When my son finished kindergarten, I overheard someone ask his teacher about summer bridge workbooks. While my kids did workbooks, I’d never heard of summer slide and summer enrichment.
According to NWEA, for kids in 3rd – 8th grades, students lose skills in math and reading. They went on to explain for students who’ve just competed third grade, students lose 27% of their school gains in math and 20% in reading.
They discovered summer learning loss increases with age through kids’ elementary and middle school years. For students who just finished seventh grade, students lost 50% of their gains in math and 36% in reading over the summer.
My kids have been doing summer bridge workbooks ever since.
While they rarely want to do them, they are used to it. The workbooks are set up so they just have to do two pages a day which makes it very doable.
Summer bridge workbooks
These Carson-Dellosa Summer Bridge Activities workbooks are ideal. No matter when your kids start them, they will help reinforce and increase your child’s mastery of skills. In some cases, these workbooks will introduce and teach new concepts.
No matter what your school district’s curriculum or whether they follow Common Core, there are grade-level standards students should know.
Kids only have to do two pages a day for 60 days. Maybe the kids skip some days; that’s okay. The idea is they aren’t going all summer without some enrichment.
These books bridge the gap from the grade your child just completed and the one he/she will start after summer break. The goal is to minimize summer slide and the academic progress they’ve made.
We’ve bought them from K to 1st up to 7th to 8th grade and have been pleased with each book.
These workbooks have been worth the cost — even if my kids didn’t complete every page over the summer. Think of the price of a tutor; this is a fraction of the cost.
We have been happy with each bridge workbook from Carson-Dellosa. They also have one from PreK to K.
Helping for standardized tests
These are great books to help keeps kids’ minds sharp for the standardized tests that many schools give early in the school year.
While tests like the CogAT don’t measure grade-specific skills and content, using these bridge books over the summer help kids remain in a problem-solving mindset.
Why use summer bridge workbooks
These workbooks help bridge the gap between whatever grade your child just completed to the grade they will enter when school resumes after summer break. They keep kids engaged over the summer.
You will know your child is prepared to start the next grade.
The problems and questions are rigorous enough to make your child think but not so difficult to cause frustration.
My son, who is going into 8th grade, just started Day 1 yesterday. The first six questions instruct them to figure out the area and volume. He said they just reviewed this for their state test in the spring.
He quickly set to work on the problems. Interestingly, he knew how to compute the volume but not the area. It was great to see him figure out the problems and be challenged by it, not discouraged. It’s likely he will now know this for the future. This was all from the first six problems on Day 1!
On the second page for Day 1, there were a series of analogies. These are the same types of questions students see on the CogAT test.
For those who are interesting in helping their children prep for standardized tests, these workbooks are great ways to give kids practice with problems to solve.
What’s great about these summer workbooks
There are many wonderful things about these educational workbooks.
It’s different every day
One of the best parts is while they cover all the subjects over the month, there are different subjects and activities each day.
Some workbooks are divided by subject (a math section, a grammar section, a reading comprehension section, etc.). The beauty of these books is there is a mix.
Your child won’t have to do math, history, spelling or science every day. There is always a combination of subjects and types of questions. Your kids will have to read the directions, because they will differ.
This keeps it interesting and helps keep them engaged.
One day, the child will complete a math section. On the next page, it may ask for the student to circle the incorrectly spelled words. Then, she may have to write different types of sentences such as “write a complex sentence” and “write a compound sentence with a prepositional phrase.”
It’s very doable
Really, there are just two pages a day. Your kids will learn and also feel proud they accomplished something.
Maybe you give them a week off when they get out of school or when you go on vacation. Maybe they don’t do the workbooks on the weekends.
It’s really up to you, and it’s best to be flexible. Again, doing any of the workbook pages is better than nothing.
There’s lots of white space. The font size is good. They use color often. Your kids shouldn’t be overwhelmed with these.
Focuses on reading
When you read about summer slide, much of the focus is on the importance of reading over the summer.
Reading and reading comprehension is interspersed throughout these workbooks.
Lets you know what kids need help in
One of the best parts for our family is there have been many times in these workbooks when my kids struggled.
