Workman Publishing sponsored this post as part of an Ambassador Program for Big Fat Notebook on What’s That Smell?. All opinions expressed are my own. Post may contain affiliate links.
My son breezed through elementary school. He really did. He breezed so much he even skipped a grade. School came naturally for him which made it easy and enjoyable. But that all changed when he reached middle school.
Caught between being a kid and being a teen, he has found middle school quite a bit more challenging than elementary school. Middle school is a place where kids start to learn how to study. They learn rather quickly that sheer common sense and problem solving ability isn’t enough to pass a class with flying colors. Gone are the cutesy textbooks and fun workbooks. No more spelling tests, potato batteries and multiplication tables. Middle school is serious business and sometimes it’s hard for kids to grasps the concepts that actually help them learn the material.
So they struggle.
And they have enough weirdness and awkwardness going on in their lives. Being frustrated with school is not something they need, nor that they should have to go through.
As a parent, there is only so much I can do to help. Middle school was a long time ago!
Thankfully the editors of Brain Quest have recognized this struggle and they have created a revolutionary new study guide series called Big Fat Notebook that is designed to help students ace middle school.
About Big Fat Notebook
Big Fat Notebook comes from the editors of Brain Quest so you know right off the bat that this series is going to help make learning fun. The series covers the five main middle school topics: Math, Science, American History, English Language Arts, and World History with a bright and colorful book dedicated to each subject. They are a great size, nowhere near as daunting as a big textbook, and super easy to grab and carry around.
Everything You Need to Ace Math . . . covers everything to get you over any math hump: fractions, decimals, and how to multiply and divide them; ratios, proportions, and percentages; geometry; statistics and probability; expressions and equations; and the coordinate plane and functions.
Everything You Need to Ace Science . . . takes readers from scientific investigation and the engineering design process to the Periodic Table; forces and motion; forms of energy; outer space and the solar system; to earth sciences, biology, body systems, ecology, and more.
Everything You Need to Ace American History . . . covers Native Americans to the war in Iraq. There are units on Colonial America; the Revolutionary War and the founding of a new nation; Jefferson and the expansion west; the Civil War and Reconstruction; and all of the notable events of the 20th century—World Wars, the Depression, the Civil Rights movement, and much more.
Everything You Need to Ace World History . . . kicks off with the Paleolithic Era and transports the reader to ancient civilizations—in Egypt, Greece, India, China, Africa, Rome; the middle ages across the world; the Renaissance; the age of exploration and colonialization, revolution and imperialism, and the modern world and the wars and movements that shaped it.
Everything You Need to Ace English Language Arts . . . covers everything to get you your best marks: grammar, including parts of speech, active and passive verbs, Greek and Latin roots and affixes; nuances in word meanings; textual analysis, authorship, structure, and other skills for reading fiction and nonfiction; and writing arguments, informative texts, and narratives.
The series is designed to mimic “notes” for each subject – as if they managed to borrow the notes from the smartest kid in class. They are concise and cover key concepts, timelines and definitions and include mnemonic devices and doodles to help illustrate the concepts.
I am very, very excited by the Big Fat Notebook series, and my son loved the handwritten “notes” style. I think it reminded him of some of his favorite fiction to read, the ones that are written with a sort of half text / half doodle style. That made these guides very familiar and appealing to him.
The chapters are fairly short and the key concepts are obvious because they are in bold or highlighted text.
Drawings and special boxes illustrate the key concepts and call attention to critical definitions.
Charts illustrate and explain important math vocabulary in a clear way.
And each chapter ends with a knowledge check and answers so they can monitor what they learned.
My son just started school this week so I am anxious to watch him tackle 8th grade with more confidence and less struggle with help from his Big Fat Notebooks. I actually look forward to reading them myself so that I can help him if he has questions and to refresh my own learning and help keep my memory sharp.
You can find Big Fat Notebooks at a number of retailers, my favorite being Amazon.com: Big Fat Notebooks on Amazon.
Individual links to each book:
- Everything You Need to Ace Math in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide
- Everything You Need to Ace American History in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide
- Everything You Need to Ace English Language Arts in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide
- Everything You Need to Ace Science in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide
- Everything You Need to Ace World History in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide
You can also win the entire set of 5 books along with some branded school supplies including highlighter/pen combos, a notepad, and jigsaw sticky notes by using the giveaway widget below.