I can't believe that Harry has nearly finished his first year at school! He has come on so much, both socially and academically. It's difficult to remember that this time last year he didn't even know all his letters, and now he can read simple books. I'm very anxious that he doesn't fall behind over the long summer holiday and forget everything that he has learned, so I was very interested when I chatted with Parragon books at BritMums and learned about their "Summer with Gold Stars Challenge".
Gold Stars is Parragon Books' premium range of educational activity workbooks which are designed to reflect the National Curriculum. The range includes over 25 activity books with colourful designs and fun activities aimed at children from pre-school through to Key Stage 2. I chose the Ages 5-6 Key Stage 1 book for Harry.
To take part in the "Summer with Gold Stars" challenge, parents pledge their child's participation to Parragon on their social media channels using the official hashtag #summerwithgoldstars. Parragon is encouraging children to complete a page a day of their Gold Stars book for 30 days over the summer holidays. Every child that successfully completes 30 pages of their Gold Stars book (as verified in an e-mail from their parents) will receive a congratulatory letter and personalised certificate via email.
I think that this is a fantastic idea. I've already shown Harry the book and he's completed the first few pages. He wanted to do more but I had to hold him back, the idea is to spread the learning out over the summer holiday, not complete it all before the break even starts!
The book has a good mixture of short and longer activities, with plenty of variety. It's divided into four sections - English, Phonics, Maths and Adding and Taking Away. I'll probably rotate between the sections and complete a couple of pages from each at a time, going through in order. Most of the activities in this book are perfectly pitched to Harry's level (just finishing Reception). The instructions on each page are written in language that he can read and understand, so he can generally just get on with it by himself (although some do require a little more help from me).
The book comes with 100 gold star stickers, one for the bottom of each page, and he is absolutely thrilled to be able to stick a star on when he has finished. It only takes him a few minutes to finish each page, so it's not too daunting for him. You could also come up with your own variations on the activities in the book as it gives you a good idea of the skills that your child is expected to have at this level.
Even if you don't take part in the challenge, I'd really recommend these workbooks to reinforce your child's learning at home. They are available nationwide from Sainsbury's, WHSmith, Morrisons and Wilkinson among other retailers.
As a Parragon Book Buddy, I received this workbook at BritMums Live in exchange for sharing information about the #summerwithgoldstars Challenge with my readers.