When I first saw Heads Up! listed as a Crew Review Vendor on the Crew Blog, I thought to myself, "Wow, that will be so great for those on the list with special needs kids!" But then when I learned I would be receiving some products from them too, I thought, "Hmmmm…"
When I opened my package, I found several different colored frames and strips called "readers", a great explanation of the company along with a handout on using the frames as educational tools, and a great catalogue.
So of course the "catalogue connoisseur" that I am, I immediately enjoyed looking over the variety of amazing products this company has to offer. From doing my homework on their website prior to receiving my goodies, I already knew that this was a company designed and dedicated to providing expert information and products for struggling learners and special needs children.
But I also learned that their items have been carefully selected to accommodate various learning styles and strengths to help each individual child feel successful. Each child has their own unique ways of learning, and Heads Up! offers many products that can certainly be helpful for any and all children; things that I would have never thought of using since I don’t have children who are labeled "special needs."
So I began my examination of these colorful tools, first trying out the frames which are a Heads Up! exclusive creation. These come in two different sizes, and six different colors. Find the frames here!
They aid in focusing the student’s attention to written material by blocking in pertinent information on a page while the color helps to sustain attention. We had fun trying out the different colors and deciding which ones we prefered as individuals, and also discussed how light sensitivity and glare might be reduced with these. Look how they work:
Next, we sorted through the different reader strips we had, discussing all the various ways and conditions in which these could be helpful for others. These readers come in three different varieties. Find the readers here!
This is the basic Heads Up! Reader which comes in six different colors as well as clear, and highlights a line of text between two strips of grey. The highlighted section aids in visual tracking and like the frames, the color helps maintain attention.
This is the Heads Up! Top of the Line reader which has a blue or yellow highlighted strip along the top and can be used for reading as well as graphs, charts, etc. My initial thought on this product was how much I wish I had known about this when my father had a hemorraghic stroke a few years back and due to the loss of peripheral vision on his left side had a very difficult time reading (he is an AVID reader!). The occupational therapist explained that while he could track the text to the right, he had a hard time finding his place when tracking back to the left to start a new line. Once he got used to using a bookmark or such to keep his place and move it down to the next line, his frustration was minimized. This is the exact tool we needed, and I can definitely extrapolate from that experience how much this would help children with similar difficulties.
We also tried out this Double Time reading aid which highlights two lines at a time, and seems a very helpful tool for proficient readers who benefit from color for focusing attention. They also make excellent bookmarks!!
I must include that the Boring’s also have a most excellent blog that is worth it’s weight in words for special need learners, and/or those just interested in the many different types of learning styles, methods, and educational tools and materials out there.
Melinda and David Boring are incredible folks to reach out and help "all kinds of special kids." They are a homeschooling family with two 2006 graduates, and one "current amazing student who is perpetually at the top of her homeschool class!" You can read about Melinda and her family here, as well as learn why this company is appropriately named "Heads Up!"
Thank you for your incredible dedication and hard work Melinda, and thanks to your precious family as well, for your support of our homeschooling community and our "incredible learners who think and experience life outside the box."
Go find those unique fingerprints God left on your kids!