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Hunter

Cheesy Workbooks that are actually Hidden Gems

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Have you found any hidden gems hidden within the cheesy workbook series? My favorites are:

 

Evan Moor Daily Science

 

Spectrum Writing and Spectrum Language Arts

 

I'm looking around at what is available for Spanish, art and music, particularly those that are available as eBooks. I know others here are looking at any and all resources in these subjects, right now, too.

 

What are your favorite cheap workbooks? What makes them special?

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The complete book of US history and complete book of World history. Not really workbooks, but shelved with other ones by the same company. We've also used the Spanish one, Presidents/States one, and Maps and Geography one at various times. I'm not sure if they're available as e-books, though-they're dirt cheap at Costco, so that's where I get them.

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The Complete Book of Maps and Geography, grades 3-6. It just has a lot of everything for map skills, terms, US geography, for a bargain price.

 

I also like the Evan Moor Daily Paragraph Editing books. I don't use one every year or even very often. I pick one a couple of grades ahead of grade level and bring it out for practice periodically.

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I picked up a lightly used Scholastic's 2nd grade 100 Math Activities at a thrift store for 50 cents and it's been a big hit. Do math problems for the reward of learning a new silly riddle or factoid? Yes, please.

 

Despite the name it does introduce concepts consecutively. Though measurement and fractions are in their own section in the back.

 

 

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Spectrum Science. Great. Use it for both kids as a supplement.

Spelling works by halverson. My son loved this.

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The best (non-cheesy) workbooks we use:

 

Beginning Geography grades K-2 (Evan Moor), then

The Complete Book of Maps and Geography, grades 3-6 (I use this for grades 1-4.) then

Discovering the World of Geography series (We have only used the grade 4-5 workbook so far, but I think it is excellent.)

Dorling Kindersley "Math Made Easy" (for the younger grades)

Challenging Word Problems (Singapore Math)

Mind Benders

R&S Spelling

Daily Reading Comprehension (Evan-Moor)

 

(Not a workbook, but like it:)

Studies Weekly (Science, Social Studies)

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I'm not sure what you mean by cheesy workbooks, but some that pleasantly surprised me are

 

Evan Moor daily geography (much of the EM 'Daily' books seem pretty good)

Language Smarts

and we love, love, love, Muschla's Exploring Grammar/Mastering Grammar from the Practice Makes Perfect series. The vocab ones are good too!

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Thanks ladies!

 

"Cheesy" was just a good title, to kind of…let some people know that some resources they are entirely overlooking, might be useful to them. There are people who have never even opened any of these workbooks, assuming they are trash of the worst kind, and of no redeeming value whatsoever.

 

I didn't mean to offend anyone that uses these books! I was trying to catch the notice of people who did NOT use them, as well as people that do. I maybe could have come up with a better title. I was trying to contrast what some people ASSUME they are, with the real gems that some of us KNOW are there.

 

Some of these titles are new to me. Thanks ladies!

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I found a My Big Book of Kindergarten at Wal Mart- School Zone maybe? It was the perfect supplement to Singapore Math Essential K. In fact I think it did a better job in a lot of places. 

 

I also found this old public school work text at a Salvation Army called Mathematics in Action. I picked it up for my 1st grader to explore on his own. It came with punch out paper math manipulatives etc. It's really good. It is sort of pushing Miquon and MM out of the front place as our spine. He asks to do it. 

 

Evan Moor Skills Sharpeners were kind of fun, although I don't think I'd buy any more.

 

I really like Evan Moor Daily Language Review. 

 

I do like The Complete books as well. I'm not as big a fan of the Presidents/States one however and will likely not use that one again.

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Our "hidden gem" workbooks over the years:

 

- maze workbooks, dot-to-dot books, even stained glass coloring books

(Kinder-2nd) were great for developing early pencil holding and for fine motor skills

 

- Complete A Sketch and Creating Line Designs series

(K+) -- okay we didn't actually DO these, BUT I sure wish I had discovered them years ago!

