One thing that has become evident during the recent epidemic is that parents are on their own as far as their children’s education is concerned. In reality education has always been the parents’ responsibility; but without the help of the classroom teacher for their child, parents are finding the problems of education insurmountable. This is true, especially when both parents work.

Parents have concerns and they should have. Research indicates children are already falling months behind. Virtual learning (online) does not work for many children. It is also a new way of learning for many teachers, and makes it even more difficult for them to interact with the individual student.

Parents need to be aware that the most vulnerable child, and the one that could easily be forgotten in a family of several children, is the child between the ages of 0-6. This is the period of time that a child’s brain is the most open for learning. The foundation for all future learning is laid during this crucial period. This is a critical time for learning. These early years are a natural once-in-a-lifetime “window of learning opportunity” that, once closed, is lost forever. For your preschooler, kindergartener, and first graders, the damage done during this period is irreversible. This does not mean that your child can’t learn in later years, but it means he/she could be left with learning difficulties. It also cannot be emphasized enough how important this period of time is for children with any type of learning disability. Many learning disabilities can be corrected during this period.

Coming soon – ​My Experience Teaching an Autistic Child

Donna Blevins has been a life-long educator. She has taught both on the elementary and secondary level and has often been a guest speaker to educational graduate students on the topic of curricula for the early years. For the past 30 years, she researched and developed the nationally recognized program ​Be Smart Kids​ which addresses early brain development. Thousands of students across the nation have benefited from ​Be Smart Kids​.

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Download Be Smart Kids: Cloud

Be Smart Kids just got better for you with the new “Cloud” app for Windows and Mac. For the past year you’ve had to deal with browser warnings about using Adobe Flash. We are happy to announce that this will be a thing of the past.

You can now download our new Be Smart Kids: Cloud app and continue to use Be Smart Kids anywhere you install the app. The app is free, and new users get a free month of access.

You can download Be Smart Kids: Cloud by following the following link below:

Download Be Smart Kids: Cloud
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The Right Way to Educate

For twenty years, Be Smart Kids has seen groundbreaking success in teaching young minds to soar. The proof is in the research. Kids who participate in our program are regularly two and three grade levels above their peers. Autistic and special needs children have seen enormous benefits, some even graduating at the top of their class years later!

Terra Nova Test Data: Random Sample of Be Smart Kids Students

  • No other program or app has this much potential.
  • No other program comes with the years of experience and research to prove our claims.
  • No other program makes it this easy to give a child a head start in life.

Leveraging on Nature

Brain Graphic

The brain is a super computer that will eventually contain more connections than there are stars in our galaxy.

Researchers have discovered children even at 6 months of age are able to do adding and subtracting, work grammatical and understand concepts of physics without ever being taught! These areas of the brain are setup from birth to think and work in specific ways.


Early education helps guarantee those connections get prime real estate in the brain. The young mind starts off with few connections between these areas, and develops them over time. We connect these areas at an early age, wiring the brain so it is efficient and fast. This makes learning come natural.

The Right Way to Educate – Do Traditional Educational Methods Work?

Early education may sound straight forward. There are traditional methods for education that were used on us all… but there are still children that struggle in school and get left behind. The question becomes, “Do these traditional methods work?”

The truth is, for a young mind, there are several methods that have a regressive effect. Drilling, rehearsal, even many educational games can result in a struggling child years later. Parents can become frustrated with the short attention span, and some never bother to begin early education, thus missing out on an  incredible opportunity for their child.


There is a delicate balance, and Be Smart Kids nails it. Look at the research, this program has figured out the equilibrium. What is most amazing of all is how this methodology can be wrapped into a single program! When you teach with Be Smart Kids, you only need to follow the steps laid out for you and the learning becomes natural. It is a step by step process, and if you follow the steps, your child will excel above and beyond.

Remember, the research shows the incredible benefits to the Be Smart Kids way of education… This way works, and incredibly,  it requires only one session/week. Additional sessions are neither needed nor desired, this methodology really works!


Confidence is key in education.  Confident children learn more naturally, succeed on tests and struggle less with new material. Confidence comes from a solid foundation, and Be Smart Kids gives that to children.

When you have a child in the Be Smart Kids program, you are building up confidence while introducing them to all the areas of education, including:

Language & Vocabulary
Math & Logic
Spatial/Visual Arts
Motor Skills
Second Language

What’s in the “Box?”

Be Smart Kids offers:

  • 750+ learning activities & 4 levels.
  • Designed to provide many years of learning
  • Activities for Motor skills
  • Spatial/Visual skills
  • Activities for Memory
  • Activities that improve direction following and attention span
  • Social/Emotional skills
  • Phonics – Vocabulary – Second language and sign language
  • Science, Math, Logic and Problem Solving
  • History

Children learn at their own pace. Research shows “Be Smart Kids” perform an average of 3 grades levels above their peers.

