When we first began homeschooling, workbooks represented two things I desperately wanted to avoid: an impersonalized learning system and the idea of fitting all children into the same box/grade level.
We had a few workbooks on our shelf, but I only used them at a child’s request–not very often.
However, as my kids became older, I slowly began to see two benefits that workbooks also have to offer:
1. They leave a paper trail. This comes in handy when you need proof of all the learning, both informal and formal, that happens under your roof.
2. They can calm a mama’s or papa’s homeschool jitters.
Sometimes when you’re homeschooling, you feel completely out of your element. Making a habit of even one workbook page a day can take the edge off those insecurities.
When my kids were littles, my main goal was for them to fall in love with learning. It still is! But I think having the tiniest amount of book work might have settled my own worries just a tad while giving them 95+% interest-led learning freedom.
If this is something you’d like to try, look for a way to encourage your kids to agree to the idea, too, so that even this small minimum will not become a battleground.
Tip: I often tape a $5 bill in the back of a workbook and find that to be quite the compelling incentive! We also use our positivity bean jar to encourage this type of work.
Over the years we have found a few workbooks that worked well for us. So when the opportunity came to partner with Workman Publishing, creators of the colorful Big Fat Notebooks and our favorite Star Wars workbooks, I eagerly agreed to take a peek at their new line of summer workbooks.
Here’s an official overview:
“SUMMER BRAIN QUEST (just released this month) is an exciting new extension of our #1 bestselling Brain Quest brand (with 45 million copies in print).
SUMMER BRAIN QUEST is notable because it offers a one-of-a-kind learning experience that delivers personalized learning to every kid. Personalized learning tailors exercises to each child’s strengths, needs and interests.
Our goal was to empower kids to have a voice in what and how they learn. The workbooks achieve this through their interactive format.
SUMMER BRAIN QUEST is structured like a game; each book includes a pull-out map that guides kids on a learning quest. They fill in their route on the map by earning stickers for completing workbook pages as well as pursuing outdoor activities.”
“The map offers a choice of routes, allowing kids to customize their learning path and pursue what excites them most, and also encouraging them to jump around within the book to follow their curiosity.
Original artwork by video game artist Edison Yan makes every book feel fresh and fun. These are the most visually appealing books in the market.”
A quick guide to what’s covered in each workbook:
Since homeschool families don’t always follow specific grade levels, I thought it would be helpful to show you what’s included in each book so you can choose the one that fits your child best:
Summer Brain Quest: Between Grades K & 1 – phonics, reading, writing, counting, shapes, seasons, habitats, map skills, and more.
Between Grades 1 & 2 – reading comprehension, writing, addition and subtraction, earth science, the seasons, telling time, and more.
Between Grades 2 & 3 – adjectives versus adverbs, reading comprehension, writing opinions, word problems, place value, measurement, map skills, and more.
Between Grades 3 & 4 – writing, reading, number patterns, natural science, timelines, parts of speech, and more.
Between Grades 4 & 5 – reading comprehension, research and informative writing, grammar, multiplication and division, American history, and more.
Between Grades 5 & 6 – reading comprehension, writing essays, ancient history, grammar, fractions and decimals, climate, and more.
In all honesty, I would love these even more if they weren’t categorized by grade levels. I prefer it when workbooks are numbered (like Level 1, 2, 3) but without referring to specific grades–that way they offer more flexibility to homeschool families.
Yet there are many things I find appealing about the Summer Brain Quest series:
– Each page is beautiful, colorful, and well-designed! The gaming concept is fun for kids.
– Each book includes real-life suggestions for the summer, like outdoor games and quests to earn stickers for your map.
– There’s a certificate at the end to give to your child after completing the workbook.
– The back of each workbook features a recommended reading list to take to the library. There’s a little bit of twaddle included here and there, but most of the choices are lovely ones. I appreciate the emphasis on summer reading!
– Many of the activity pages could also be done alongside a parent orally if your child finds writing frustrating.
– Each book contains a section of Brain Quest questions on make-your-own flashcards. I cut several of these out to integrate into our morning homeschool time in a casual way over the months ahead!
This giveaway has ended; thanks for your interest!
To be entered to win, leave a comment on this post answering this question: How old are your kids and what has been your experience with workbooks thus far?
This post is sponsored by Workman Publishing. All opinions are my own!