 

- The Big Yellow Drawing Book

(pre-K +) a simplified Mark Kistler-style of art teaching workbook for beginning drawing techniques -- super for students who don't have a lot of hand control yet

 

- 1-2-3 Draw books by Levin

(K+) These, along with the Big Yellow Drawing Book, really connected for DS#2 when he was about 5 and wanting to learn to draw.

 

- Mary Pecci's Word Study

(gr. 2-5) plurals, possessives, prefixes/roots/endings, contractions, alphabetizing, etc.

 

- Gifted & Talented workbook series

(gr. 1-3) for more unusual and interesting critical thinking puzzles

 

- Complete Book of ... series

we esp. liked: Math (gr. 1-2), Maps & Geography (gr. 3-6), and US History (gr. 2-6)

 

- Carson-Dellosa Discovering the World of Geography

(gr. 6-8) -- meaty/thinking geography workbooks

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various maze and dot-to-dot books especially by carson-dellosa.  For the K-2 crowd I like the dot-to-dots that use the alphabet, and for counting starting with the ones that go 1-10 and build from there.  My ds15 has an extreme dot to dot one that has numbers up to 900+ per picture.  Good focus on hand eye coordination and fine motor control (especially in early grades as a prewriting skill)

 

R&S preschool workbooks are great.  We use them right up through 2nd, especially with the new ones always being put out.  We have books A-K now I believe)

 

My kids like the ones called complete canadian curriculum and it is based on grade level.  Sometimes I pick those up and just put them out for fun and they work through them without concern and pick up little bits of social, science, math and language arts along the way.

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I'm looking around at what is available for Spanish, art and music...

 

Mark Kistler's Draw Squad, of course. ;) (and you do draw right in the book, like a workbook)

 

No experience with this, but it looks interesting: The Art Student's Workbook (gr. 6+)

 

I think you, Hunter, would esp. appreciate the gentle, healing approach of The Artist's Way Workbook. :)

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I am a workbook queen, in the sense that I buy them buy the dozen at used book sales etc.  I pay anywhere from .50 - $4.00 for them and sometimes only use one or two pages out of them.  I then re-sell them.  I don't know what it is about "dittos" but I like them. Probably because I enjoyed them in elementary school.

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Thank you all! I hope others besides me are benefitting from these lists. I see some nice things. Unfortunately the ones that are most catching my eye seem to only be in hardcopy. I need to do some research to make sure of that.

 

Thanks!

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Thank you all! I hope others besides me are benefitting from these lists. I see some nice things. Unfortunately the ones that are most catching my eye seem to only be in hardcopy. I need to do some research to make sure of that.

 

Thanks!

 

Building Spelling Skills by Christian Liberty Press is one workbook series I like that is available inexpensively in PDF format:

http://www.currclick.com/browse.php?keywords=Building+Spelling+Skills+Christian+Liberty+Press&x=27&y=10&author=&artist=&pfrom=&pto=&sdate_from=&sdate_to=&stime_from=&stime_to=

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Thank you all! I hope others besides me are benefitting from these lists. I see some nice things. Unfortunately the ones that are most catching my eye seem to only be in hardcopy. I need to do some research to make sure of that.

 

Thanks!

I can't find spectrum writing in ebook or pdf for grades 3,4,5. Do you have a link?

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I love the Listen, Read and Learn with Classic Stories workbooks. Unfortunately my browser won't let me paste a link right now, but they're available from Amazon. There are books for K -3rd grade.

 

Each book has several (5-6) "classic" stories (think The Magic Fish, or Jack and the Beanstalk) with lots of colorful illustrations. After each story is a series of activities. They're really varied, covering some phonics, spelling, word meanings, alphabetizing, reading comp/story sequencing, etc. The younger books especially have some cut and paste type activities, too. Each story also has an "About" section for the parent, as well as a very nicely done Bibliography with detailed descriptions of other books you might want to use as follow-ups.

