The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews
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Summer Brain Quest: For Adventurers Between Grades 4 & 5 Review by Sheila QuachFor Adventures Between Grades 4 & 5
Workman Publishing Company
225 Varick Street
New York, NY 10014-4381
This is my 2nd year using the Summer Brain Quest work book and this year we used For Adventures Between Grades 4 & 5. We have loved and used many products from Brain Quest and this year’s workbook wowed us once again.
The difference between this workbook and the millions out there is the quest itself that comes with a cool pull out progress map that your kiddo places fun stickers on as they move through the book. It is the perfect mix of both the previous and upcoming grade your child is going into. Not only do you get quest exercises to do in the book, but also outside quest activities, a summer reading list and a mini Brain Quest deck at the back that you can cut out.
We start out every morning during the week with his workbook. I let him choose how many exercises he wants to complete. He usually does a few written ones each day. There are 6 levels in total, over 100 exercises and are color coded for fast reference. To make his way along the path on the map he must do a page that matches the symbol on the map. The lessons range from Math, Language Arts, Social Studies and Science. While he works towards the finish line there are forks in the path where he must decide which route to take and there are outside quests that require him to complete before moving forward. And I almost forgot about the Bonuses that allow you to earn extra fun stickers along the way.
One of the things I appreciate the most from this series of workbooks is the variety in exercises. You never know what will be on the next page. In math you go from cracking secret codes to matching expressions on drift wood to the answers drawn on sand. In science he revisited all forms of energy, the water cycle and plate tectonics. He worked on comma placement, metaphors and prepositional phrases in language arts. And for social studies he reviewed the different states, the original 13, map mastery and read about the Industrial Revolution. The lessons are short and packed with tid-bits of information that he remembers and shares with the family over dinner.
But, before he can earn the provided Summer Brainiac Award he does need to complete all the outside quests too. These are perfect for the child that is a hands-on learner. For instance, when he learned about prepositional phrases he had to go out and demonstrate the prepositional phrase and then cross off each one he did. Another fun one was he had to take someone for a walk around the neighborhood and find examples of all the simple tools like an inclined plane, a lever, pulley, wedge, wheel and screw. I had them use cameras to take pictures of all of them. If that wasn’t enough fun we also enjoy the reading list that features both Fiction and Nonfiction titles. Kaden reads the suggested book, fills out the short form and I clip them to his map for safe keeping. We also have the mini deck cut out and it stays in the van for long rides and quick trips to the market for extra trivia time with the family.
So, who would benefit from using these workbooks? Anyone with an elementary aged kiddo, whether they like book work or not they will find this fun and exciting to crack open and work through. This book does align with common core state standards and is simple to use for even the busiest families. You can have them work from home around the table or take it on the go like us. I found it very durable and not bulky and flimsy, which made taking it out and about much easier.
-Product review by Sheila Quach, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July, 2018