What is knowonder!?
knowonder! is an educational and publishing company with the goal of improving educational outcomes through early childhood literacy and brain development evidence-based practices and products.
Research shows that the single-most important thing a parent can do for their child’s future success (outside of hugs and love) is this: give them more words.
We have created powerful products, programs and services to do just that – to not only give children more words, but to do it in a way that makes it fun for the kids (and parents), and makes it affordable and accessible, as well.
The principles and research our products, programs and services are built on can break the cycle of poverty in one generation, help children of any socio-economic background achieve success in school and life, and change the lives of children and families in the communities in which we live.
Researchers can tell by age four which children will succeed in school and which ones will struggle. This research is based on a landmark study first published in 1994 called Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children, by Dr. Todd R. Risley and Dr. Betty Hart.
The biggest discovery of the original study was this – there exists a “word gap” between middle-income families and low-income families, somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 million total words heard, by the time children are four years old. These words are the “code” that literally hard-wires and programs childrens’ brains for learning.
This single study has been re-validated thousands of times over by a non-profit group called Lena.org through vast amounts of testing and data collection.
In addition to the “word gap” identified in the original study, Lena.org has also discovered the importance of what they term “conversation turns.” This refers to a response, or turn, in a conversation between an adult and a child. Conversation turns create the highest quality of words. For example, simply putting a child in front of a TV or radio does not give the same quality of words as engaging them in a conversation.
1. Outside of the field of education, virtually no one knows about this research. Since educational outcomes are already determined by the age of four, more work needs to be done to educate parents, educators and government officials about this information.
2. The average middle-income family in America purchases 13 new books for each child in the home, for each reading level of the child. A family of four would then have 52 books per child, per reading level. At a cost of approximately $10 per book, this represents an investment of $500 to $1,000 per year.
We need content that is more affordable for low-income families. It also must be easy to use, and must be enjoyable for both the children and the parent.
“As long as children do not have equal access to books, we will never live in a truly equal society.” – Dick Robinson, President of Scholastic Books
Therefore, we strive to make content that is engaging, accessible and affordable.
The goal of all our content, products and services is this: to expose children to more words and conversation turns through the implementation of meaningful, intentional Talking, Reading and Asking Questions – we call this, staying on-TRAQ. This methodology underpins everything we create.
Our Products / Services:
- Child Genius 101 program – daily lessons/content that educates a parent of the importance of giving a child more words, starting at birth. Child Genius 101 teaches the research and then provides easy daily actions to implement proven strategies to prepare a newborn or toddler for school and life success.
- knowonder! digital database
- knowonder! stories – fun, age appropriate, fiction bedtime stories that help parents turn bedtime or storytime into magic. The foundation of children wanting to learn to read is to make reading fun and magical – to make stories something children want more and more of.
- Fun Facts! – non-fiction articles that help kids explore the great big world of science, nature, animals, dinosaurs, mechanics, engineering, space and more!
- The Classics – the best of the old classic stories and fairy tales children have grown up hearing for decades, like The Velveteen Rabbit, The Ugly Duckling and more.
- Physical books – includes short story collections, early-reader chapter books, middle grade books and non-fiction books
- Games – games (and, in the future, apps) that support a love of stories, creativity, reading, and writing, and help make storytelling easy and fun for the whole family.
- DyslexiAssist – an assisted reading app-based technology built on the Orton Gillingham methodology of instruction that helps make reading FUN for kids who struggle with reading and gives them something to read that isn’t just lists of words.