The new Speakaboos is here!

p>Here’s our press release that just went out:Speakaboos Brings Educational Children’s Entertainment to the Digital WorldNew children’s website features classic children’s stories and educational activities narrated by today’s biggest celebritiesNEW YORK, NY-Speakaboos, the award-winning digital publisher of celebrity-narrated children’s stories, today announced the launch of the children’s website, Speakaboos.com.For children, Speakaboos.com features over 140 storybook videos, including beloved titles like Aladdin, Cinderella, and Humpty Dumpty, read by outstanding stars including Kelly Ripa, Kevin Bacon and Nick Cannon. Each video is accompanied by activities that will keep children engaged and learning after every story, including lesson plans, flashcards and games that meet national education standards. Continue reading

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New proposal would put parents in jail for missing parent-teacher conferences

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p>During a Detroit City Council meeting last week, Wayne Country Prosecutor, Kym Worthy, recommended a proposal that would put absent parents in jail for up to three days for failing to appear at least one parent-teacher conference a year.So far, the proposal has been met equally with outrage and enthusiasm. Several legislatures have applauded the bill as a measure against child abuse:

“Detroit Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown applauded Worthy’s idea, saying he would support legislation, ‘It’s child abuse when your child is failing in school and you’re not involved, because you are strapping that child to a life of poverty.’ “

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Speakaboos is getting a makeover…

p>Dear Speakaboos visitor,As one of our beta site users, we wanted you to be the first to get the news:  Speakaboos is launching a new and improved site design next week!Here’s what you’ll find on the new Speakaboos.com:

  • Brand new site design and navigation
  • 140 storybook videos, 40 interactive games and hundreds of worksheets
  • New videos, games and content added every week
  • Mobile access, iPhone/iPad compatibility, and brand-new mobile apps and videos
  • A revamped Speakaboos Blog

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Watch Speakaboos at KidMango

Our friends at KidMango have just launched a special Speakaboos “channel” featuring 25 of our videos. KidMango is a great tool for finding and viewing tons of popular, quality videos for kids–we’re excited to be featured on this great video site alongside favorites like “Care Bears,” “Dennis the Menace,” and “Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego” (a classic!)Check out the Speakaboos channel here.

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Activity Idea – Grow your own Beanstalk

p>It’s never too early to start talking about biology–here’s a fun gardening activity that anyone can do, green thumb or not.Start by watching the storybook video for the classic fairy tale “Jack and the Beanstalk” at Speakaboos. Once your kids have heard all about magic beanstalks, they can grow their own:1. Fill a plastic or styrofoam cup with soil2. Plant one lima bean in the middle of the soil3. Water the soil daily (just a little bit of water will

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do), and watch your beanstalk grow!Your beanstalk may not grow tall enough to climb, but when it inevitably withers, you’ll have a great opportunity to talk with your kids about the life cycle. Let us know how it goes!For more stories, songs, games and activities like this one, visit Speakaboos.com

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New data shows 1 in 10 children are living with Grandma

p>In a decade where same sex parenting was often a hot topic, it may be surprising for many people to learn that one of the fastest growing demographics of caregivers is not homosexual couples but rather retirees.After analyzing data from U.S. Census Bureau, the Pew Research Group reported last week that 1 in 10 children reside with a grandparent. That’s 8 % more than in 2000 with the most growth (5 %) occurring between 2007 and 2008. More than 60% of said children live with their grandmothers but half also have a single parent cohabiting with them. Continue reading

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Why are parents of daughters more likely to divorce?

p>Wow. What an interesting correlation and one I’d never have thought of: parents of daughters have higher divorce rates than those with sons. After first reading Babble’s blog post, I couldn’t believe my eyes. That mothers feel more inclined to leave relationships with men if they are raising girls is a bit baffling, but only at first. When you think about it, the society we live in is hardly one that promotes healthy marriages; divorce is practically the norm.Since most of the texts we work with here at Speakaboos are classic fairy and folk tales, I work with old gender roles frequently. Continue reading

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Postponing Kindergarten

Growing up, I was unsure of what made parents postpone kindergarten. I never quite understood why some of my friends were much older than me, why certain kids went to pre-school while others did not, or the complexities behind a child explaining that their parents “just kept them home” for another year. Having finished school and working with various families, I now see the reasons why parents would opt to postpone kindergarten and tack on another year of pre-school or pre-kindergarten.Postponing kindergarten is not a new phenomenon. I read a NYTimes article about the subject just last week, but after a bit of Googling, found articles from 10 years ago, highlighting the same topic. Continue reading

Category: Education    Comment: (1)

Is organic food the best option, after all?

There are always those studies released that say that we should all eat organic and local, and even more studies that show that putting your kids on a special diet will help them with this disorder and that disease. A few years ago it was stressed that parents of autistic children put their kids on a reduced-gluten, soy based diet. Needless to say, specialized diets are expensive, especially when there is just one kid in the house who may benefit from the decision. While browsing through StrollerDerby this morning, I came across an article that discusses pesticides and ADHD, which struck me much more than usual.It seems that more and more pesticides are becoming part of the problem: linked to growth development, illness, and now proven to be correlated to ADHD, they’re bad. What becomes more problematic, however, is when one considers just how many “kid-friendly” foods are on the Dirty Dozen list, like strawberries, blueberries, and celery. Continue reading

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Study reveals secret to getting kids to read over the summer

p>We all agree that getting children to read is an important part of their intellectual development. But what if your kid would rather gouge his eyes out than pick up that copy of “Great Expectations” you got him at the library last week?After completing a three year analysis on what”s being called the “summer slide” of reading skills among school children, researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, have happened upon a significant factor is keeping kids interested in books; let them choose their own reading material. Continue reading