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Dogs Helping Kids Prep for Kindergarten

Longtime readers might recall that my pal Karen Quinn is a wildly popular author, with best-selling books that get movie deals, etc. Well, her latest book (Testing for Kindergarten) helps parents and families prepare kids for the kinds of tests they’ll get before entering school. And, ONLY Karen would think to use videos of her dogs (Olive and Bronco) to help families in this effort. You can find them, and LOADS of other advice (if this is your demographic) on her new Testing for Kindergarten Blog.

The videos are pretty cute. Seriously, they are designed to help kids prepare for school by checking for how well they remember details from the stories acted out by the dogs.

I have no idea what these tests are like or what they mean, but Karen tells me the videos help kids prepare for OLSAT and Standford-Binet Test Questions.

Video #1

Video #2

Video #3


Summer Reading List

While I’m at it, I’ll add that I love, love, love Karen’s novels. (And, not just because she is a dear girl and much-valued adviser.)

The Ivy Chronicles (which is stems from Karen’s real experience running a kindergarten test prep consulting firm in NYC)

Wife in the Fast Lane (where an Olympic darling turned CEO-style mogul takes on a new adventure)

Holly Would Dream (an Audrey Hepburn inspired romp, with plenty of fashion and uber-rich cruising on the high seas)

The Sister Diaries (a more serious plot with sisters coming to grips after their mother’s death … still … some crazy, funny scenes that I won’t spoil)

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

Susan - July 31, 2010

I’ve read The Ivy Chronicles! That’s so cool that you know the author. What a great idea she had!

Alisa Bowman - July 29, 2010

My daughter is in this age range, so this is good to know about!

Ruth Pennebaker - July 29, 2010

These videos are delightful. They manage to be both kid- and adult-friendly, which is difficult to pull off.

Donna Hull - July 29, 2010

I’m long past preparing kids for kindergarten but I can see that they would really relate to the dogs and possibly be less stressed. Testing for kindergarten and pre-school – sheesh.

Melanie Haiken - July 28, 2010

This is really quite touching. I live near the headquarters of Guide Dogs for the Blind so I get to see the dogs training all the time. It’s amazing what they can do!

Jennifer Margulis - July 28, 2010

This sounds like such an intriguing book. I’m looking forward to reading it and learning more. I feel grateful we don’t live in a city where you have to prep for kindergarten. I can’t imagine what it might be like to be in NYC…

sheryl - July 28, 2010

What a clever use of dogs. Also kind of a timely post, as a recent article in the NYTimes says that positive kindergarten experiences lead to later success.

MyKidsEatSquid - July 28, 2010

How cool is that? Testing for kindergarten can be so stressful–only one of my kids’ schools required it.

Frugal Kiwi - July 28, 2010

Cute! I wouldn’t have thought to use canines in this way in a million years.

Stephanie - Wasabimon - July 28, 2010

Thanks for the tips! I’m always looking for new reading material, and I’ll definitely check this stuff out. I also forward this to a friend of mine whose toddler is about at that age where they start thinking about kindergarten.

sarah henry - July 28, 2010

The notion that any child has to “test” for kindergarten is a sad and sorry one, methinks, but I’ve been through all that — heck, some places make your kid “try out” for preschool…don’t get me started…Anyhoo, love the playful, puppy-positive spin on your pal’s work.

Alexandra - July 28, 2010

What a great idea Karen had! (I know my daughter was going to be tracked into B at her international school in France, and a bit of work on my part got her into A. Not the same thing by any means, but what a difference it made in her life! A led to Brown and life in the USA. Didn’t have any dogs helping me. Only one cat.)

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