Frequently Asked Questions

 
 
What is a Summer Book?

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.

Why should we do a Summer Book?

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
Seventh Grade

or
If your child is entering . . .

Kindergarten (K-5)
First grade
Second Grade
Third Grade
Fourth Grade
Fifth Grade
Sixth Grade
Seventh Grade
Eighth 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
Summer Book 8

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.

 
 
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 Summerbook Readers 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 TipsA 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!

Please feel free to call and talk to one of our knowledgeable teachers or tutors if you have questions about how to help your child.

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. Step-by-Step Math: Addition and Subtraction Facts and Step-by-Step Math: Multiplication and Division Facts may be reproduced and will provide easy-to-understand concept teaching pages as well as pages 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.  Summerbook Company carries a wides variety of books.  Please feel free to call and talk to one of our knowledgeable teachers or tutors to help you decide on the best book for your child.

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.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call and talk to one of our knowledgeable teachers or tutors to help you decide on the best book for your child.