Showing posts from February, 2013

Product Reviews - Janet Sweet, Educational Content Developer

" makes learning come alive for young kids. Wholesomely endearing SkWids characters learn and practice important curriculum-based math, phonics, language, science, and social studies concepts right along with your child. The videos are smart and lively, with the perfect balance of explanation and instructional support consistent with current core teaching strategies. Fun interactive games, projects, songs, and click-and-print activities reinforce key learning concepts, while kid-friendly stories about character-building experiences encourage discussion and creative problem solving. Best of all, the SkWids Parent Dashboard helps you navigate your child’s progress, links quiz questions back to the point of instruction and practice, and explains the curriculum relationship between concepts and core standards so you are prepared for the next steps in your child’s education.  With on-going creation of new, engaging learning content, provides a fresh, engagi

Educator Reviews - Thaddeus Wert, M.Ed., Vanderbilt University

Thaddeus Wert,  M.Ed., Vanderbilt Review of Southwestern Advantage: Math Content As I went through all of this material, I tried to think of topics that were left out, and I honestly couldn’t think of any. This is the most comprehensive presentation of elementary, middle, and secondary level mathematics that I’ve ever seen. Students can potentially find math examples by searching on the Internet, but there aren’t any websites that are this organized and easy to navigate. There certainly isn’t one single website that provides as much content as what is available in these books. Special Features This is where I am most impressed with this product. Southwestern Advantage has managed to bring a “hypertext” feel to the static pages of a hardcover book. Students today are turned off by linear presentations of content, and they have shorter attention spans. The problem is they still have to learn a lot of math concepts! I believe the Advantage books will appeal to students who are

You Are Nothing But Your Fruit

The following is a paraphrased version of a blog (edited for our audience), originally found on This particular post, written by NYT best-selling author Jason Pargin (aka David Wong ), shares so many similar things that Southwestern Advantage teaches our student reps, we wanted to share a few of his thoughts with our audience. Enjoy. Start doing things that will make yourself become the type of person people want to be around. This is a first step that is nearly always skipped. People ask "How do I get a great job?" and not "How do I become the type of person employers want to hire?" Guys ask "How do I get pretty girls to like me?" instead of "What can I do to become the type of person that pretty girls like?" Maybe the reason is because that second question in both scenarios will very well require facing fears, giving up comforts, and changing your attitudes in life. "But why can't people just like me for me?&quo

Educator Reviews - Julie Westcott, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction

Southwestern Advantage has developed materials that are written to help children build on their knowledge and curiosity.  I value and utilize a variety of the Southwestern Advantage product line .    The My Books help children identify & match words using vibrant illustrations.  When my children were very young they enjoyed pointing and identifying pictures in each book.  Becoming familiar with written text, as well as learning how to page through a book the correct way, nurtures their reading experience.  The My Books have been used for years and years in my home.  Having these books in my own children's hands at a young age, has given them independence and a sense of accomplishment.  As young as one year old, my children have paged through the My Books .  At first I would ask them to label the words.  This helped them as they were learning to talk. If they did not know, I would tell them and we would locate other objects in our house that matched the il

Educator Reviews - Ernest Schiller, Iowa Teacher of the Year

Ernest Schiller Iowa Teacher of the Year "I believe that this Biology section could be used as a resource for advanced middle school kids, especially if the 8 th grade students were taking a Life Science class. In terms of the adaptability to high school, it would fit in quite well as a General Biology course or even in an Advanced Biology class. [It] is interesting enough for most students to even want to read as a science book. And that is probably this book’s strength: having an interesting point of view in the reading, articles, diagrams, side pieces, and even the tables with pictures. I have never seen a book take on the view that it does. Highly interesting and stimulating and hopefully the students that will use this book will feel the same as I do. Very good use of FYI ’ s for the reader. I do like the streamlined approach to this book. I think it is clean and neat and a great organized approach from the student’s point of view. Of particular interest to me was the

Money Smarts: Budgeting

One of the things I enjoy about working as a Student Leader in the Southwestern Advantage Program is that I get help college students save more money in a summer than they ever thought was possible. Seriously, how many college students SAVE over $5,000 in a summer?  Even if a student were to make that much in a different internship, it's common to end up spending most of it by the time the fall semester gets rolling. Unfortunately, many students have never been taught how to handle that money in a smart way. Very few high schools teach money management, and a lot of parents never cover these topics with their kids either. So, the celebratory spending begins in August and ends when the money is gone. Granted, it can be fun to spend money this way, but it certainly is ineffective for building any kind of long-term wealth (which, thanks to the rule of 72 , is incredibly easy to do if you start at 19 - 22 years old). Good news: you can start being sm