Why Wait?


The window of opportunity is from birth to ages 6. This is because as a child gets older new connections in the brain are made less often. The longer you wait, the harder it will be for your child to get these connections, making school frustrating and an up hill battle.

Don’t go at it alone or waste this opportunity. Don’t be stuck later in life having long hours of study and drills. Make learning easier. Do it now, when it only requires a short lesson every week!

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Experts’ Thoughts

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With the exception of sight, most of the critical periods of human brain development are open during this stage.  At no other time in a person’s life is the brain more receptive and responsive to its environment.  During this time and over the next two years, many of the neurological foundations that govern a lifetime of skills and potential will be determined.  In other words, how a child learns and processes information for the rest of his/her life is going to be determined.

“Wow, you might say, this puts a tremendous burden on me.  I’m no teacher or scientist.  I want to do the best for my child, but I’m not sure I’m capable.”  I say to you that virtually every parent is capable, and it takes very little of your time to enhance your child’s intellectual development.

As human beings, we instinctively know what to do to advance intelligence and have down through the ages.  Parents have interacted with their baby with love, praise, play, conversation, and song as far back as we know.   Today, with all of our science and educational research, we know these things are still basic.  However, over the last 3 decades, we have learned many simple things that we can work into our everyday life that will enhance the child’s intellectual development.

Remember that it is very important to provide a positive learning environment because children develop their brain through experiences.  Bad negative experiences can badly damage a child’s learning ability.

Below are a few tips to enhance your child’s intellectual development.

  1. Enhance the child’s language development by being a chatty, always explaining mom/caregiver.  Talk, talk, talk, and then talk some more.  “This is your red ball.  This is your yellow duck.  We’re going to wear our red dress and red socks today.  You will look so pretty.”  Not only will your child learn to identify things but will learn colors as naturally as she learns to talk.
  2. Provide appropriate, simple picture books.  I prefer books that have a simple picture and a word description (picture of cat with word “cat” in big letters).
  3. Many parents are aware of the importance of language development, but are not as aware of the importance of math during this critical period.  When bathing your child, you can count the fingers on his hand. “Let’s count our fingers.  We have 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 on this hand and … on this hand.”  You can count the toys in his play area. “Let’s pick up our toys.  We have one yellow duck, blue bear makes two, and black cat makes three.”  Young children can develop math skills as naturally as they can the language skills.
  4. Have fun with a variety of music, games (peek-a-boo, roll a ball back and forth), and rhythms. These fun things can develop so many things like language, vocabulary, math, music, attention span, spatial/visual skills, and social/emotional skills.  The greatest gift is the bonding between adult and child.  This has a tremendous impact on a child’s learning.
  5. Allow your child to explore his surroundings.  Do not keep your child penned-up in a swing or playpen all the time.  It is important that he has time by himself to explore.  Corner off a larger safe area for her.  Put together an “everyday junk box” of items to feel, poke, and squeeze.   You might have measuring cups of different sizes, pans, spoons, cups, tissue paper, egg cartons, shoe box, and favorite toys.
  6. Around 18 months, a child may get anxious and clinging about being separated from parents and caregivers.  This behavior is normal.  If possible, minimize separations and stick to consistent routines.

Donna D. Blevins, Founder of Be Smart Kids

Be Smart Kids is a system of 30-minute weekly lesson plans for children, ages 1-6, that enhances the intellectual development of children.  (See research)

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What Parents Can Do – Birth to 6 Months

Whether you are breast-feeding or bottle-feeding your baby, changing diapers, giving a bath, or softly singing as you rock your baby to sleep, know that this is a special time!

These everyday moments, these simple loving encounters, are providing essential nourishment. Just as their bodies need food to grow, science now tells us that the positive emotional, physical, and intellectual experiences that babies have in the earliest years are equally necessary for the growth of a healthy brain.  Here are some ways that you can enhance your baby’s brain development:

Hug and cuddle your baby.  Make feeding time a special time.  Being held and cuddled frequently is extremely important in the building of baby’s sense of self-worth and will encourage them to try new things.

Hold your baby when feeding. The baby’s vision is most clear at about 10 inches–the distance between your eyes and hers when feeding.

Providing stimulation for a baby’s vision is very important.  Expose babies to bright colored pictures, moving objects, and toys.  Hang mobiles over the crib and play area.  Provide crib gyms, and objects for them to grab at or kick.

Talk and sing to your baby during bath, feeding, and play time. When your baby makes a sound, repeat it.  Smile and talk about the things you’re doing together.  Hearing your voice helps your baby begin to learn language.

