The Growler Tapes AND Teachers, Educators, Schools, Homeschoolers, Homeschooling Organizations
Parents, teachers, homeschoolers and other educators use Growler stories as enrichment material for Language Arts. By combining hundreds of sounds, music, kids, strange voices, and intelligent mysteries, Growler stories teach kids to see with their ears, sharpening their listening skills by providing a powerful motivation to listen. These audiocassette/CDs are non-traditional by design - no one tells you the story - it's up to you to listen in and figure out what's going on.
Growler stories were made available to all grade school teachers by New York City Board of Education station WNYE 91.5 FM as a literary arts listening experience and classroom supplement during the early 2000's.
Growlers are recommended by large numbers of homeschooling organizations and periodicals all across the country as a supplement to customized curricula, and a thought-provoking alternative to television. Most states allow homeschoolers to use Growler stories to fulfill literary arts requirements. Growler stories are present in many day care, pre-K, activity, and library settings. The Rethinking Education Conference uses Growler stories as an evening activity called "Invisible Movies."
Growler stories are designed primarily as fun listening experiences for families. But the stories challenge kids to grasp and unravel the weird logic surrounding very strange and mysterious occurrences. Concepts ranging from scientific procedure to environmental impact (what do you do with dangerous magic waste?) are evident in every episode.
A lot of people think Growlers are worth listening to. School Library Journal, The New York Times, Mothering, Parent Guide, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, Homefires, MetroParent, Bankstreet Bookstore, New York Family, Kidstuff, Midwest Book Review, Children's Bookwatch, Homeschooling In Oregon: The 1998 Handbook, The Homeschooling Book Of Answers, and many homeschooling organizations recommend Growlers. Growler Radio has been on the air on WNYE (NYC Board of Education station), WBPS (run by students in Portland OR), WHRU (Hofstra University NY), and many others.
The following appears in The Homeschooling Book Of Answers:
"Pop one of these tapes into the car tape player and the trip becomes more interesting than the destination."
Since we released the first Growler Tape in December of 1993, homeschoolers have been a large part of our audience. Although not originally conceived as a teaching tool, it is easy to understand why Growlers have found a home in this diverse community.
Growler programs are non-traditional audio experiences. There is no narrator, and the drama does not include a storyteller. Nothing is obvious - in fact, often the opposite is true. Each episode presents a series of unusual observations, challenges and predicaments. Discovery, deduction, and interpretation are the keys to understanding what needs to be done to achieve a successful outcome. The kids eventually figure it out, but they've got to be observant and follow the logic. Exciting, intelligent mysteries are unraveled using hundreds of sounds, unique audio environments, music, real kids, and unusual voices - all magnifying the intensity of the experience.
Growler programs are recommended by homeschooling support groups all across the USA as enrichment to customized curricula. We are very proud of this status. Parents tell us that they use the stories as a basis for family discussion, an alternative to TV, special evenings, and car trips, car trips, car trips. And it all counts as language arts enrichment!
Growler programs provide excitement, intellectual challenges, non-traditional thinking, and above all, motivation for a child to listen.
"Bravo! Our kids love these tapes. The images created in
their minds (ages 5 + 2 1/2) are so fantastic & real that they ask if they can
"watch" a Growler tape. This is the type of children's product that makes the
world a better place. Well done!" (Rosemary Laberee, Home Educator)
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine: http://www.theoldhomeschoolhouse.com/audio_learning_prod_rev.htm
The Growler Tapes
"These are wonderful for spurring the imagination and also a good resource for developing comprehension and listening skills." -- TOS™ Magazine
I received The Growler Tapes for review and knew from the beginning that my younger siblings would absolutely love them. They sat staring at my CD player and kept asking me to turn it up. Everybody thought it was a very fun story with great sound effects and a surprise ending. These are wonderful for spurring the imagination and also a good resource for developing comprehension and listening skills. I would say they are a tremendous alternative to TV for a number of reasons!
My 8-year-old sister, Ryann, says (with a big grin on her face), "I thought it was good because I liked how they used kids to act out the story. Another thing that made it interesting was how they answered a science question in the beginning (what is the brightest thing in the sky?) and they won a trip to "HuHu Island". It was so good that I felt that I was there. The Growler Tapes are very, very interesting." Luke Suarez says, "I liked them because they were funny and they had funny, high voices. They were interesting because they sounded liked they inhaled helium and like they were very tiny." The CD lasted twenty-five minutes; this was just perfect timing, not too long, not too short. Although the series is designed for kids up to the age of 12, I would say 10 and under is great. -- Product Review by: Coie Igarashi, Age 13.
Publisher's Note: This is a neat company. We have listened to a couple of their story CDs now; our kids love them! They are definitely different. Not at all 'teaching tapes', these are for enhancing the school day with imagination time. Especially super for 'car time', which has been the main place we use these fun story tapes. The Growler Tapes stories keep our kids quiet (until they start echoing those crazy HuHu's!) and satisfied for miles! Creator/Producer Bob Sakayama is making homeschools across America extra FUN
The following appears in Homeschooling In Oregon: The 1998 Handbook:
"When is a story not a story? When it is a Growler tape! No doubt about it, these tapes are different from the normal story tapes many of us expect. Instead of listening to a narrator tell a story, You Are There! You are there with Zebe and Rue in the land of Huhu and Growlers in wildly imaginative adventures. You know what's going on, not because a narrator tells you, but because, by listening to the sounds of events and conversations, you figure out the story. When the Growler speaks, you KNOW what he looks like, just from listening, and soon you realize his personality quirks. These tapes will help develop the Mind's Eye in every listener.
"The tapes are a wonderful substitute for TV - try using them to ward off a 4 PM pre-dinner grumpy feast. Or keep them in the car where you can really use them. The tapes I reviewed are rich with innuendo and could easily become favorites to be listened to again and again. Friendly on adult ears, too. Affordably priced at around $6 per half hour tape.
"The Classic Series is for younger children ages 4 - 10, while six year olds and older will enjoy the newer Growler Radio stories."