Sunday, July 31, 2011

Book Review: Summer Fit Workbook

Last week I went searching for an email in what has become my spam email box--a box I've completely lost control over.  I've tried to rescue it, I really have.  But it's time.  I have officially given up.  Still, I was mucking about in this box looking for an email among my 8890 unread messages, (sadly, this is not an exaggeration) when I stumbled upon an email from Media Guests, for whom I review books, asking if I'd received and would review the Summer Fit workbook.  

The email was dated May 11.

Thus, the mysterious appearance of the workbook has been solved and it was total and complete coincidence that I got THE perfect book for my daughter.

But there is the matter of the review for which I received the free book in the first place.

I LOVE Summer Fit.  Let me tell you a bit about what it is.  These guys who created Summer Fit wanted kids to be physically and mentally active during the summer.  So they used national standards to create this book.  Each book begins, deliberately, easy and just touches on different subjects to keep the kids fresh but not bore them with pages and pages of repetition.  The book increasing in difficulty as the book moves along, but the focus of the book is review.

In addition to the academics, the book encourages physical fitness.  Each day there are recommend activities, with lists of games including instructions on how to play.  The activities alternate between aerobic and strength training and have fun names like, Fly in the Ointment (that one I could feel for a few days) and Moon Touch.

Summer Fit also includes a character trait for each week (the first is Honesty) has a recommended age appropriate reading list on the topic and a bio about a famous person who exhibited this trait.  (Abraham Lincoln is honesty; Mother Theresa is compassion, etc.)

I have been so impressed with the thought and depth that has gone into creating these workbooks.  There a few issues I suspect they are working out.  We've run into titles of books that were notably off.   On one of the boys' books the title in the book said, "The Summer My Father Turned Ten"  but the actual title was, "The Summer I Turned Ten".  There have been some math terms that aren't quite right either.  Like, instead of "find the nearest hundred"  it says "hundredth", which of course is a decimal two places out and the page has no decimals.

But it hasn't been a big deal.  It's been easy to figure out what they meant and give an assignment to look for typographical and other errors.  That always makes kids feel smart.

I heartily endorse Summer Fit as a well-rounded workbook with excellent curriculum and a certain solution for summer doldrums as well as kids who need an extra challenge in the school year.

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