Tuesday, June 29, 2010

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Review: Summer Bridge Activities Workbooks

Anyone who has been a long time reader of my blog knows that I am an avid believer that children should engage in educational activities outside of school. I even started my Kindergartner-in-Training series last summer to make sure my son was well-prepared to start elementary school. This summer, I did not have a clear plan about what skills my son should be working on. I know he was already doing some 1st grade work in kindergarten, so I wanted him to continue on that path.

When I had the chance to try out the Summer Bridge Activities books, I was excited. I usually think up my own activities, so it would be nice to have some that are created by experts.



These workbooks are designed to be a "bridge" between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next. It is set up so that your child does 2 pages per day for 60 days and it is estimated that it would take your child 15 minutes to complete those two pages.

Well, I have quickly come to the conclusion that these books are only a good fit for children who are a little behind or right where they should be in reading, writing, and math. If your child is a little ahead, then these books may be far too easy. In the Grade K-1 book, my son can do 8 pages in 10 minutes. He has not completed the entire workbook yet, but looking ahead, there is nothing in it that he will find challenging until the very last few days in the entire workbook.


Since not all children are the same, I want you to be able to judge whether this book would be right for your child. This book covers the following:
  • Single digit addition and subtraction
  • Writing upper and lowercase alphabet
  • Sounding out parts of words (beginning sounds, vowel sounds, etc . . .)
  • Telling time
  • Sequences
  • Counting by 2s, 5s, etc . . .
  • Counting money
  • Counting to 100
  • Reading comprehension
  • Following instructions
  • Rhyming
There are probably a few more things, but this list should give you the general idea. There is something unexpected and fun I found in this workbook, which is the "Fitness Flash". At intervals, there are instructions for your child to do something physical. It could be something as simple as 10 shoulder shrugs or something like imagining you are an animal stretching, acting it out, and asking your parent to guess what animal you are pretending to be.

Overall, I think these workbooks would be useful as long as they match your child's skill levels.

You can find Summer Bridge Activities Workbooks on SummerBridgeActivities.org and other retailers of educational books, such as CarsonDellosa.com .


Thank you to Summer Bridge Activities for sending us a sample workbook free of charge to base this review upon.