 

And finally, each comes with a CD narration. When I used them with my early reader, I'd read the story to her, then the next day have her listen and follow along, and finally read it aloud on her own.

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It's not available as an ebook, but we have almost finished Beginning Geography k-2 (EM) and have used it for our K geography everyday. It has really been great!

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It's not available as an ebook, but we have almost finished Beginning Geography k-2 (EM) and have used it for our K geography everyday. It has really been great!

 

Yes!  We have LOVED Beginning Geography.

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I can't find spectrum writing in ebook or pdf for grades 3,4,5. Do you have a link?

I found them at Carson Dellosa, Currclick, and Google Books. If you start at the middle grades, you might want to see if you can borrow the earlier grades from the library to just browse. You can definitely DO the later grades without having done the earlier grades, but as a TEACHER, it helps to see what came before.

 

And the language arts is meant to be completed with the writing. The writing CAN be completed without the LA, but the thin areas in the writing are fleshed out in the LA, and vice versa. And there are "writing handbooks" in the appendixes, and the best parts of those handbooks are spread out between both books. The handbooks mostly cover what is in the OTHER book, rather than providing a concise summery of what is in the book it is in.

 

Spectrum is written to be completed, unlike many textbook series that have major overlaps and are meant for the teacher to pick and choose. Spectrum is spiral, so the same topics come up, but there is a gradual and systematic adding of complexity.

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Maps Charts Graphs, the entire series

Comprehension Plus

Language Smarts

The Adventures of Genius Boy and Grammar Girl

Horizons Pre-Algebra

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My son who is obsessed by American states and Presidents found 2 workbooks in the dollar bin of Target about presidents and the states. He loves it and pulls it out often to check facts. They seem to be seasonal in the Targets around here.

Kumon Time workbook helped drill clocks and time.

Miquon workbooks, though not cheesy at all, were well loved and affordable for us.

Two other workbooks we love are: Evan Moore Daily geography, Maps Charts Graphs series from MCP.

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Building Spelling Skills by Christian Liberty Press is one workbook series I like that is available inexpensively in PDF format:

http://www.currclick.com/browse.php?keywords=Building+Spelling+Skills+Christian+Liberty+Press&x=27&y=10&author=&artist=&pfrom=&pto=&sdate_from=&sdate_to=&stime_from=&stime_to=

We love Building Spelling Skills by CLP. I didn't realize it was available in PDF format. Still the workbooks are only $6.95 through Rainbow Resource. A very affordable and excellent spelling workbook.

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Sadly, most of "The Complete Book of …" series are only in hardcopy.

http://www.carsondellosa.com/cd2/SearchCatalog.aspx?k=%22complete+book+of%22

 

Hunter, we have a couple of the Complete Books and they are paperback. I've gotten them at Amazon and Rainbow Resource.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Book-Maps-Geography-Grades/dp/0769685595

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The Adventures of Genius Boy and Grammar Girl

 

 

This is out of stock at Amazon, and going for $32 on Rainbow Resource, but I just found it available for free download on Teachers Pay Teachers (after logging-in):

 

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Adventures-of-Genius-Boy-and-Grammar-Girl-63533

 

Thanks for mentioning this, looks like a fun way to learn grammar!  

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I think Hunter is saying "hardcopy" as in "not an ebook/pdf" (as opposed to hardcover vs. softcover).

As far as I've seen, *all* of the Complete Book of... books are actual paperback covers.... :p

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This is out of stock at Amazon, and going for $32 on Rainbow Resource, but I just found it available for free download on Teachers Pay Teachers (after logging-in):

 

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Adventures-of-Genius-Boy-and-Grammar-Girl-63533

 

Thanks for mentioning this, looks like a fun way to learn grammar!  

