11 May 2009 05:04 PM

Sylvan Learning Products

by Dr. Rick

Summer is right around the corner!  Lately, I have received a lot of questions concerning how to keep learning alive over summer vacation.


You’ve seen my blog from April 30 about “Preparing Children for Summer Camp,” and you’ll read later this month about hobbies kids can enjoy during the summer and the rest of the year.


This  week, I’ll be in Shanghai, China, presenting at the international conference of AdvancED/CITA, the parent association of agencies that accredit tens of thousands of schools and learning centers around the world - probably in your own neighborhood.  (They accredit Sylvan Learning.)  I’m going to be speaking about the importance of keeping children and their needs at the top of our minds as we improve schools, learning centers, and other educational organizations in our own country and internationally.  This will be my first trip to Asia, and I’m eager to meet educators from all over the world, to gain some of their wisdom, to learn from their experiences, to share some ideas, and, of course, to see our amazing host city and country.


I’ll tell you about my experiences when I return.  While I’m gone, I’m leaving the Dr. Rick Blog in good hands.


I am proud to introduce a well-known “mommy blogger” who will provide her firsthand input about summer learning activities.  Kimberly is the mother of two children, a daughter and a son, and “mom” to four cats and a dog.  In addition to owning her own business in New York City, Everyday-Occasions, she is a freelance writer and photographer, Review Editor of Cool Baby Kid and creator of www.SheScribes.com,a premiere mom-focused blog concerning family activities.  Part one of Kimberly’s guest blog will run today and part two will be posted on May 14.  I’ll return on May 18, responding to Kimberly’s questions, and I’ll write about China after that.


For today, please welcome Kimberly.


Ever since my almost 12 year old daughter was little I have always kept workbooks on hand. Whenever possible I would have her do a few pages to brush up on some of her skills and to reinforce things she learned in school. Sometimes she even wanted to do a few pages just for the fun of it.


I kept workbooks on hand because I felt that sometimes my children just needed extra reinforcement when it came to the things they learned in school. I also felt that during the summer months my children needed to do some educational work along with having fun. During the summer many children can forget the things they learned and when school starts again they need to reintroduce those lessons they previously learned. By utilizing workbooks all year long my children kept a lot of what they learned fresh in their minds.


My ‘tween daughter has always done exceptionally well in school. I honestly think that a lot of it has to do with the fact that I supplemented her education with fun, interactive and educational workbooks throughout the year. Even when she was young I would look for workbooks that contained many activities which helped to make learning fun. She always loved to do dot-to-dots and coloring activities so I would look for workbooks that had those activities and others she would enjoy. While she was enjoying herself and keeping occupied she was also learning and reinforcing what she had learned in school. It is a “win-win” situation.


When my son was little I continued the same course of action with him, although he was a bit more resistant to the idea. It was harder for me to find workbooks that he enjoyed because he saw them more as “work” then “fun”. It was a challenge but I managed to find some workbooks that he enjoyed.


I have seen the commercials for Sylvan Learning on TV for many years. In fact I almost called them for my son. He’s very bright but doesn’t apply himself in school like he should. He also has poor study habits.


I was thrilled when I learned that Sylvan Learning offered workbooks geared towards my children’s ages. My son is currently in 4th grade and my daughter is in 6th grade. Most workbooks I have used in the past were created for younger children in lower grades. Knowing that there were workbooks available for children grades K-5,

especially by Sylvan Learning, made me a very happy parent.


I was a bit apprehensive at first about the Sylvan Learning workbooks. I was concerned that they would be more “work” then “fun”. Thankfully my apprehension was quickly dismissed when I saw some of the fun challenging activities that were contained within the pages. Not only are they educational they are fun, engaging and very much age appropriate for my son. You won’t find coloring pages or dot-to-dots inside the Sylvan Learning workbooks. Instead you will find challenging Criss Cross crossword puzzles (my son’s favorite), World Blocks, Word Searches (another favorite of my son’s) and so much more.


I am ashamed to say that some of the pages I found challenging myself yet my son figured them out right away. I think I’m the one who needs to brush up on my skills now.


Some of my favorite pages within the books (including the Criss Cross and Word Searches) are “Pick the One!” and “Author! Author!” I personally enjoyed the “Author! Author!” the best. With this activity your child needs to choose at least six of the key words for that study section and write a story, poem or even create crazy sentences using the words they selected from the list. My son had a lot of fun with this activity. Even my ‘tween daughter did a few of the Author! Author! pages. Even though she’s in 6th grade and my son uses a 4th grade workbook I feel that it’s a great review for my daughter too.


I also believe that the workbooks created by Sylvan Learning would be very beneficial to Homeschoolers as well.


If you are looking for quality educational workbooks to supplement your child’s education or to provide extra learning during vacations and the summer months I highly recommended the workbooks from the Sylvan Learning. They are published by Random House and are available online at SylvanLearningBookstore.com.  The books are also available at other book retailers including Amazon, Target and Barnes & Noble.


Learn more about Sylvan Learning Products, get FREE workbook pages, more parent buzz and reviews, and other information at SylvanLearningBookstore.com.






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