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The worst part of this class is that it is now over.
I know it will be a rare event if I ever learn this much in another class. 

L.M., student.


(scroll down for testimonials from parents, 
teachers and grandparents)

  • Dear Mr. Donaldson, I believe that if I think in a scattered format I will be able to accomplish very little… but using an organized thinking process, which I have learned through this class, then there is no limit to what I can achieve.  R.I., student.
  • I now know I have the skills to succeed. I no longer have any excuses. I can do it! M.H., student.
  • It is rather difficult to summarize all of the valuable lessons I have learned. The most important lesson, it is most important to start on time, stay on task and complete assignments. A.J., student.
  • I sat at home one day on the weekend, playing a video game, and I had the sudden realization that I remembered nearly everything that we had discussed in this class. Memory retention has always been an arduous prospect for me, but the 555’s forced me to take the information through multiple channels, which has not only made me learn the material but retain it well. A.G., student.
  • Dear Mr. Donaldson, I am so happy that I took your course. Before I was reading nothing I was so slow. You taught me how to speed up and understand better, my writing has improved. I get most of my homework turned in on time and my teachers say I'm a whole new student. My mom and I have stopped fighting (mostly) and I really know I can do it. The course was fun. I really learned a lot. Your friend, Charlie S., student.
  • How has this class changed me? I know I can succeed in the classroom. N.P., student.
  • The worst part of this class is that it is now over. I know it will be a rare event if I ever learn this much in another class. L.M., student.
  • I hadn’t taken an English class in three years, and I was scared. This class has given me a whole new perspective. Writing has become more fun than I can ever remember. P.D.C., student.
  • In this class I learned about learning skills, winning, becoming your own hero, happiness and the importance of education. A.B., student.
  • In summary, I would like to wrap up my thoughts. I learned so much invaluable information in this class. T.C., student.
  • I have changed as a person because of this class, and it has been for the better. J.A., student.
  • By taking this class I changed how to start on time, stay on task and complete assignments, which really helps me for not only this class, but everywhere: school, job, house. For example, the other day my boyfriend was telling me that I’m so sharp on time now compared to before. This was a big compliment. S.F., student.
  • The best part of this class was having a teacher who was so enthusiastic about writing. I went into this class thinking that writing was a chore. He brought a whole new perspective to it. Being able to write about topics that interest me can actually be fun. A.J., student.
  • In this class the most important goal that I had to accomplish was the research paper on happiness. This was a daunting task because I never had to think or write like this before. The accomplishment of this goal unlocked many facets of my self, particularly in the area of thinking. I believe that when a person is able to change and improve the way they think, they will ultimately become a better person and gain the ability to achieve more than they thought possible before.  R.I., student.
  • I believe that if I think in a scattered format I will be able to accomplish very little… but using an organized thinking process, which I have learned through writing, then there is no limit to what I can achieve.  R.I., student.
  • This semester has been quite a learning experience for me, especially this class. This is the one class where I learned so much, however none of what I learned was actual data. I like that. This class was exactly what I needed to continue my college education. S.S., student.
  • Thank you very much Professor Donaldson for being the push I needed to get going in life. J.M., student.
  • I am grateful for the fact that this class was not easy. I like that it challenged me, and helped me find things I thought I had lost. I enjoyed my experience and being pushed to try harder and do better. I want to keep writing, I want to keep trying, I want to keep working and reaching for my  idea of “Quality.” M.S., student.
  • So, yes I have to say I have changed. My writing has improved a lot. A.W., student.
  • Fifteen of the most important things I have learned in this class:
  1. Start on time
  2. Stay on task
  3. Complete assignments
  4. Write furiously
  5. “I can do it.”
  6. There are stupid questions
  7. Grasp the main idea
  8. Nothing worth reading was ever written once
  9. Pay attention to the details
  10. Quality
  11. “Here’s what I think.”
  12. Not getting finished, but getting started
  13. Format, format, format​
  14. Everyone needs a good editor​
  15. Discipline. M.H., student
  • Dear Mr. Donaldson, I am so happy that I took your course. Before I was reading nothing I was so slow. You taught me how to speed up and understand better, my writing has improved. I get most of my homework turned in on time and my teachers say I'm a whole new student. My mom and I have stopped fighting (mostly) and I really know I can do it. The course was fun. I really learned a lot. Your friend, Charlie S., student.
  • ​​​​When in class, what is the one thing I should be doing? Writing furiously. B.P., student.



