In this post, you’ll find a breakdown and review of the School Zone Big Preschool Workbook.
We completed this workbook in about 2 months with our 4 year old.
We’ve now started the “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” book. It is amazing so far! I’m watching our daughter learn to read before my eyes. So fun.
I’ll touch briefly on the learning to read book in this post as well!
Our 4 year old has been wanting to learn how to read since she was 2. I remember the moment when she told me…
When I became pregnant, she told me she was upset. When I asked why, she explained that she didn’t know how to read, and she wanted to be able to read to her baby sister.
My heart just about jumped out of my chest. What a sweet, sweet thing to think about.
Then, after her sister died at birth, I remember her telling me that she was sad that she never got to read to her. Needless to say, my heart did another somersault.
As I recently discussed, however, our daughter is also what is called a “Highly Sensitive Child”.
If you are wondering what that means, it’s much more than her just being sensitive or emotional. Check out this post detailing the 4 aspects of being a highly sensitive child.
A big part of this for her is being a perfectionist. She gets very upset if she fails at something or can’t do it perfectly. She also gets upset if she does something well, and you happen to notice and praise her.
She’s so hard on herself. So, reading was kind of just off the table for awhile.
She can’t do it yet, and therefore she won’t try it out fear of failure. It’s a bad cycle, but obviously she doesn’t need to learn how to read yet. It’s ok.
If I try to work with her, it causes a fit, and well, right now I am choosing to pick my battles. That’s not a battle we need to have right now, and I don’t want to make it a negative experience in any way. And so, it’s been on pause for a good while.
That being said, she wants to learn how to read. And she’s capable. So very capable.
Since learning to read was on pause, I decided on a fun preschool workbook to do with her instead. I figured this might get us into a good pattern of doing some focused learning every day.
After the workbook was completed, the plan was to work on reading using a book that had been recommended to me: Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons
I am thrilled about how these two books have gone so far. She’s completed the School Zone Big Preschool Workbook, and we are one week into the reading lessons.
I’ll discuss the Big Preschool Workbook in detail below, and touch briefly on how the reading book is going.
We finished the preschool workbook in about 2 months. Every morning after breakfast, while I cleaned up the dishes, she did her workbook at the kitchen island, where I could help if need be.
We skipped a few mornings if we were running behind for her school days, or if we had something going on. But, 90% of the time, we were able to fit it in. She enjoyed doing it, and it was completed pretty quickly (about 2 months time).
I’ll show details of the big preschool workbook below so you know exactly what you are buying if you choose to give it a shot!
I think focused learning activities are very important to incorporate in our daily schedule for a couple of reasons.
The Benefits of Focused Learning Activities
1- Mental stimulation
In addition to the physical stimulation that our children need every day, they also need mental stimulation.
I’ve always found that our daughter isn’t tired enough for naps or bedtime if she doesn’t get both mental stimulation and physical stimulation throughout the day.
Mental stimulation happens during play, social interactions, and even in simple conversation.
That being said, however, I wanted her to have a dedicated time as well so we made SURE to fit it in and challenge herself enough. I wanted her to really focus herself, and have some dedicated thinking time.
Other Focused Learning Activities to Check out:
2- Following Direction
We do a lot of free play in this house. Our daughter loves to play pretend.
I am totally fine with that. But, we also like to block out chunks of time.
This helps to break up the day, but it also ensures that she’s listening well and not just getting to do whatever she wants.
Free play whenever she wants would lead to a grumpy child. Structured free play allows her to have focused time, and learn to follow instructions, while still getting lots of choice.
As a result, we choose to do blocks throughout the day. She knows the order very well.
Now that school is out, this will be our 4 year old’s general daily routine.
4 Year Old General Daily Routine
- Get ready for the day
- Eat breakfast
- Workbook time (Mama cleans up breakfast)
- Special Mama play time (Play time with Mama with NO interruptions)
- Outside time (independent time outside)
- Room time (independent play in room)
- Rest time
- Family Help time (clean up dishes, laundry, clean up toys, etc.)
Now that we have finished her workbook, and we are focusing on learning to read, we’ve switched up the schedule slightly. I need to work WITH her for the reading book.
As a result, our 4 year old has time with her little brother while I clean up from breakfast.
Once he goes down for his nap, shortly after, we sit down together and do one reading lesson together. Then we get right back on track with special Mama play time, and then outside time.
Ok so, I know you are wondering ALL about these two books.
I’ll start with the preschool workbook that we tried.
Big Preschool Workbook
Ok so I’ll start by saying three things.
1- This book was enjoyable, and our daughter was able to practice skills she already knew, plus learn a couple of new things.
2- There is a TON of stuff packed into this book. More than I even realized at first glance!
3- There is a lot of coloring. LOL!
That’s a good thing for most children in that it makes it fun. Our daughter, however, is the child that likes to get to the nitty gritty.
She skips through the songs on a show, and wants to just watch the show.
She skips the coloring to get to the learning. She did a little here and there, but I wasn’t concerned if we skipped some of the coloring to get to the good stuff.
There was a ton of stuff packed into this book! So, here’s a peak at what all is in it!
Sections of the Big Preschool Workbook
“Color the carrot orange”
- Color the shapes
- Trace the shapes
- Find the shapes
- Color by shape pictures
- Choose the next shape in the pattern
- Follow the path with the correct pattern
- Finger tracing
- Uppercase and lowercase matching
- Coloring pages (Aa for Alligator)
- Color by letter
- Find the hidden letters
- Circle the pictures that begin with “B”
- Color the oranges that have “O” on them
- Mazes and coloring breaks
- “Color the butterflies with 0 spots”
- “Circle the cats that are holding 1 flower”
- “Draw 2 carrots”
- “Color 4 fish”
- “Circle the image that you see 4 of in the picture”
- Connect the dots by numbers
- Match groups to numbers
- Count and circle the right number
- Number recognition
- “Help the rabbit get to his home at the hold labeled 2”
- More and Less
- “In each row, circle the group that shows one more than the first one”
- Same and different
- What’s missing
- Matching items
- Finding hidden object pictures
- Items that belong together
- What doesn’t belong
- “Look at the picture until you can remember them”, turn the page and find them
- 5 Senses
- Which items can you smell?
- “Circle the items you can taste”
- Real versus pretend
- What happens next pictures
- Why things happened
Get Your Copy of the Big Preschool Workbook Here:
We were very impressed with this workbook.
Every concept was taught in multiple ways and the book was thought through very well.
It was engaging and easy to follow the instructions.
For the most part, our daughter could follow the instructions on her own (until we got to the last section on general observations). Then she needed some more help.
Now that we are done with the workbook, I was SO excited to get to do some reading lessons. My goal was to be starting this book on June 1st.
We have the summer, essentially, to work through the reading book at just 1 lesson per day.
Our summer goal is to have our daughter reading in 100 days!
The big preschool workbook was completed on May 31st!! It was perfect. June 1st we started reading lessons.
You guys, we are 9 lessons in. I am already impressed. SO VERY IMPRESSED!!!
Caroline is sounding out 3 letter words ALREADY!
Every time I’ve attempted to teach her how to read, we sound things out. I would sound out M-A-T. She could never make the transition from sounding it out, to putting it together. There was a disconnect in how we were doing it.
This book, gives the parent instructions on exactly what to say. We can sound out words, and then I can ask her to “say it fast”, and she just does it. She just gets it.
It’s very impressive. I can’t wait to see the progress she makes with these reading lessons. I’ll have another post soon on how it’s going. In that post I’ll detail out the sections like I did with the Big Preschool Workbook. You won’t want to miss it!
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