For whatever reason, my kids didn’t learn the material in a certain section. Maybe the teacher didn’t cover it, maybe my child didn’t understand or remember it, or maybe my child was out that day.
This was a great opportunity for me to be sure they understand the material. This is practical summer learning not just busywork.
Reminds parents to reinforce skills
These workbooks have been good reminders of things to discuss over the summer.
Because of these workbooks, I had my kids practice their times tables in the car. We’ve practiced telling time. We talked about North South East West.
Starts interesting conversations
These bridge workbooks have inspired us to have conversations about many different things.
In one of the books there was a section about Greek gods and goddesses. The students were to use clues to complete a crossword puzzle. My kids loved the Rick Riordan books so this was fun for them to do together to apply what they remembered from the books.
On the next page, there were pictures of world landmarks. The instructions were to match the landmark with the picture and write down the country the landmark is in. This got us all talking about some of the landmarks. We spent the afternoon learning more about some of them online.
There have been many times we talked about a passage, subject or questions from these workbooks.
Keeps kids’ minds sharp
Keeping kids engaged over the summer — by just doing two pages a day — will help them remember what they studied the previous year.
In many cases, it will be a review for them — just presented in a different format — and a way for them to apply the skills they should have learned.
These workbooks have encouraged critical thinking and problem solving skills throughout the summer.
Covers many subjects
Your child will strengthen his or her skills in reading comprehension, math, spelling, writing, social studies, geometry, measurement, science and more.
In many instances, subjects overlap. For example, there may be a reading passage about something in history or science. Your child will benefit from the reading practice while learning about something in history, while building reading comprehension skills.
Children will gain exposure to following directions, maps, vocabulary, telling time, finding volume, converting ounces to pounds, fractions, longitude and latitude, measurement, climate, interpreting charts and graphs, statistics, learning about the importance of being active, and so much more.
There is a Skills Matrix toward the front of the workbook which will show you the skills the book covers each day.
Examples in the summer bridge workbook 3 to 4, in Section One:
Day 1 covers Problem Solving, Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary.
Day 2 covers Multiplication and Division, Numbers, Punctuation & Capitalization, and Word Study.
Day 3 covers Addition & Subtraction, Language Arts & Writing, Multiplication & Division, and Prefixes & Suffixes.
Day 4 covers Graphing & Probability, Language Arts & Writing, Parts of Speech, and Problem Solving.
Other skills your child will review throughout the workbook include Character Development, Fitness, Fractions, Geometry, Measurement, Place Value, Reading Comprehension, Science, Sentence Structure, Social Studies, and Spelling.
Skills Matrix for older grades
Wondering about the older grades?
The Skills Matrix in the summer bridge workbook 6 to 7 includes:
Addition & Subtraction, Algebra & Ratios, Capitalization & Punctuation, Character Development, Data Analysis & Probability, Decimals & Percentages, Fitness, Fractions, Geometry & Measurement, Language Arts, Multiplication & Division, Parts of Speech, Problem Solving, Puzzles, Reading Comprehension, Science, Sentence Types & Structure, Social Studies, Usage, and Writing.
Offers writing prompts
In school, kids often spend a lot of time doing reports and “writing” on the computer instead of actually handwriting. I’m always happy for the chance for my kids to be creative and boost their handwriting skills.
The writing prompts in these summer workbooks are age appropriate and interesting. They include a few lines for kids who may not enjoy writing and include the option to continue the writing on a separate piece of paper for children who have lots they want to write about.
The section may ask the child to write something from experience, from their imagination, something they may have learned, or to write an ending to a story.
Here are some examples of the writing prompts in these books:
Summer bridge workbooks 3 to 4
“What would you do if you woke up with green hair?”
“Write about your experience of learning how to do something new. Who helped you? What did you learn? Share your story using a logical sequence of events.”
Summer bridge workbooks 4 to 5
“You go for a walk one day and find a a large, golden egg with green spots. Suddenly, it begins to shake and crack.”
The child is supposed to use the steps to finish the story.
Another in the 4th to 5th grade book is: “Make a list of things that use electricity. Then, write about what you think life would be like without electricity.”
Summer bridge workbooks 5 to 6
“Invent a new ice cream flavor. How is it made? What will you call it? Describe your new flavor.”
