Open a School Zone workbook.
First, look at the directions at the top of the page. Then note the consistency from page to page. Notice what we call the white space. Many publishers think that parents see value in more on a page versus less. Not so. Children are easily frustrated by a page filled with tons of work. White space gives the child a more restful feeling. The characters put the child at ease, too. Pleasant, smiling, funny, absurd--they're like family. We want the book to have a pleasant personality. We want the child to look forward to working on each page.
We know this about parents. They know instantly whether their child can do the page. We have also watched children examine our products, making those "This is for babies" faces, or suddenly wrinkling their foreheads in alert attention, as if to say, "This could be interesting."
So look at the first page and decide. Can your child do it? You could even show it nonchalantly to your child and ask, "Does this look like fun?"
In the inside-cover parent guides, we call attention to our careful sequencing and grade level parallels. We also suggest ways and times to work with your child. We discuss the particular way we use color if it has an educational purpose. You might choose Big Preschool, Same or Different, or ABC Dot-to-Dots, among many others, as your child's first school book. Or select Workbooks and then Preschool from the School Zone home page to see more offerings. All have value as a starting place and as a pre-reading experience.