I purchased this workbook for my daughter who is six years old. She is just finishing kindergarten, and the kindergarten to first grade workbook was much too easy for her. The first to second grade was much closer to her learning level.
The workbook is structured into ten weeks of five days per week lessons, for a total of 50 lessons. Each day, children are asked to complete mind, body, and reading activities and color in a star when they have completed their 20 minutes (total) of work for the day. At the outset of the program, there is a skills assessment test for the child to take, which is about four pages total of reading and math problems. There is an answer key provided at the back of the book. However, no instructions or guidance are provided if a child struggles in a particular area.
I really enjoyed the fact that physical activities are part of each day's work. This is a great way to incorporate physical fitness five days a week during the summer break. There is also a mix of cardiovascular and strength training. For example, some of the cardiovascular activities are: playing tag, tree sprints, and jumping jacks. Strength exercises include leg scissors, ankle touches, and push-ups. The Biggest Loser contestants are featured in the book and on the book's website.
I also really liked the values lessons each week. The values included in this book are: honesty, compassion, trustworthiness, self-discipline, kindness, courage, respect, responsibility, perseverance, and friendship. Each value is exemplified with a role model, such as Terry Fox, Mother Theresa and Abraham Lincoln. At the close of each week's values lesson, there is a suggested reading list of three, grade-specific books for further reading.
There is a three page Summer Journal at the back of the book, where the child has lines to write about: family vacation, favorite outdoor summer activity, and their best friend.
There are many references in the books to the company's website: summerfitlearning.com for videos, games and additional materials. However, when I accessed the page at the end of May, there was only a countdown to summer clock and preview pages of the workbooks. I am hoping this will change to deliver the promised content.
The book has a Summer Reading List, which I was not happy with. Having bought the Grade Two to Three Workbook for my older child, I immediately noticed that the Summer Reading List was exactly the same in both books. The titles range from "The Cat in the Hat" to "Freckle Juice" and "Clifford, the Big Red Dog." I can assure you that asking my third grader to read "The Cat in the Hat" was insulting! The reading list should have been grade-specific and not generic across the workbook series. The workbook asks the children to read the books on the list, complete a book report (which is at the back of the book) for each book they read. The problem is that there is only one book report form and 24 books on the list. You will need to copy or scan and print the book report page. All books on the list should be readily available at your local library's children's section, so you do not have to purchase additional materials.
There are other things that are exactly the same across the workbook sets: the values order, the exercise plans are precisely the same down to the same page number, the introductory materials, the Fitness Index (which includes vocabulary words which should have been modified for age levels), and the values introduction at the opening of each new week is word-for-word identical. The authors clearly re-used content between workbooks. However, this could be a real advantage if you have several children working on this series for the summer, as it will be easier to keep their activities organized down to the same page number.
The book refers to many websites that parents will need to visit before letting their children visit: www.values.com, www.myplate.gov, www.cdc.gov, www.championsforchange.net, www.stopbullying.gov, and more.
While there are things I did not like about this workbook, on the whole, I am very satisfied with it and look forward to using it, especially the fitness component, with my girls this summer.