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Summer Brain Quest: For Adventures Between Grades 2 & 3 Review by Lisa McKinney

Workman Publishing
225 Varick Street
New York, NY, 10014

Summer Brain Quest For Adventures Between Grades 2 & 3 from Workman Publishing is a workbook, game, and outdoor adventure designed to help your children get ready for 3rd grade. Unlike many workbooks, this one is filled of 150+ pages of learning fun, including over 150 stickers! The workbook (which retails at $12.95) begins with a map that guides you through all of the activities which include math, social studies, science, and English language arts. To advance along the path of the map, you must complete a quest exercise with the matching color and symbol. If you complete the challenge, you earn a matching quest sticker which you can place on the path of the map. At the end of each part of their journey, you earn an achievement sticker which can be placed on the map and then you can move on to the next level. There are options for forks in the path which you can choose to determine what direction you want to go. Additionally, there are paths that lead to Outside Quests. To go to this path, you must complete one of the Outside Quests. The Outside Quests are activities that take you outside to complete activities, like drawing maps of their favorite place at home, finding a favorite constellation to copy and name, writing field maps about your environment, describing your yard and how it would look to a visiting alien, and more! This workbook does align with common core state standards.

My seven-year-old loves workbooks; therefore, I knew that he would really like this book. I was curious to see how he did, as this is a book geared to helping second graders transition and be ready for third grade. Because we homeschool, and my son would be entering third grade this fall, it was a perfect time for me to see how he measured up. We began by using the map as designed, and it quickly became obvious that he was going to have no trouble with this workbook. In fact, we found it almost too easy; especially in the math and language arts. In regard to the math, this workbook included place value, simple multiplication and division, three digit addition and subtraction, shapes, basic graphing, and story problems. The language arts included review of adjectives, adverbs, writing opinions, nouns, rhyming words, digraph practice, and reading comprehension. These are all things that my son has down pat, and he flew through the work in these two subjects. He is above grade level in these two subjects, and I am sure that is the reason why. Even though he found the activities for these two subjects extremely easy, it did not change his desire to want to do this workbook. He loved earning stickers for each completion and plotting his course on the map. We weren’t always able to do the Outside Quests, but we did as many as we could.

I think this is a good book for anyone just wanting to give their kids basic review or practice in the basic subjects over the summer. It doesn’t really take any time at all to complete, and it is fun the way it is written all relating to outer space. We typically did three to six pages on any given day. The activities are varied and with the inclusion of the outdoor options, a great summer activity. There is also a summer reading list at the back of the book, and a cut out Brain Quest mini deck that can be used in addition to the workbook activities. Once the workbook has been completed, there is even a certificate that can be filled out.

I would definitely give the workbook two thumbs up and would consider purchasing more in the future. I would recommend looking at any sample pages so you can see whether or not your child would get the right level. Based on my son’s skills, I think the next level up would have been a better fit.

-Product review by Lisa McKinney, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July, 2018