life by Bear Grylls


You’re Never Too Old for Adventure

As part of their homeschool I’m doing a bit of a psyops/Napolean Hill tactic with my kids by exposing them to success on a constant basis. I worked through Dan Miller’s free goal planning book at the end of the year with my 11 and 8 yo boys, and now they’re set with pages of plans, dreams, and action steps.

Each of them identified a basic career goal to work toward.

  • My 11yo wants to be a pro basketball star (or baller, as he calls it).
  • My 8yo wants to be a running coach.

So, each day I have them engage in some sort of media that shows people doing what they want to do. It ranges from magazine articles to Youtube videos.

My little runner and I watched this video the other day about a guy way past his prime at 65 who refuses to quit and still wants to get back and do another 100 miler. Even if you’re not a runner, I thought some of you might enjoy it as well, simply for the inspiration that age doesn’t matter. It’s simply an excuse if you let it stop you.

You can find the video right HERE.


This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!

PS…Age is one of the excuses I counter in my keynote session Top Ten Reasons to Fail. If you’d like me to present it to your organization, give me a call.


How do I think and grow rich?

Who is this crazy Dan Miller guy?

How old is too old to be awesome?

Becoming Mr. Mom

After 11 years of being a fulltime mom and homeschool teacher for our 4 kids, my wife has gone back to work. She now has a fulltime job at Amazon, and I do my best to provide job security for her by constantly ordering books and other stuff.

Because of this change, there has been a lot of transition in my house. It doesn’t mean for any reason that I’ve quit my own business. What it does mean is that I’m becoming more flexible and less apt to waste time. I now run my own speaking, coaching, and writing business where I help people keep the adventure in their lives and also do fulltime homeschool. Like the Michael Keaton of old, I’ve become Mr. Mom.

I don’t want it to just be that though. As a matter of fact, I kind of dislike the Mr. Mom label. It implies that a guy can’t be a fulltime dad without becoming a woman of sorts or taking over feminine duties. In my opinion, clothes, dishes, and meals are unisex duties.

In light of this change I’m organizing a community online and eventually in larger gatherings called Rugged Dad. It’s only in the beginning stages right now, but plan on seeing big things coming in the future. For now, you can get plugged in by liking our Facebook page. There’s also a button on there to sign up for regular updates on events and advice from myself and other active dads.


My ultimate goal in all of this is to get more dads active. If you work fulltime, that’s fine, but you also need to be active in your kid’s lives. As I became the parent that took the kids to all their events, athletic practices, and playdates I noticed that I seldom saw other dads at any of them. it didn’t matter if it was morning, afternoon, or evening, the dads just weren’t there. I’m sure most of them could use their jobs as an excuse, but I also know that if something important came up that they wanted to do, they’d figure out a way. It’s just that their kids aren’t the priority. Don’t use money as an excuse either. Believe me, your kids would rather have you around than enjoy watching you drive away every morning in a nice car.

Men- Join me as we create something different, as we create a place where men pushing strollers or sitting on the bench at the playground are just as normal as the moms doing the same.

Ladies- Encourage your men to join me. Help them find ways to become more a part of their kid’s lives instead of just casual bystanders.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!


What do I do for a living?

What’s a Mr. Mom?

What’s a Rugged Dad?

Christmas Gift Ideas to Make Life Better…for Your Kids

Because of the influences of several really great people, most notably Joshua Becker, I’ve been instituting minimalism as a part of my life. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to sell everything and move into a cardboard box. It just means that you make conscious choices about what you buy, have, and do.

On that note, I’d like to do my part to make the most consumer driven holiday of the year perhaps a little something more. I’ll have a series of posts leading up to the big day to hopefully encourage something new for you this year.

What if this year, instead of buying the toys that are most popular for your kids, you bought them something that opened their worldview and encouraged them to look outward?

I’m talking about the Little Passports Global Adventure kit. These are great little kits that teach your children all about the world around them. They arrive in the mail, and each one has activities, a gift, and information.

You don’t have to be a homeschool parent to use these either. They make great activities for fun, dinnertime conversation, or even the summer. I do happen to be a homeschool dad and rely on these as an integral part of our global studies curriculum.

You can find Little Passports by clicking below. If you go quick, you can also take advantage of their holiday sale.


This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!


Simplify by Joshua Becker

Little Passports Global Adventure

And now for the fine print…

This promotion is valid online only at To redeem enter code JOLLY at checkout. Offer valid on new subscriptions only and cannot be combined with any other offers and/or applied retroactively to previously placed orders. Offer applies only to the first month on a Monthly Plan. Offer not valid on Personalized Products and Shop items. Offer excludes shipping and taxes. Offer valid from Dec 4th, 2015 at 8:00AM EST to Dec 16th, 2015 at 11:59PM EST. Please see my Disclosures and Rants page for affiliate information.

Avoiding the Hell that is Back to School Shopping

I just made the mistake of venturing into Wal Mart during back to school shopping time on a tax free weekend. Ouch! If you’ve ever done this on purpose or by accident, you know what I’m talking about. I feel bad for my friends that work retail at times like this (unless, of course, you work on commission).


I’m glad that I don’t have to do the back to school shopping thing anymore. As a kid I enjoyed it because it was the time to try and find the coolest Trapper Keeper or folders. I’m sure my parents hated it, and not just because of the lines. We didn’t have a lot of money back in those days either. My parents were pretty awesome and, as a kid, I never really knew this. So, every August we would do the same old zombie shuffle into the store with a list of stuff me and my sister needed for school.

Let me see if I can break it down…

  • Your taxes pay for school.
  • You pay extra fees for anything special your kids do.
  • The teachers give you a very specific list of crap you need to buy.
  • A lot of schools also mandate that you buy extra stuff that goes into a bin for the kids who can’t afford all the crap the schools said they needed.
  • You stand in line at the store for the joy of purchasing all of this stuff.
  • You wonder if it’s all worth it.
  • You wonder why there isn’t a better way to do all this.

There is a better way.

There’s a better way to educate our kids that actually prepares them for adulthood. There’s a better way that doesn’t require a bunch of supplies you don’t need and will rarely use. You know what? Belay that, there’s not just one better way. There are a lot of better ways.

Did you know that you have choices in education other than just shipping your kids off to an overcrowded, dangerous government school? The better ways go by so many names, and each one is so different than the others.

  • Private school
  • Unschool
  • Homeschool
  • School abroad
  • Travel school

As a parent you have choices and you can pick the one that most favors your lifestyle and your child’s personality. Don’t just give in and, for goodness sake, think about your choices before you head out to the store this weekend. It’s not too late to change your child’s future right now…this weekend…today.

I talk about this at length in my book Creating a Functional Education. You can buy it online for your e-reader, and you don’t even have to go to the store.

Don’t waste any more time. Don’t waste any more of your kid’s time. Make a change now.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!

My 10yo Chef Might Be the Next Gordon Ramsey

I hope most of you were able to see my recent blog post about my 10yo son entering a recipe contest with ChefSteps. Well, guess what, he won!

We’re all so excited. Now we’ll all be flying out to Seattle sometime this summer to have dinner with the ChefSteps staff and Tim Ferriss.

To avoid repeating myself, I’ll give you the links if you’d like to read up on it more. If you get the chance, please comment on my son’s blog. He writes his own blog as part of our homeschool language arts curriculum and gets really jazzed just knowing people read his blog.

Click HERE for the official ChefSteps blog.

Click HERE for my son’s contest entry.

Click HERE for my ramblings about the contest.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!