The holidays can feel like a lifetime off from learning for some. With lots of tests, such as SATs, on the horizon, then some children may like to top their knowledge up or practice out of school. This may be to help reduce anxiety/settle their nerves or just for fun. SKIPs produce a range of fun age/ability curriculum based books for Maths and English, for children ages 6-11 years old. They are also a good resource for those who are home educating.
We received about Skips CrossWord and CrossMaths Books, to help with Maths and English, in KS1, KS2 and Year 7 (which is a transition from your 6 to 7 and helpful for our son taking level 6 SATs next month). The books are very good at explaining the problems, and guiding the child along. The books allow for children to work through the book(s) independently. However, they also help parents identify when help is required, and any weak spots in their knowledge to develop.
The books are clearly divided into sections and topic areas. The books do not have to be worked through in order, so the child may tackle the parts they feel more confident in first, or go straight to the areas they are finding more difficult. There are plenty of definitions and examples throughout the books, with a hints section to remind children about what some of the terminology means. The language used is simple and clear, with lots of praise and rewards. You solve the clues and then put the answers into the crossword/math grid. The SKIPs challenge means that by finding the solutions to the main problem, answers can be copied in the coloured tiles to find a new solution. KS1 books have sticker rewards to help encourage younger readers too. There are “notes” pages for most of the KS2 and Year 7 books to allow for working out.
I think it is important to pick the right level book for your child’s needs. We went straight to the Year 7 work and in hindsight think that my 10 year old should have worked through the KS2 first, just to build his self-esteem before tackling the harder material. I found that my Year 1 son was keen to work through the books for pleasure, whereas my Year 6 son not so keen. This is possibly because the older child has possibly had a lot this kind of material already in the build up to his SATs. I think that it will be great for his revision, but that he will not consider it as fun.
We received free books in order to review them. All words and opinions are my own.