It looks like this is chapters 1-5 only (of 31), which is the same thing available from the website at http://grammarnation.com/

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(Not a workbook, but like it:)

Studies Weekly (Science, Social Studies)

 

We have the Grade 5 Science and Social Studies and I really like them.  The Teacher's Guide has the workbook of questions and fill in the blanks for reading comprehension.  I was surprised how throrough they for American History.  I think you can use these as a spine and then add additional books for reading for historical periods.  They have craft ideas, like make a compass for the Explorers Age.  I am just using them as a supplement.  The Science ones also have workbooks in the Teacher's Guide and one or two experiments to try for each issue.  The science has great visuals to explain the concepts.

 

I am impressed with these. http://studiesweekly.com/  AND THEY ARE CHEAP.  It's a GREAT price and it is pack full of info!

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We have the Grade 5 Science and Social Studies and I really like them.  The Teacher's Guide has the workbook of questions and fill in the blanks for reading comprehension.  I was surprised how throrough they for American History.  I think you can use these as a spine and then add additional books for reading for historical periods.  They have craft ideas, like make a compass for the Explorers Age.  I am just using them as a supplement.  The Science ones also have workbooks in the Teacher's Guide and one or two experiments to try for each issue.  The science has great visuals to explain the concepts.

 

I am impressed with these. http://studiesweekly.com/  AND THEY ARE CHEAP.  It's a GREAT price and it is pack full of info!

 

I really like them, too.

 

One thing I noticed is that the newspapers are different for different states. Next year, I am planning to use the 5th grade Social Studies for New Hampshire because I like it better than what the Studies Weekly for my state covers.

 

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Wow...another thing I wasn't aware of (why am I surprised :001_unsure: )....Studies Weekly looks great!  Thank you for mentioning it.  I definitely want to get some of these for next school year. 

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I really like them, too.

 

One thing I noticed is that the newspapers are different for different states. Next year, I am planning to use the 5th grade Social Studies for New Hampshire because I like it better than what the Studies Weekly for my state covers.

 

 

I was noticing that too.  Like for Wisconsin...for 5th grade (which I'd be getting for next year too) they have USA Studies Weekly Ancient America to the Present, USA Studies Weekly Ancient America to Reconstruction (would I get them both? They both look good), Science, Character, Health, and Heritage (not sure what this is or how it compares to the USA ones yet).  But, if I look in 4th grade they have only one social studies option and it's called Wisconsin Studies Weekly (which is usually the grade they do a state study in schools).  That looks really good too and I don't want to miss out on that...so I'll have to order that one too :001_smile: . 

 

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Algebra Readiness Made Easy by Scholastic. They are simplistic and repetitive but they work extremely well for both of my 6yo olds who are going on 6th grader math. We did grades 1-4 last year with MM 1a-4b and Keys to...Fractions, Decimals, Percents.

 

 

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Next year, I am planning to use the 5th grade Social Studies for New Hampshire because I like it better than what the Studies Weekly for my state covers.

 

 

I will have to check that out.  I live in Maryland but I just assumed it was the same except maybe adding the specific State's American History!  Thanks for mentioning it!

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My son has learned an enormous amount from the Murderous Maths books.  I am rather flabbergasted, actually.

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We have the Grade 5 Science and Social Studies and I really like them.  The Teacher's Guide has the workbook of questions and fill in the blanks for reading comprehension.  I was surprised how throrough they for American History.  I think you can use these as a spine and then add additional books for reading for historical periods.  They have craft ideas, like make a compass for the Explorers Age.  I am just using them as a supplement.  The Science ones also have workbooks in the Teacher's Guide and one or two experiments to try for each issue.  The science has great visuals to explain the concepts.

 

I am impressed with these. http://studiesweekly.com/  AND THEY ARE CHEAP.  It's a GREAT price and it is pack full of info!

 

Do you order them and they're delivered weekly?  I'm wondering if I'm missing something...

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