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Summer Brain Quest: Between Grades Pre-K & K Review by Ta’Neisha Kemp

Workman Publishing
(212) 254-5900
225 Varick Street
New York, NY 10014-4381

One of the things that educators always say about the summer is that children have a tendency to forget much of what was learned during the school year. Well, Workman Publishing has figured out a unique, creative, and adventurous way to ensure that this does not happen to your student. Weekly use of Summer Brain Quest: Between Grades Pre-K & K ensured that our preschooler had fun reviewing during our summer break and is ready to conquer kindergarten.

This workbook is the first in the Summer Brain Quest series and is designed for four and five-year-old children to prepare for the upcoming academic year. Within over 150 pages your child completes various science, social studies, language arts, and math adventures. A progress map included along with nearly 200 stickers to show assignment completion and to use throughout the book.  The ultimate goal is for your child to earn the Summer Brainiac Award by to finishing all eight levels on the provided map and reaching the final destination by summer’s end.

Each level of this book provides activities for each subject paired with an Outside Quest. Outside Quests allow opportunity for children to use their summer education in the real world. They are given the chance to conduct a science experiment, go on a nature walk, play, or just spend time with family for extra achievement stickers.  Each learning level affords varying difficulties so I do suggest starting at Level 1 and working your way through to Level 8. The great thing about this book is that you were able to move forward at your child’s pace. I also noted anything that our son needed improvement on so we can address it once our new school year begins.

Directly in the back of the book, behind the answer key, you will find a fantastic section full of extras like the Summer Brain Quest Reading List. I thought this was really fun addition because our son enjoyed searching for the specific books at the library. Review cards for each book are included which we used to practice handwriting and reading comprehension, after a brief discussion about our favorite parts. The listing contains 22, age appropriate nonfiction and fiction books covering an array of subjects. Since we participate in the library Summer Reading Club, the time spent reading these books counted towards those rewards.

The Summer Brain Quest Mini Deck is the final extra which features 12 double sided cards. Each card includes two questions with the corresponding answers located directly on the back. I thought it best to cut these cards out and laminate them so I can use them over and over again throughout the school year. The deck is a compact size and I was able to carry these in a Ziploc bag and keep them in my purse. We often used them while waiting at the doctor’s office and in line at the grocery store.

During our summer break we have used this book three times each week. Our son enjoys completing this task and getting rewarded with a sticker. We also hung the map up on the wall so he could see his progress. I like that this workbook includes varying levels of each school subject. Math went past counting, to calendars, 3-D shapes, addition, subtraction, and patterns. Language arts didn’t stop at manuscript letters but pushed forward to rhyming, story sequencing, sentence structure and many opportunities to read aloud.  Social studies and science were explored via identifying landforms, completing experiments, creating outdoor challenges, and community awareness.

For nearly five decades Workman Publishing has been known to create insightful books, full of fun activities and vast information for all ages. Summer Brain Quest: Between Grades Pre-K & K definitely did not disappoint and was enjoyed tremendously by our four-year-old son. This book and others within the series are available at various retailers in store and online.

-Product review by Ta’Neisha Kemp, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July, 2018