“Write a review of a book you have read, telling whether you liked it or disliked it. State your opinion clearly and give specific reasons to support it.”
Summer bridge workbooks 6 to 7
“You have been offered a round-trip ride in a time machine and can travel any distance into the past. What time period would you want to travel to? Why?”
We really like that the kids have the choice to use another sheet of paper if they need more space. In this way, it’s doable for the reluctant writer, yet a child who loves writing can write as much as he or she wants to.
The material and prompts are relevant to your child’s grade level.
Teaches in a fun way
While these are workbooks to prevent summer learning loss, they have been a great way for kids to master skills in math, writing, reading, and more.
Beginning of the book
Skills Matrix: See above.
Summer Reading List: Offers fiction and non-fiction books for the age and grade level.
There are three sections, each with 20 days of lessons. Each day contains two pages for kids to complete.
Beginning of each section
Each section starts with three monthly goals your child can set for himself. They give examples such as reading for 20 minutes each day, exercising for 30 minutes a day, etc.
There is also a Word List. They include a list of words that your child will see in the next section. They encourage students to review the words and to use a dictionary for the definition of words they don’t know.
The children are encouraged to come up with two sentences from the word list and write them down.
There are Bonus pages at the end of each section.
In one of the workbooks, there is a chart for kids to determine their heart rate from doing push ups, jumping jacks, etc. They are instructed to count the number of beats in six seconds. Then, they are to multiply by 10 to compute their heartbeats per minute.
All the while, they are getting physical activity, learning about using a chart, learning about health, and doing math.
Another activity in the bonus section is a map with time zones in the United States. Children can answer questions about figuring out what time it is in different parts of the country.
There are so many enriching workbook bonus pages filled with interesting topics would will want your kids to know about.
Back of the book
In the back of the book there are extra opportunities to help enrich your child.
All the books — even the summer bridge workbook 7 to 8 — have flashcards kids can cut out and reference.
The cards cover various subjects, including colors, vocabulary words, homophones, words with Greek and Latin roots, geometry terms, factors of a number, prefixes, suffixes, math concepts, spelling words, practice math problems, and more.
The books from summer bridge PreK to K through summer bridge 4th to 5th have stickers to put on a chart so your child can track his/her progress.
The workbooks from 5th to 6th and higher do not include the stickers.
All of them, even the summer bridge workbook 7 to 8, have a colorful award certificate at the end of the book.
The answers are organized by day and page and are color coordinated by the first, second or third section. They are easy to follow, find and understand.
Before my kids “are finished” they have to show me the workbooks, and I check the answers.
At times, we check them together. It’s a nice way to spend time with them reviewing what they learned and talking about anything they had questions about.
Everything you need is in the bridge workbook
While at the end of each Bonus section there is the opportunity to “take it outside” or do a science experiment with mostly-easily-found materials, the vast majority of the book is right on the pages.
All your kids really need is a pencil and the workbook — that’s it.
Reviews what they should have learned
State standards often change. Maybe your child moved and changed schools. Maybe your child was sick and missed important lessons. Perhaps the teacher didn’t teach everything.
Regardless, these lessons help kids get the chance to further apply what they learned and master it or to learn it for the first time.
It’s difficult during the school year to know the areas in which your child may have struggled. These workbooks touch on multiple subjects in different contexts so you can be sure they understand the material they should have learned during the most recently-completed school year.
Bridges the gap from one grade to the next
These bridge workbooks help ensure your child has mastered what she should have learned in the grade she just completed.
It helps keep her skills sharp and her mind working and learning over the summer so she will be ready to absorb what she needs to learn in her next school year.
Takes just 15 – 20 minutes
There are 24 hours in a day — surely we can carve out a few minutes for my kids to sit down and do these workbooks.
Some days we can’t or don’t, and that’s okay.
There are 60 days to complete and our summer break is 70 days.
Some summers, my kids don’t finish their bridge books, and that’s okay too. I’m happy for what they were able to complete because it’s better than nothing.
Depending on your child’s age and grade, some days it may take 15 minutes. Other days, closer to 25. It depends on your child’s focus and strengths in the subject that day.
These books are designed to be done fairly quickly so it won’t be a struggle to get your kids to do them.
