I’m normally a fan of Scholastic’s learning materials, as well as its books. However, I have mixed feelings about two of the publisher’s latest Pre-K products.
FLASHCARDS – GET READY FOR PRE-K by Scholastic Early Learners, Dec. 27, 2016 $3.99 (ages 3-5)
These flashcards are supposed to help children “learn a variety of first concepts in preparation for entering Pre-K.” They feature letters, colors, shapes, animals, vehicles and first words.
The problem comes not in the content, but in how it’s presented. This set has 26 cards — enough for each letter of the alphabet. Both upper- and lowercase letters are presented together on one side of the card. The other concepts listed above are on the other side.
The problem is that the sides have nothing to do with each other. If you’ve ever used flashcards, you can see the why this doesn’t work. My almost-3-year-old picked up the A card, flipped it over and said, “A is for car.” This was followed by me trying to explain that they were separate things.
Clearly, there are just too many things going on with these cards. While I’m happy to sit down with my daughter and keep things separate, I like it when she takes the other cards we have and works things out on her own. She doesn’t need a constant babysitter, and these are just too confusing without one.
WIPE-CLEAN WORKBOOKS: GET READY FOR PRE-K by Scholastic Early Learners, Dec. 27, 2016 $9.99 (ages 3-5)
Wipe Clean Workbooks: Get Ready for Pre-K also focuses on a variety of concepts including, letters, numbers, shapes, colors, animals, seasons, weather, vehicles, people and food.
What appeals to me in particular is the ability to trace and wipe clean letters and numbers. The letters are not in alphabetical order; rather they are introduced next to other letters that are formed the same way. This is great for learning how to hold a writing utensil and fine motor skills. An easy-to-follow guide for parents is also included at the beginning.