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Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is a Summer Book?

A Summer Book is a fifty-page book designed to help your child stay ready for school in the fall. The book will help him thoroughly review and practice all the important concepts he learned during the school year. It is designed to provide a one-page-per-day review. The top half of each page reviews math skills, and the bottom half reviews appropriate phonics or English skills. The back of the page contains either reading comprehension exercises or thinking skills. An answer key is located in the back of each book for the parents' convenience and can easily be removed.

Just as an athlete needs to train regularly to stay competitive, a student needs to practice his academic skills to remain proficient. If a child goes for three months without reading, writing, or doing arithmetic, he will forget many of the important things he learned during the previous school year. A Summer Book provides a child with a fun and easy way to stay mentally "in shape" until school begins again in the fall.

Some parents who teach their children at home like to use a Summer Book to provide additional drill as new concepts are learned. Other parents whose children have switched schools like to use the books to help their children catch up with their new classmates.

Which book is right for my child?

Books are available for children going into grades K-5 through grade 7. Order the book for the grade that your child will be entering in the fall.

If your child is finishing . . .

Preschool (K-4)
Kindergarten (K-5)
First grade
Second Grade
Third Grade
Fourth Grade
Fifth Grade
Sixth Grade

or
If your child is entering . . .

Kindergarten (K-5)
First grade
Second Grade
Third Grade
Fourth Grade
Fifth Grade
Sixth Grade
Seventh Grade

He will need . . .

Summer Book K
Summer Book 1
Summer Book 2
Summer Book 3
Summer Book 4
Summer Book 5
Summer Book 6
Summer Book 7

Which standards do these books follow?

The Summer Books are aligned with the Common Core State Standards. However, we have also examined a number of curricula used in private schools; and, where they exceed the Common Core State Standards, the Summer Books do as well. Experienced teachers at each grade level were also asked to review the books for grade appropriateness.

What Is Reviewed in a Summer Book?

On the front, the top half of each page is devoted to the review and mastery of a wide variety of math skills. The lower half of each page reviews phonics and language arts skills including grammar, mechanics and writing. The back of each page reviews reading comprehension or thinking skills with material often pulled from history, health or science.

On the Summer Book page, click on the picture of a Summer Book to see a more specific list of skills reviewed in that book.

What Is the Shipping Policy?

Your order will be shipped either by USPS or by FedEx. While checking out from the shopping cart, you will get the to choose the service and price that meets your needs. If you have special shipping requirements, please contact us at (757) 678-4001.

What Is the Return/Refund Policy?

We gladly refund the full price of any item that is returned in resalable or like new condition. We do not charge a restocking fee. We do not refund shipping charges, and the cost of returning the product is yours. In the event that we make a mistake with your order and send the wrong product, the mistake will be corrected at no cost to you.

How can I help my child become a better reader?

Have him read aloud to you. Listen to the kinds of mistakes he makes. Does he read short words well but stumble on longer words? Does he guess wildly when he is unsure?

If your child is a beginning reader and has trouble with even simple two-and three-letter words, we suggest doing Reading Through Spelling with your child. If your child can read the simple words but cannot seem to figure out the longer words, we suggest getting a copy of A Handbook for Reading (available from A Beka Books) and the Supplementary Phonics Tips. A Handbook for Reading will provide your child with lots of targeted practice. The Supplementary Phonics Tips will help you as the parent review (or maybe learn for the first time) the basic principles of phonics, so you can explain to your child how the principles apply to the words that trouble him.

Have him practice reading! No person ever becomes really good at anything without lots of practice. A good rule of thumb is that your child should be reading for ten minutes a day for each grade completed. That means a first grader should be reading at least ten minutes a day by the end of the school year. A third grader should be reading at least thirty minutes a day. If your child is not used to reading for more than five or ten minutes at a time, increase the time slowly each day until he is used to it. Make sure your child can actually read all the words in the books you ask him to read alone.

But my child does not like to read! Most people do not like to exercise. This dislike does not change the necessity of exercise. Reading is still a very important skill, and your child should master this skill thoroughly. For most children, the more they read, the better readers they become. The better readers they become, the more they enjoy reading. Give your child a book today and have him read!

How can I help my child do better in math?

