Back in the old days I used to orgo-plan a structure and a way of trying to home educate for the coming month. These days, I’m a bit more honest and laid back but have felt things to be fairly stale recently, so now life is back to normal and pretty stress free, I want a change. In fact, I’ve started, for the first time, thinking we will go for an almost entirely autonomous approach, encouraging projects, researching and wide reading rather than following any text book or anything similar.
And because I decided that, a set of Gold Stars workbooks landed on the mat for review and the 3 girls fell on them and have been devouring them whole for several days. Ain’t that always the way?
Firest up is Josie trying out the KS1 Maths book as a slide in/revision/do it without mummy exploit. It’s a good consolidating book, nicely illustrated and colourful with sums that are baisc enough for a child across KS1 to manage nicely. It was too easy for Josie (as it should be) but she quite likes ‘doing sums’ so she was perfectly happy doing it and liked how clear the pages were to understand.
She also had a go at the 7-9 maths; this is much more of a stretch for her, conventionally laid out with the expected topics each on a double page spread and some explanation of each one. It’s visual without being cluttered and colourful in a way that is helpful and adds clarity. It doesn’t have gold stars (unlike the KS1 book) which disappointed her given the title, but she got over it
Maddy and Amelie have really liked the 7-9 and 9-11 Bumper books they received which cover Maths, English and Science. Although technically aimed at a lower age than both of them, elements of both have been stretching enough to keep them occupied (especially the English) and it’s been good to see them getting their teeth into it. The 9-11 one in particular would make an excellent SATS revision or perhaps a book for just making sure everything is covered if joining senior school after home ed or junior school. They are compact and well explained and have plenty to work away at; I’d say they are the best mainstream workbooks I have seen. The science has practical and theory to do and the english has a wide variety of grammar, comprehension and writing assignments. Both girls found them unthreatening and fun and have gone back to them plenty of times.
As a regular buyer of all sorts of workbooks through the years, these scored very highly on the scales for ones easily available. They wouldn’t be enough to be a home ed curriculum but they’d be a great way of seeing where a child was at when they came out of school or a good prepare for going into school. I’m quite happy you could use them for a child who needed a good brush up before term starts or an exam and they’d walk a nervous parent through topics too. There is plenty of substance to them and their compact size would probably make them a decent quiet time/distraction/puzzle book with meaning for a holiday or long car journey too. I also really liked the additional test booklet with them, which is a quick way of doing additional activities and seeing what has been understood. Nice touch.
Gold Star awarded
Disclosure: We were sent these 5 books free of charge for review and the Amazon link is an affiliate link of my own. Opinions are honest and my own and my girls have tried them out on several occasions and genuinely liked them.