Great bridge workbook for 7th and 8th grades
Many workbooks are for younger students. This series goes as high as bridging from 7th grade to 8th grade.
Bridge workbook 7 to 8
The Summer Reading List includes a long list of fiction and non-fiction books. It also reminds students to read for a minimum of 30 minutes each day.
Summer learning loss increases as students get older, so it’s important to keep them engaged over the summer. Again, these books are meant to be doable and take just 15 – 20 minutes each day.
Know that there is a lot of white space. Your child should not find these workbooks overwhelming. They are presented so they are not intimidating and will not frustrate your child before he/she begins.
The workbooks are designed so the child can finish each day, be proud of that, and feel a sense of satisfaction.
The goal is to get ready for 8th grade by keeping their skills sharp.
Bridge workbook 7 to 8 Day 1
Here are examples of what your child will get to experience.
The first day starts with measurement. Kids need to “Find the surface area or volume of each rectangular prism.” There are six questions.
Next, they work on grammar. Teens are to read the passage, underline each noun, and draw three lines under each letter that should be capitalized.
On the second page for Day 1, teens work on vocabulary and science.
First, they are to circle the letter next to the word that correctly completes each analogy. There are five questions. The first is:
dessert : rain forest :: ___________ : ravine
A. ocean B. canyon C. plateau D. mountain
This type of reasoning question is what students see on their standardized tests, including the CogAT.
The second activity on the second page tells students to “Write the letter of the word from the word bank that completes each sentence.” There are seven questions. These are science questions.
Three examples are:
In the first state of cell reproduction, the ________ disappears.
The period of time when a cell grows and copies its DNA is called _______.
Plant cells use _______ to capture sunlight.
Even if your teenager doesn’t know all the science terms in the word bank, he or she will use reasoning and process of elimination to figure out the answers.
The best part is that this is all enrichment — it’s not graded.
If your teen struggles in this section or in any other section, he/she can take some time over the summer when things are less hectic to learn the material. During the school year, it’s difficult to take this extra time to really understand the concepts. Students are often rushing to complete assignments and turn them in on time.
In addition to truly being able to master concepts they may be unfamiliar with or not understand fully, they may become more interested in a subject and have the time to pursue it in greater depth.
Summer bridge 7 to 8 Day 2
The second day, your teenager will strengthen his/her skills in geometry and language arts.
There are eight vocabulary words. Instead of writing the definition, the directions ask them to determine whether the words have a positive or negative connotation.
Examples: annoy, unique, cheerful, glorious, worthless
The last thing they will do on Day 2 is to read a passage and answer the questions.
Workbooks for tweens and teens
We have loved all of the workbooks in this series. We have bought one each year, starting with K to 1.
However, now that our kids are older, we especially appreciate the workbooks for the older grades.
Oftentimes, we’ve bought workbooks that cover a range of grades, as in a Problem Solving Workbook for 4 – 6 grade. That’s a very broad range of skills.
We love these bridging workbooks for the older grades, 5th to 6th, 6th to 7th, and 7th to 8th. Tweens and teens are often reluctant to do extra work, especially as it gets more challenging.
However, these summer bridge workbooks for older students are engaging, not intimidating, and take the right amount of time to complete. We want to do what we can to prevent summer learning loss and to keep them interested in learning.
Makes parents feel accomplished
As a busy mom, I like to look back on our summer days and weeks and feel like we accomplished something. I want to know I’m doing what I can so my kids have the tools to succeed.
It’s really important for me to know my kids will be prepared. I want to know they learned what they were supposed to and are all caught up. I want to be sure they are ready to learn when their summer break is over.
A bonus also is this gives my kids a sense of accomplishment that doesn’t come from playing electronics and video games.
(In our house, my kids can’t use electronics the next day if they didn’t finish their workbook that day. It’s been a big motivator for them to earn their electronics time the next day.)
Enriching for your child
This is another way for them to learn.
They are portable
This is a really easy workbook to take on car rides and road trips.
My kids know they have to get their workbook pages done each day so if there is a car ride, they will often bring their workbook along to do on the way.
We’ve even brought it on the airplane.
