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Karen Quinn

Karen Quinn is the co-founder of, which has empowered thousands of parents worldwide to actively support their young children's cognitive development so they are ready for testing and school success. Karen has written many books, including the NY Times Bestseller, The Ivy Chronicles, and Testing For Kindergarten. Her board game, IQ Fun Park, has helped hundreds of preschoolers prepare for testing and kindergarten. She has been featured on ABC's 20/20 and The View as an expert in testing young children. Karen has two children, two cats, and two dogs, and lives with her husband in Coronado, California.

Some of Karen's Webinars

Presented by Karen Quinn Tuesday, September 10, 2013
5:00 - 5:30 PM EDT

Q & A with Karen Quinn

If you weren't in education, what do you think you'd be doing and why?

I'd be writing fiction, which I used to do and really loved. A few years ago, I wrote a book called Testing For Kindergarten, which paved the way for me to co-create a website to help parents prepare their young children for testing. Making the site more and more valuable to parents and getting the word out has been all consuming and I absolutely love it. If I weren't doing this, I'd be writing novels again.

When you were a kid, you wanted to be a ______? Why?

I wanted to be a mother who lived in the country and adopted twenty or more children who couldn't find homes anywhere else. It's true. I had forgotten about this, but then my Sunday School tracked me down and sent me a letter I'd written to my future self. I told my future self that this is what I dreamed of doing and if I wasn't doing it, I should rethink my life. I have to admit that I wasn't doing it. I was very idealistic as a child. Today, I do a lot to help children but I haven't adopted twenty of them.

What's your idea of happiness?

Mundane things make me very happy having dinner with my husband, spending time with my children, laughing with my friends, having stimulating conversations with people, holding my animals, working with people I enjoy, being outside on a beautiful day I've learned it's the little things that mean the most to me.

If you could live anywhere other than where you are, it would be:

New York City. I lived there for 25 years and that is where my heart is. I love the energy of the City. I love walking in the City. I love the people of NYC. Luckily, I get to visit there often.

The biggest problem with K-12 education is:

that it is designed for kids who fit a particular mold kids who can do well with academics and if you don't fit that mold, the system isn't designed to serve you very well. If you have a child who is destined to be an actress or artist or athlete or musician or forest ranger, traditional school might feel like a prison sentence to them. I'm not sure if this is the biggest problem, but it is a very frustrating aspect of our education system to me

If you never had to worry about making money, what would you do?

I would go back to college and study art and then I would become a painter. It's on my list of things to do in the future.

What's the best piece of advice someone ever gave you?

"If you think something is wrong with your child, you're right. Nothing is more powerful than a mother's instinct when it comes to her child." I listened to this advice when my pediatrician told me my son was fine when I knew something was wrong with the way he was developing. I took him to another doctor and discovered he couldn't hear. We were able to fix that and I began working with him to turn his learning delays around. It was this experience that put me on the path to advising parents on how to help their own children's cognitive growth.