Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review + Multi-Giveaway: Voice Dream Reader: The Must-Have Tool of 2014

Voice Dream Reader App -More Notes - an "after-show" following my article at Quartz

DOES: More photos, ideas, and observations about this incredible app.
$10, default voice included

AGES: 3+ ?
EXPERTS: Karen Janowski, Assistive Technology Consultant, & Nicole Kolenda, Speech and Language Pathologist,  Executive Clinical Director at the Atlas Foundation

GIVEAWAY PRIZE: There will be 10 winners!!! Woo-hoo! The first winner will get the On-Task On-Time Timer as well. (Giveaway is run by Toys are Tools- not Quartz)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Review + Giant Giveaway: The Best Toys of Summer 2014

Looking for summer toys? We got you covered. Testers 1 + 2

WHAT: Preventing the Summer Slide- a follow up to my story at
DOES: More photos, ideas, and fun facts about my favorite top ten summer favorites.
$3 and up
AGES: these vary by product
GIVEAWAY PRIZE: One person will win pretty much everything mentioned here. I think its worth over $400... have to add that up soon.

BEFORE you read this, make sure you read my top ten list at  I hope you come back because in this post, I'll be offering you more photos and commentary to help you make your picks this summer.

Do you believe that there exists something called the "Summer Slide?"  I wonder how real this problem is and what can be done about it.

All I know is that come September, I ask my eldest this question, "So what did you learn in school today?"  It's a typical September question, no? His response is also typical.  "We just review.  We are just reviewing this month."

This brings lots of questions to my head.

Are we really supposed to give kids 10-12 weeks off every summer?
Are average parents equipped to prevent kids from regressing during the summer months?
What is gained by children in the summer?
Are those gains, if any, worth the risk of allowing for an academic-free summer "vacation"?
Do parents ever use the summer to cement the learning that took place in the school year?
Why aren't standardized test scores ever used to help kids use the summer to catch up to their peers?
If kids are assigned summer homework, should the "review" part that takes at the beginning of the school year be taken out of the curriculum?