  • Dear Brainsarefun – My son was failing terribly at school and I couldn't seem to locate any help. With the assistance of Brainsarefun we've established a contact, have stopped fighting, are reading together almost every night, and he's even turning in his homework. His grades have improved and he's no longer failing. There must be hope for the young as long as there are fighters like you. Fred S., parent.
  • Rory – I want to thank you for your website. Homework and piano practice had become a source of constant conflict with our 12 year old daughter. We set up a contract system based on your website for both activities and have enjoyed seeing her take responsibility and blossom! She now stays focused on her homework instead of walking away 20 times in 30 minutes AND she practices piano willingly and effectively and has climbed off her plateau and progressed about a full year in only 3 months! Your website is inspiring and helpful, and I count my blessings regularly that the spirit led me to your information. Bob L., happy parent.
  • Dear Mr. D – I am so happy that my son John has taken your program. He is reading. His writing has improved. His teachers say he's turning in his homework on time. His grades have improved, and all this from a young man who just didn't seem to care about school at all. Thanks for all your effort, Mr. and Mrs. John J., parents.
  • Rory – Brainsarefun, Yes! Brainsarefun is the only interesting contribution to humanity found on the Internet. Congratulations on 5 record-breaking years, a major accomplishment. Marcus P., parent.
  • Dear Brainsarefun – I am a mother of 4 precious children. Brandon – 15 yrs, Josh – 9 yrs, Liza – 8 yrs, and Emma – 8 months. I have been home schooling Josh and Liza 3 days/wk for the past 4 years. Brandon attends a private Christian school full-time. Oh…I forgot…we also have a new puppy! Needless to say, my time is very valuable and there are never enough hours in the day! Lately I have been at the end of my rope. I am an extremely organized person "normally" but since school started up again last Fall, I have felt overwhelmed. Things are disorganized in our home and school, our schedule is out of control, and there is a lot of arguing between us all.   My desire is to provide my children with a happy home, for them to love school, and to equip each of them with what they need to be successful in life. I have tried many different incentive programs. There just didn't seem to be a good fit with any of them. This morning I decided to get on the net and try again (that's my motto too – NEVER give up!). I came across your website and was immediately impressed. Jane N., mother.
  • As I have read, I have become uplifted and empowered. I really like what I'm reading! You have such a straightforward style – honest and to the point. It's obvious that you've researched and experienced everything you talk about. I want to thank you for offering us parents/teachers a great resource guide – you never know who you are going to reach…and today you've reached our home that is in need of support. I will continue to blaze a trail through your site printing out contracts and taking notes along the way. I'm very excited to make some positive changes in our home and school. Bless you! M.C., parent , grandparent and teacher.
  • Dear Brainsarefun – I am currently doing MY homework for a meeting I have with my daughter's teachers and I came across your site. I am going to be using your advice on What Parents Should Do. My 12 year old daughter is buried in homework up to her eyes for 3- 5 hours every night and when we speak to the teachers that this is too much work for a 12 year old I just get told that my daughter needs to be more responsible, or that its odd it takes her that long. She has so much homework that her first love, reading books, has been put on the back burner. Your site has given me a lot of info for my meeting. Thank you. C.P., parent.
  • Rory – Thank you for the motivating piece you published on line for us teacher/parents who desperately want the very highest level of achievement for our students and children. The Hero List is a wonderful way to demonstrate to our young how — "the greatest part of our happiness depends on our dispositions, not our circumstances. " – Martha Washington. Respectfully, Dawn D., teacher.
  • Hi Rory – My God, someone who uses all the best approaches to teaching. It was as if you put together my dream website. It also just so happens that a good friend of mine has a niece that is starting her first year teaching. Of course, I immediately referred her to your site knowing that she is smart, eager to learn and was not taught anything useful in ed school… I am greatly inspired by your comments and hope that I can give back a little of what I learned to a new teacher. Thanks for the inspiration, Kathy Z., teacher.
  • Dear Brainsarefun – I just can't believe it. You make so much sense and spell everything out about as well as can be expected (some excellent writing I might add). But, hardly anyone gets it. It just ain't happening at my kids' school. I'm a father who is going to be sending his kids off to more of the same tomorrow. I wish they had more real teachers. I wish more of them really seemed to understand how important my children are to me. Fred D., father.
