This is one in a series of workbooks, each of which offers an abundance of learning activities, exercises, and games that are presented with superb production values. Appropriate to the given age level, much of the material focuses on basic subjects such natural science, mathematics, history, and social studies while enabling children to strengthen their reading, reasoning, and writing skills. The editors of Brain Quest believe that:
"All kids are smart - though they learn at their own speed
All kids learn best when they're having fun
All kids deserve the chance to reach their potential - given the tools they need, there's no limit how far they can go!"
I agree, while presuming to add that children will learn more and have more fun meanwhile if, when completing various exercises, adults are involved. As a parent of four and a grandparent of ten, I can personally attest to the pleasure an adult will also have. Each volume in the series is a WORK book. Exercises are completed with crayolas or pencils on the page on which it appears. Correct answers are provided. One caveat: Resist the temptation to control the learning process as a child completes an exercise.
This volume, for Kindergartners, was written by Lisa Trumbauer, with Kimberly Oliver serving as consulting editor. It is worth noting that Oliver was 2006 National Teacher of the Year. The material consists of organized curriculum-based exercises that help children to gain an understanding of ABCs, phonics, spelling and vocabulary, 123s, shapes and colors, patterns, sorting and matching, time and money, community, science, and "Fun and Games." Also included are more than 150 stickers, an all-new Brain Quest Mini-Card Deck, and a fold-out "Ticktock Clock" poster.
Here is a representative selection of exercises:
Help the cat find her way to the castle. (Page 14)
P as in Pirate.
Pirate begins with the P sound.
Circle the things in the picture that begin with the P sound. (127)
Say the word and.
Trace and then write the word and. [in the space below]
The word and connects words.
Write and to connect these friends. (155)
Trace the square and then draw your own. [in the space below]
Find all the squares in the room. [on opposite page]
Color the picture frames brown.
Color the jack-in-the-box purple.
Color the clock face tan.
Color the present gold and silver. (210-211)
A clean community is good for everyone.
Help clean up this community.
Draw an X through each piece of trash. (278-279)
Help the monster find his hat!
Connect the dots from A to M. (307)
Each of the volumes in this series (pre-K through Grade 4) would be an excellent book for parents, grandparents, and others to purchase and then share with a child at an appropriate stage of her or his development. No doubt there are precocious children who will prefer more challenging material associated with later grades but I think it would be a mistake to rush the learning process. Worse yet, to indicate little interest in it.
Congratulations to the Workman Publishing Company and especially to the editors of Brain Quest. How pleased they must be to know that their materials have already helped to nourish so many young minds and to delight so many young hearts and, fortunately, will continue to do so for the development of other children in months and years to come.