Requires a pencil — back to the basics
As mentioned before, there are writing prompts. But even more than writing out sentences, it’s nice my kids get a chance to write — numbers and words.
While we appreciate online learning, my kids don’t need more time in front of screens. These books reinforce handwriting skills.
I’m a big fan of pencil and paper learning, especially because as kids get older, so much is online.
Certainly online interactive skill-building educational websites have their place, but it’s really great to get back to the basics with handwriting with a pencil and a paper workbook.
Can do it together or independently
Depending on the ages and focus of your child, you can sit with them.
Sometimes I do — even now that my children are older — and sometimes I don’t.
I usually go over the answers with them.
Summer bridge workbooks PK – 8th grade
These workbooks have become part of my kids’ summer routines.
Think of the price of a tutor.
Think of the time it takes to look online for different worksheets to print out to help reinforce or teach skills. Here is everything, all in one place. If there is something you find your child doesn’t understand, these workbooks will give you a chance to then find more resources if you need.
Teaches goal setting
Unless we have other activities, our rule is my kids can’t do electronics the next day if they didn’t complete their two workbook pages. They get bonus time when they complete bonus pages at the end of each section.
These books are spot on for whatever grade your child is in. You won’t have to worry about these being too repetitive and remedial. They will find challenges in these books.
Summer slide workbooks for older students are especially essential.
We’ve found them to be the right amount of challenge.
Great way to prevent summer slide
There are many positive things about these summer bridge books. They help reinforce and build skills as well as introduce new skills. The daily workbook pages have meaningful activities. It’s not just busywork.
Sometimes my kids will sail through a section (have already mastered those skills) while other times they need to take longer either because of the complexity of the section or because the material is a little more challenging. It’s been a great mix.
These workbooks help my kids continue to develop their analytical skills and their critical thinking abilities.
They are great books to help them review as well as prepare them for the next grade. The idea is to keep your child excited about learning all summer long.
I buy summer slide workbooks to keep my kids’ minds active over the summer, to keep them engaged, and to prevent summer slide.
Summer enrichment workbooks
There are extra learning activities in the bonus sections.
Choose to do these extra activities or don’t — they are there if you want to.
In our district, kids get 10 weeks of summer break. Much of what students learned over the school year can be lost if kids don’t get the opportunity to reinforce and practice those skills.
Making sure your child knows what he is supposed to know
How do you know if your child learned about capitalizing proper nouns or the first word of the sentence? Do you know if you child can tell time? When is he/she supposed to learn that?
Does your child know how to put quotes in for dialogue? Is your child familiar with map reading or graphing?
Many times I looked at these workbooks and didn’t know my kids hadn’t learned it in school. How would I know? You will discover so much about what your kids may not have fully learned in school, either because they didn’t teach it or because your child didn’t get enough instruction and attention to master the skills.
There are grade standards teachers need to teach. Many school districts are very test-focused. Sometimes there are 25 – 30 kids in a classroom — all at different levels and aptitudes.
It’s difficult for teachers to know if each child understands each concept he or she taught that year.
They may have worked on something for one or two lessons and your child didn’t understand the material. Maybe your child was absent that day or was there but didn’t get the opportunity to apply the lesson and skills.
These workbooks will really help give your child the review they need. They are challenging and colorful and a good-sized font so it’s not overwhelming.
Sometimes there are just 4 – 6 math problems on a page — there is lots of white space.
And if you have an over-eager and interested child who wants to work on the workbook at a faster pace, that’s great! You can always purchase another summer slide workbook. There are many on the market. This will be a very good problem to have!
Something to do instead of electronics
There are some long summer days. It’s easy for kids to play on their iPads, Xbox, and phones. Instead of vegging out in front of the TV, they can use 15 – 20 minutes to stimulate their brains.
So much in-school work now is done on the computer. Our kids have Chromebooks in school. They do a lot of their papers and schoolwork on it.
What’s great about these summer bridge workbooks is the kids get to use a pencil to continue to build their handwriting skills and fine motor skills. Much of this is lost in school nowadays, especially as the kids are in third grade and older grades.
Summer workbook for tweens and teens
These summer slide workbooks go up to 8th grade. I am looking forward to my seventh grader doing this over the summer to help prepare for eight grade.