  • Hi Rory – Thanks for sending your link. I think that you are right on target: teacher-training programs are the head of the illiteracy snake. I plan to include your website link in my article for publication in a small local paper. Keep up the great work! Best regards, Bill C., school board member.
  • Rory – He signed the contract earlier this morning. We made a few revisions after a practice run last week. He made $8.00 last week and he's thrilled to death! (Says he's going to buy a wallet.) Using the suggestions from your website and adjusting them a little to fit home schooling (and our particular problem) has made a huge difference already. Thanks for everything! Lisa F., home-school parent.
  • Brainsarefun: Rory Donaldson's excellent site, loaded with wisdom and teaching methods. Martin K., parent, teacher, writer.
  • Rory – Very impressive. Wish I knew this stuff, AND USED IT, when my kids were growing up. Alex R., psychologist, teacher and parent.
  • Dear Big Brain – A great site. Thanks, Howie S., Managing Editor, Public Education Network.
  • Rory – Thanks very much for your response and specifications. I hope you are having a great year and that all is well with you personally. It is enjoyable to read your posts and visit your site… and helpful as well. Best wishes, Steve H, parent.
  • Dear Rory – Congratulations on your wonderful site. Well done! I'm using the summer to fine tune some of my teaching techniques. Your site certainly has a lot to offer! All the best, Marjan G., columnist, Teach Magazine.
  • Dear Mr. D. – We defined our contract last night at our FIRST family meeting. Our daughter was super excited. Chris D., excited parent and my son.
  • Dear Brainsarefun – Another great piece — you write so directly and entertainingly! You know, I think what I like most about your writing is that I can pass your stuff on to parents and others and actually have a CHANCE of getting them to read and respond. Wow! Kevin K., teacher.
  • Another fellow who I admire greatly, Rory Donaldson. If you haven't browsed his website, please do so — it's quite compelling! Be sure to click the link for the "complete index" — the guy's really prolific! Regards, Jimmy K., Senior Fellow, Alexis de Tocqueville Institute.
  • I like your common sense website! If educationists would only include your insights when forming policies, ed codes, etc. Keep up the good fight! Best regards, Bill C, School Board Member.
  • Dear Mr. Donaldson – I am the director of a one-to-one children's mentoring program in New York State. I recently discovered your website's "solutions", which I plan to use when helping my mentors prepare to work on the children's academics and behavior. Thank you for providing your highly useful information for free. It will be put to good use. Much of the information on your site was familiar to me, since I too used to work at Littleton Preparatory Charter School, (I came the year after you left, but I've heard many wonderful stories about you). Your organization of the material has made it very simple to use in teaching and training situations. Thanks again, Joe G., teacher.
  • Rory – As you know, I have your site listed on my site. For a year or so I have been giving your website to help my clients too. It is wonderful! After reading your homework suggestions for the 3rd or 4th time, along with the contract, I started wondering if this plan could work for me. "Of course," I said to myself. So, last night I had a meeting with my soon to be 8 year old who seems to have an attitude problem this year. ("I hate reading. I hate math. I hate home school. I hate chores." Lots of daydreaming, sloppy, poor work, etc.) Anyway, all went well. We developed a new schedule and I probed him with the questions. He's very excited about this new plan. Thanks for your help! Lisa L., guardian and parent.
  • Great job, my friend!  It is good to see positives about school and the learning process. Particularly cool this time of year when the plots of most of the news feature stories of children pissing and moaning about being forced to go to school, homework, etc.  If pop culture drums that attitude into children's brains, the coming generation will grow to become illiterate and lacking the skills to do anything of worth. You attack this nonsense in a really positive way. S.H., parent.
  • The times they are a changin', sang Bob Dylan. But, according to Mr. Donaldson things haven't changed much when it comes to the classroom. It mostly remains a teacher lecturing to a room full of largely disengaged pupils. 

    His site, Brainsarefun, aims its teaching skills, tools and solutions to students, parents, teachers and schools who really want their kids to succeed with reading, math and study-skills.


    If you're interested in improving the lives of your children and students, if you are a student of education reform, if you'd like to learn how to teach reading and the other fundamental skills, if you are thinking of starting a school, or revitalizing a school that already exists, I can't recommend a more thoughtful and informative place to begin. I like this education site better than any other I have ever seen because its whole goal is to flood kids with success. Thanks, Samuel Johnson, education writer.
Animos Servemus!
Save the brains!

For comments or suggestions call

Rory Donaldson
Denver, Colorado and around the globe


Don't forget, all our solutions are free.