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Weekly Reader: Summer Express (Between Grades 2 & 3) Paperback – January 15, 2017
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The 50-page workbook (the 100 curriculum-based pages in the Product Description refers to 50 double-sided worksheets, not 100 distinct two-sided pages of work) features lessons in math, reading, writing, grammar, and vocabulary. Traditional puzzles like skip counting mazes and math problem riddles, as well as fill-in-the-blank word exercises and reading comprehension Q&A's fill these pages. Each page is color coded according to the week, and is illustrated with a mix of cartoony graphics and real-life photos. It’s a clean, colorful, and comprehensive presentation of material.
My problem with this work is the concept behind its execution - that one worksheet a day is sufficient for stemming the documented academic “brain drain” that is reflected in student performance at the beginning of each new school year. I guess the title “Summer Express” should have been my cue that this was a workbook of hit-and-run type of learning. Bottom line: Scholastic is pitching the page-a-day structure of this workbook as being better than nothing.
If you did five pages a day out of this book, you’d complete it within two weeks. It's a worthwhile but incomplete investment. Up your child’s ante and either/also purchase reading and math workbooks that take your child's learning effort seriously.
The exercises are all interesting and are not repetitive at all. Some incorporate puzzles while others are more traditional. The two pages per day is a perfect amount to keep a child's mind engaged without being too much to be frustrating or boring. After looking through the exercises, I could tell that some would be very easy for my son while other would require more thought. I might skip over some of the easier ones, just keeping a few for review purposes, and have him do the more engaging and thought-provoking ones.
The book also comes with weekly certificates, reward stickers, incentive charts, and a completion certificate to help with motivating your child. Also included are an answer key, tips for each week, and skill building activities. Overall, this is a very nice summer workbook, very suited to the grade level with varied interesting exercises.
There's a complete answer key for parents, and a page of star-shaped stickers for “grading” and rewarding the child's work. The puzzles help the child review 2nd grade skills, and get a head start on 3rd grade skills, in math, reading, writing, grammar, and vocabulary.
I find these fun to do, so parents and kids shouldn't be totally bored. For example, one Week 7 page shows a cartoon octopus in front of a school supplies store, and asks the question, “Why is the octopus crossing the road?” To get the answer, the child works 12 subtraction problems to get a number that represents a letter; then the child writes the letter over a corresponding numbered blank to decode a sentence that reads, “To get a pen for its ink.”
The between grades 2-3 volume ups the ante by having a child work on skipping numbers, identifying odd and even numbers as well as addition and subtraction and a child continues to learn about money in this issue learning how to make change. Reading comprehension continues while emphasis on phonics and short vowels but this is the writing lessons begin with this volume as children learn about nouns: pronouns, collective nouns, possessive nouns, and punctuation.
All lessons are brief and to the point, able to capture a child's attention and entertain at the same time. I love that the weekly readers are just as much fun now as they were when I was a child. I actually looked forward to these.