We really wish they had a workbook to bridge from 8th grade to high school but they don’t at this time.
These summer slide workbooks for the older grades are very valuable. There are many subjects teachers teach, especially as students are in the older grades. This is especially true with science concepts and social studies.
They will learn about history from the workbook’s reading passages — material about science and animals and nature and concepts that all teachers can’t cover in the short time kids are in school.
In addition, your child will continue to master resiliency and grit. They will feel good about themselves for finishing each day’s workbook pages.
So for older kids, these summer workbooks are great. If you want, you can even tear out the answers in the back so you know your kids are really doing the work.
Summer bridging workbooks
If your kids have been in the habit of doing summer enrichment, doing two pages a day is a manageable goal, even for kids who may be reluctant.
And for parents who have a hard time setting expectations and sticking to routines — myself included — this is easy. You can have the kids finish the day in their workbook before doing electronics.
We really like giving them all day to choose when they do their workbooks. They know they have to complete their pages so they can do electronics the next day. This gives them control. We’ve also found they don’t rush to do the pages like they did when they had to do them that day.
Different than BrainQuest workbooks
We have bought BrainQuest workbooks through the years, starting when my children were in preschool. It was a practical way to teach concepts. When both of my kids started kindergarten, they were off the charts with knowledge. I believe this is in part to these books.
Because the school district we were in didn’t believe in homework for the elementary grades, we used the BrainQuest workbooks a few times a week.
We used it to supplement and review and sometimes introduce new concepts and skills.
We liked them a lot. The difference with the BrainQuest workbooks is they are divided by subject. So you will have say 25 pages of math review, then language arts, then writing, etc.
Also, they are very large workbooks. You can easily tear out the pages for your child to do. Or sometimes we ripped out the pages after they finished the pages. But it’s a more cumbersome book to use and take in the car and on trips.
There are stickers and certificates kids will have fun using and earning. There are also tear out flashcards for sight words, colors, animals, etc., depending on the grade you choose.
We’ve never used the Summer BrainQuest books which are meant to bridge the gap between grades, so can’t speak to how they are. We’ve only used the regular grade-level books.
Since we were hooked on Summer Bridge Activities books since the first book we bought, (K to 1st grade) that’s all we’ve used for this purpose.
What is summer slide
Summer slide is summer learning loss. It’s what the kids lose in the summer because they are out of school for summer break. Many school districts are changing their calendars to include year-round schooling, in part to combat summer slide.
There are many things you can do to help your child over the summer. You can play games and do puzzles. You can involve them in tasks such as cooking and baking. They can help work out a grocery list and learn about budgeting.
Kids will have fun building and creating as well as drawing, doing art, science experiments, including STEM learning, and all sorts of activities.
Workbook for summer learning loss
We’ve bought our share of specialty summer workbooks. We have them for reading comprehension, advanced math, problem solving, and more.
We often start the summer strong with these workbooks and then get a little lax as the days and weeks progress. Part of summer is NOT having to do schoolwork, right?
But using the bridge workbooks has given us a clear goal. We know we will cover all the bases instead of skipping around with other workbooks which may focus on one or two subjects.
These Summer Bridge Activities workbooks incorporate science, language arts, math, social studies, geography, and reading comprehension. There’s history and things they simply should just know — like map reading, telling time, using graphs.
Also, you can use them for homeschooling as well or as enrichment throughout the school year.
There’s lots of white space which makes it clutter-free and not intimidating. The directions are clear and easy to understand. Kids will enjoy the variety.
These bridge workbooks can help ensure your child learned what was necessary the past school year. In addition, you will be helping your child keep his brain engaged over the summer to remember what he learned.
It will help ensure he/she is up-to-date with the grade level standards and basically knows what he/she is supposed to know.
These workbooks give kids the opportunity to shine — it lets them demonstrate and use what they learned in school in a relaxed way.
For what is included in these summer workbooks, they are a tremendous value. You will be helping your child to prevent summer learning loss and summer slide.
When you consider what a tutor costs or the hassle of going online and finding and then printing off worksheets, it’s so easy to just get these summer bridge workbooks. Everything is in one book, in one place. They are amazing. We highly recommend them.