Book Review: Big Workbook Kindergarten

Big Workbook: Kindergarten
SchoolZone Publishing, 2012
Ages 5-6

Unlike I’m Going to Write! Upper Case Letters, which is geared to teaching a single skill and can use a single set of instructions all the way through, Big Workbook: Kindergarten strives to teach a wider set of concepts and contains a variety of worksheet formats.

The book is divided into five sections:

  • Alphabet, designed to teach your child to recognize and write the letters of the alphabet
  • Colors & Shapes, designed to teach your child to recognize and identify colors and basic shapes
  • Numbers 0-12, designed to teach early math skills such as recognizing the numbers 0-12, the concepts of more or less, and of course, learning to write the numbers themselves both as numbers and as words
  • Transition Math, designed to prepare your child for first grade math by introducing the numbers 13-20 and teaching them to count money and tell time
  • Reading Readiness, designed to improve your child’s reading comprehension by teaching them to notice details, classify items, identify opposites, and working with positional words such as before and after.

Obviously, this is not a book that I can simply hand to The Five-Year-Old for her to use on her own. Fortunately, although there are a variety of worksheets in this book, the directions for each style of worksheet are simple and consistent, which means it doesn’t take long to set The Five-Year-Old up to successfully complete each set of pages.

And because The Five-Year-Old enjoys working through the book, the only complaint I’m likely to hear during these sessions is the parent-pleasing “Can’t I please do one more?”

About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at, chatting about books and the writing life at, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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