Read aloud to your child.  Babies enjoy cuddling on your lap, looking at colorful picture books, and hearing the rhythm of your voice. Introduce cardboard or washable cloth books with brightly colored pictures.  At this point, your baby might enjoy chewing the books more than being read to!

Provide an environment rich with sound.  Help infants learn to identify and name such things as a vacuum cleaner, radio, clock, tea kettle, or doorbell.

Play music during the day.  Expose your baby to many different musical selections of various styles. If you play an instrument, practice when your baby is nearby. But keep the volume moderate.

Provide interesting objects for infants to feel, touch, mouth, and explore.  Keep easy-to-swallow objects out of infant’s reach.

Play peek-a-boo.  It teaches that you come back when you go away.

Respond to your baby’s needs and do not worry about spoiling your child at this stage.

Have your baby’s hearing checked.   Babies with hearing problems don’t get the language experience they need. If your baby has a hearing loss, he or she may need a specialist’s help. The earlier hearing problems are identified and corrected, the better.

And remember that brain development begins before birth. Nutrition makes a big difference in brain development even before the baby is born. Women who are pregnant should eat nutritious foods, avoid alcohol and other drugs, and have regular prenatal care to help ensure that their babies are born healthy.

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Human beings are unique among the world of animal species.  Most life comes into this world genetically programmed for survival; cattle stand and walk within minutes if not hours of being born; most birds are flying within six weeks of hatching; and other species are born with teeth and claws.  We all have experienced the fun of watching a kitten at play stalking and attacking a sibling or a ball of yarn as if it was some prey in the wild.  I once had an Australian Shepherd dog that I would take jogging with me.  Even as a pup, it would lower its head and “snake” back and forth as though nipping at the heels of the cattle it was bred to herd.

Humans, on the other hand, come into this world almost completely defenseless.  A blob of flesh with no teeth, almost blind, and it seems that all a newborn can do is eat, poop, and cry.  It takes a baby some time to learn how to roll over, then to crawl, about ten to twelve months to learn to walk, and about a year to learn to say a few words.  And we celebrate every milestone!  The key point here is that the baby is “learning” these things.  Some parents feel they can accelerate the process and try to “teach” their child to talk or walk.  If they are intense about it, they find that it can be like the old saying about “teaching a pig to sing” – it just annoys the pig and frustrates you.

The fact is children are learning at a rapid rate.   They are using all their senses: seeing, listening, tasting, smelling, and touching, to learn about the new world they are in and the people that occupy it.  As they do, they are strengthening neural networks or neural pathways and forming new ones.  The development of networks is going on mostly unseen by parents and caregivers, but happening none the less.  It is common to hear parents proudly boast about their child who “just started to talk” and right away they were saying eight to ten new words.  The reality is the child had learned those words and many more but hadn’t yet to possessed the oral skill to be able to voice them.

Sometimes I think that God has a sense of humor.  He gave humans the greatest anatomical gift imaginable, the human brain, and then sat back and watched in amusement as we tried to figure out how to use it.  And we, seeing ourselves as physical beings, another species of animal, have learned a great deal about our bodies and our physical world, but only recently have we begun to focus on understanding the workings of the human brain.

Last week, I was studying at a picture of the human eye on the wall of my eye doctor’s office and was intrigued by the detail in the display.  All those “tiny” parts – lens, muscles, blood vessels, and nerve systems – will keep functioning to supply blood and send signals to the brain, for our entire lives.  We continue to make discoveries and increase our knowledge of how to keep our bodies running smoothly and how we can combat illness and disease.  However, the brain, that marvelous gift, has remained a mystery.

Until the last century or so, all that we knew about the brain we learned from autopsies and experiments on animals.  Recently, because of advances in technology and the transition to the “information age,” we are beginning to study and learn more and more about the enormous capacity of the human brain and how it works.

One of the major outgrowths of this learning is the discovery of how important the first few years are for establishing the foundations for all future learning. The implications that has for early childhood development and our responsibilities as parents is tremendous.

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Be Smart Kids Launches New Online Learning System

be smart kids cloud logo

  • Free month of access
  • No Credit Card required to enroll.
  • We do not share your email address.
  • We only email you for account maintenance purposes or at your request.

What is involved in enrolling?

We only need your name, email address and a password. If you decide to continue using Be Smart Kids: Cloud, we’ll ask for a payment after your free period has expired.

We give you 31 days of access for only $7.99. It is a pay-as-you-go service. You can purchase an entire year of access for $79.99 – which will save you $14.99 over an entire year!

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Dallas study shows benefits of early childhood education

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

High-quality preschool programs can help children from low-income communities be more successful in elementary school, initial results from a study show.
Researchers found that students in the Dallas school district who had received services from certain early childhood education programs outperformed their classmates from similar backgrounds, officials said.

