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Brainsarefun Research


Is there proof? Does it really work?

YES! The evaluation of hundreds of very diverse kids proves to me that these skills, tools and solutions work with all ages and abilities – at home and school.

For example, I personally administered standardized reading tests to 200 very diverse 5th through 12th grade students. After only 20 hours of instruction I tested them all again. The results speak for themselves.

  • HIGHEST READING GAIN, 5 years after 20 hours of instruction
  • AVERAGE READING GAIN, 2.1 years after 20 hours of instruction
  • LOWEST READING GAIN, 1 year after 20 hours of instruction

You'll notice that the "average" student gained 2.1 years (comprehension, decoding and prosody). This equates to a full 100% gain – remarkable, since students not in the program averaged only a 10% gain during the same period. These skills are long-lasting.  Guess which students were better prepared to continue their educations?

Here's an important rule-of-thumb:

  • "A" students read 2 or more years above grade level (top grades, top schools)
  • "B" students read 1 year above grade level (above-average grades, above-average schools)
  • "C" students read at grade level (average grades, average schools)
  • "D" students read 1 year below grade level (below-average grades, below-average schools)
  • "E/F" students read 2 or more year below grade level (major struggle in school, failing schools)

All this data, as well as the references below and numerous testimonials, provide me with all the evidence I need that the skills, tools and solutions work with all types of students, again and again: dyslexic students, attention deficit students, gifted and talented students, students with learning challenges, home schooled students, students in traditional classrooms… 

Our skills, tools and solutions draw on the historical analysis of hundreds of students, extensive literature review (see below) and the results of thousands of hours of direct field-tested experience. Is there proof these solutions actually work? The answer is "Absolutely Yes. These solutions teach kids to succeed with reading, math and study skills."

They work with economically and racially diverse students, gifted and talented students, as well as those who need to catch up fast. Why? Because the skills and tools are built on success and I've never met a human being who didn't love success.

Brainsarefun integrates reading with writing, listening, speaking, information organization, critical thinking, study skills and success with math. Grades improve. Test scores improve. Attendance improves.

As impressive as these gains are, the testimonials speak for themselves.


Have there been any long-term studies on Brainsarefun's efficacy? Of course. Departments of education across the country have been studying the core of everything we do for years. At the core of Brainsarefun are Direct Instruction and Positive Discipline, two skill sets that have been thoroughly evaluated to work over time.

Here is a small handful of results that will convince you:

Those of you unfamiliar with Direct Instruction will enjoy this 7 minute video

The Success of Direct Instruction

Evaluation Studies

The National Institute for Direct Instruction

The National Clearinghouse for Comprehensive School Reform

Sol Stern praises the Federal Reading First program but criticizes the way his city has implemented it.

More on Direct Instruction

The National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI) has developed a resource for advocates of Direct Instruction (DI) at

Initially designed to support community organizations advocating for effective instruction, NIFDI provides a number of valuable resources for anyone promoting DI.

Included is a step-by-step guide on how to advocate for DI in your local schools, information on using DI for core programs and links to aligning DI and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

To give you a head start on success both at home and in the classroom please see our resources at

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