Monday, November 9, 2009

"i can trace!" workbook review

although i do not homeschool in an official way, i do try to do what i can educationally with the kids when they show interest.  because both tessa and zoe have to do their homework after school each day, tate has started to show an interest in doing some "homework" of his own.

with this in mind, i jumped at the chance to take a look at timberdoodle's "i can trace" workbook ($10.50) geared for two-year-olds.  when the book arrived, i was pleasantly surprised with the great quality of the paper.  we had a workbook similar to this for zoe but the paper wasn't as nice.  also, each page is blank on the back, and they rip out of the book very easily.  i am able to pick out a single page for tate to work on without worrying about him feeling overwhelmed.  when he is done with the tracing, he can turn the page over for some free drawing.

the colors of the pictures are very bright and eye-catching.  tate was immediately drawn to the "f is for football" page as we flipped through but there are a wide range of illustrations that appeal to a variety of children and their interests. the last page of the book is a blank write-on/wipe-off page that can be used again and again for other drawing options.

although i think that the tracing of the actual letters is a little advanced for tate, there are some great activities that lead up to the letters that i think will help prepare him for the tracing letter stage (we just had to do the football page first for obvious reasons).

now when the girls come home ready to work on their homework, i just tear out a sheet from the "i can trace" book and let tate trace away and then scribble and color to his heart's content.  i really like being able to tear out one or more pages at a time so tate can stay focused and not overstimulated.  also, i can make sure he doesn't just flip through all the pages making one little scribble on each one!

i am aware that you can find something cheaper that accomplishes the same goals at wal-mart or target, but i have to say that it is hard to match the quality that i have noticed with this book.  what makes this extra special for tate is that he received his very own box of (really awesome) pencils with the workbook.  they are prismacolor pencils ($8.00) and if you have ever gotten your hands on these, you will understand why i was tempted just to keep them for myself!  although he still likes using markers better, he likes having his own box of pencils reserved just for him.

if you are looking for a high-quality workbook to get your two-year-old (or even three- and four-year-olds) started on tracing lines, shapes and letters, and you aren't too concerned about the cost, i would highly recommend this book.  i have noticed on the timberdoodle website that you can get a six-pack of books with a free set of pencils for $60.00.  this can carry you from preschool work all the way up through kindergarten, which i think is a pretty good deal.

while you are on their website, take a look around at some of their other materials.  they sent me a catalog along with the product and some of what they have to offer is almost enough to convince me to homeschool!

in order to do this mamabuzz review, i received an "i can trace!" workbook and a set of 12 prismacolor pencils from the timberdoodle company.  i have in no other way been compensated for this review and the views and opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

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