Start with the basics. Can your child add 8+5 as quickly as he can add 2+2? Can your child subtract with speed and accuracy? What about his multiplication and division skills? If your child has to pause to think about any of the basic facts, he does not know them well enough. He should use flash cards, computer games, or worksheets to practice, practice, practice until he can answer the problems instantaneously. The Basic Facts Drill Book for Addition and Subtraction and The Basic Facts Drill Book for Multiplication and Division may be reproduced and will provide lots and lots of practice, especially on the "hard" problems.

After your child has thoroughly mastered the basic facts, then proceed to the more advanced concepts such as borrowing and carrying. Make certain your child understands the concept (i.e., what is happening) when he does these things. Giving him pieces of cereal to count will help him visualize what is taking place in borrowing and carrying. Cutting up paper or pretending to run a pizza shop will help him understand how fractions work. Once your child understands what he is doing, he needs to practice until he becomes very good at it. Some children just need more practice than others.

Does my child need the Step-by-Step Grammar book as well as a Summer Book?

If your child has finished the fourth, fifth, or sixth grade and is still confused by the basic parts of speech, the Step-by-Step Grammar book is for him. At the beginning, the sentences are kept simple so that every word may be identified. No word or phrase appears in the exercises until it has been explained. Only one concept is introduced at a time, so the child is able to understand and practice it before learning something new. If your child is doing well in English, the appropriate Summer Book will provide enough review.

How did the Summerbook Company get started?

"Wow!" I thought as I sat through another kindergarten graduation. "These children can read, write, add, and do all kinds of things! I really wish they would remember all these things when they walk into my first-grade classroom in the fall. I don't like having to spend the first six or eight weeks reteaching kindergarten. I wish they would remember . . . ."

The thought stayed with me as I finished the school year with my first graders. Some of the parents came and asked me for suggestions of things to do over the summer with their children. I gave my usual answers, but I wasn't very satisfied with them.

I knew that in many families both parents worked, and time was at a premium. They needed something that was very simple to do, or the parents would not follow through with it. I began looking for a better answer. I wanted some way to review all the important things the students learned in first grade that did not take too much time, equipment or money.

In 1988 I could not find anything to recommend. One book reviewed addition and subtraction. Another reviewed counting coins. Other books began too simply but then became way too hard. I could not find anything that reviewed everything.

So I sat down and started studying textbooks. What did the different books teach in first grade? I talked to second grade teachers. I asked, "What things are most important for a child to know when they start second grade?"

From this information, I compiled three lists: Really Important, Important, Not Very Important. I showed the lists to second grade teachers to be certain I had them correct.

Then I started writing a book. I decided to review math skills on the top half of each page and phonics/language skills on the bottom half. I also thought that children in busy families did not need more than one page per day to do. I put a thorough answer key in the back so that the work could be checked by anyone-Mom, big brother, Grandma, or the day care worker.

As I designed exercises, I tried to make them as interesting as possible without turning them into games that reviewed little or nothing. I made certain that everything on the "Really Important" list was reviewed at least once every week. The things on the "Important" list were reviewed every one to two weeks. The concepts on the "Not Very Important" list were reviewed every two to three weeks as there was space.

After I finished writing Summer Book 2, I sent it to several publishers. I was told that they were not interested because had no idea how well it would sell since there was nothing like it on the market! Of course there was nothing like it! That was why I wrote the book.

At that point, my husband decided we would publish the book ourselves. We did, and the Summerbook Company was started in 1989. Today we are still publishing the Summer Books. We have remained a family-based business committed to providing excellent educational helps. The Lord has given us the privilege of teaching our own class of four at home.

Many parents have told us how much they like the one-page-per-day format of the Summer Books. They also say that it is easy for their child to do the daily page in the car, at the beach, while waiting at the doctor's office or almost anywhere. Moms tell us that, after doing a little bit of work each day all summer, the children do their homework in the fall with far fewer complaints.

Children like having only one page to do; it seems like almost nothing to them.

Teachers have said they can really see a wonderful difference in the fall when a child has done a Summer Book during the summer. Students don't have to work nearly as hard during the first marking period, and their grades are usually quite high. Teachers have also said that the books really help new students from other schools prepare for their classes.

We hope the Summer Books and other items will assist you as you seek to give your children a quality education.

--Angela M. Ankers

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Hartsville, SC 29550
Phone: 757-678-4001
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