“What it told us was that first- and second-graders were not only on task but exceeded the average in math and reading. That was critical to us because we know that just because they’re poor doesn’t mean they can’t learn,” said Merriott Terry, president and chief executive officer of Educational First Steps, a Dallas nonprofit organization that sponsored the study.

The study was conducted by the University of Texas at Dallas, and more complete results are expected next month.


The study looked at students in kindergarten through second grade who had attended preschool centers affiliated with Educational First Steps.

An analysis of data showed that those students scored higher on standardized tests in reading and math than their peers, said Richard Scotch, professor of sociology and public policy at UT-Dallas.

Educational First Steps supports early childhood education for disadvantaged children up to age 5.

The group works with about 70 Dallas-area child-care centers to improve educational programs by providing one-on-one mentoring and training to teachers, supplying learning tools and materials, and giving teacher scholarships for certificates and degrees in early childhood education.


The impact of high-quality early education, particularly for lower-income children, will be a key topic Friday at the Early Education Summit at the World Trade Center in Dallas. The event is expected to draw more than 150 community leaders, elected officials and child-care administrators.

On Saturday, nearly 350 area caregivers and early education providers will meet for a daylong conference at the trade center. Registration is closed for the summit.

Online: ,

Posted on Thu, Sep. 04, 2008

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Overcoming Autism – A Case Study

Most early brain development disorders now come under an umbrella called Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  One in every 68 children is said to have some form of it.  These disorders are more prevalent in boys (1 in 44).

It is critical that the parent/teacher begins an intervention program with these children immediately.  The earlier you begin the more success you will have.  Too often parents send so much time with doctors and tests that this incredible “window of opportunity” to take corrective measures is missed.


How do children learn?  Scientist and educators tells us how children learn and process information for the rest of their lives depends on how we stimulate their brains in the early years, ages 0- 5.     When we stimulate the brain of the young child and the neurons fire often enough, a permanent connection is formed. Connections used regularly become stronger and more complex.  Connections not used are pruned away. The brain is built on a “use it or lose it” basis especially in the early years.  The more connections, the more work the brain can do.  It is called hard-wiring the brain.  These early years are the greatest learning potential of a person’s life and  the foundation of all future learning.

Case Study

Over the last 20 years, we have taught children who  had various degrees of Autism at the Be Smart Kids Center. They were not drilled.  They only received the lesson once a week for 30 minutes.    I remember one case in which I am extremely proud.   He had just turned 3 when he came to me in 1998.    I always say that he taught me more than I taught him.  He had no speech except for whining, had glazed over eyes with no interaction to any other person, walked on his tiptoes bringing his feet up very high when he walked, and did a lot of flapping with his arms. He would sometimes put his hands over his ears and scream. I would think time and again that he would not be able to accomplish something but I kept going.  He proved me wrong in every instance.  This child graduated number one in his high school and is now attending college.

The same process that I used is available to you.  The Be Smart Kids Learning Process has instructions and tutorials for each weekly lesson.  It is important that you do the computer-based product because the interaction between the computer, adult, and child will produce the best results.

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Donna Blevins, a mother of three, former teacher, and public official, observed the challenges of the American educational system and resolved to devote herself to improving it. Applying the latest research on early childhood learning and brain development, she began working on her home computer in 1991 to create a unique educational program. The result was a learning system that combined proven teaching methods and computer-aided technology to stimulate the human brain when learning capabilities are optimal.

That first year a computerized curriculum was built and tested by 12 families with young children. Buoyed by the system’s positive impact on the first users, Blevins began offering private lessons using her unique program in 1992.

Throughout the 1990s Blevins and a growing team of experts honed the process through practical use, additional research and development, and technological design improvements. More than 1,500 children were observed and their educational progress tracked as they used the Be Smart Kids learning system. In 1998 Dr. Robert McElrath, former Tennessee Commissioner of Education for Governor Lamar Alexander (who later served as U.S. Secretary of Education), came on board to help assess and build the process.

Ross Perot, owner of world-renowned technology company Perot Systems, was introduced to Be Smart Kids in 1999. An advocate of early childhood learning, he agreed to have his company design and build a computerized model for delivering the process worldwide. Ultimately, more than 50 of Perot’s computer experts from around the world spent nearly two years working on the design and later building the whole system. Perot was so pleased with the final product that he presented Be Smart Kids learning systems to the East Dallas Community Inner-City School, an innovative school that he supports.


With its incorporation in 1998, Be Smart Kids Inc. began opening learning centers, offering private lessons using the trademark learning system. The company also began licensing use of the system and training teachers for on-site learning centers at day care facilities, preschools, Head Start programs, and elementary schools. The home edition of the electronic learning system was introduced in 2001. Today the Be Smart Kids Learning System is in homes worldwide, enabling parents to harness the computer to develop their own child’s love for learning.

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