I like to watch my children think. Seeing them take information in, process it, and then “spit out” what they have figured is a lot of fun. I will admit that sometimes, they get a little too smart ~~alec~~for me, but it is just their minds hard at work; “*getting better…stronger…faster* (70’s flashback).”

I have read several articles that state college students lack critical thinking skills. They don’t have the ability to know how to objectively review various details of a situation or determine if something is fact or just an opinion. Try having them put that into words on paper. Huh?

The Critical Thinking Co.™ is on a mission to develop the critical thinking skills in children. The hope is that their grades will improve; test scores will become higher, which will in turn lead to more success in life. Can one critical thinking math book do all of that? Probably not, but it will be a great start.

**WHAT’S IT ABOUT?**

The Critical Thinking Co.™ is a family-owned business that has been “empowering the mind” for more than 50 years. They have products that cover reading, writing, mathematics, science, and history in which critical thinking has been woven throughout the lessons. Instead of drills and memorization, students are encouraged through fun and easy to use lessons, to “*carefully analyze what they are learning*.”

**THE PRODUCT**

We had the opportunity to review Mathematical Reasoning – Level F, which is a new book for fifth grade students. The study is a spiral one where the material builds upon what is previously learned. Because of this, the author suggests that the student work through the book page by page rather than skipping around.

There are 12 books in the series that not only teach math concepts and skills students should know in their particular grade level, but also introduce concepts that are taught in the next grade level.

The series is challenging to students whether they are familiar with the series or new to the series as we were. So, if the student begins in one level and completes it, the next book in the series will continue to challenge the student as he progresses through the work. The Critical Thinking Co.™ “*guarantees better grades and higher test scores – or your money back.*”

**FOR THE STUDENT**

Before you grumble at another worksheet, let me tell you that these are fun. Not only are they fun, but they require the student to think. There are a few pages that required me to put my thinking cap on (pgs. 75 and 87).

As I mentioned before, the material is spiral. The activities build slowly allowing the student to grasp what is being taught and have a sense of comfort before moving to the next concept. All the while, the student is continually being challenged by the worksheets.

**FOR THE TEACHER**

Step-by-step instructions are given on each worksheet that basically allows the teacher to step back and let the student work on his own. The workbook can be used independently for math studies or used as a supplement to what is already being taught in class. We chose to use it to supplement our math studies.

There are 413 pages of worksheets, which is more than enough to take you through a school year. if you school year-around as we do, then there are definitely plenty of pages.

The worksheets in the book satisfy the standards of the National Council of Teachers Mathematics (NCTM) and there is a handy section at the beginning of the book that lets you know which page exercises satisfy which NCTM Standard. The series also prepares students for achieving high scores on some of the more popular assessment tests (i.e. OLSAT®, WISC®, ITBS®, and many more).

**OUR EXPERIENCE**

My children do critical thinking exercises everyday. Our schedule is as follows: Monday – calendar; Tuesday – grid (Sudoku puzzle, etc.), Wednesday – mapping; Thursday – time; and Friday – money/math. Using this book was a nice addition to our Friday math. Because River enjoyed the lessons, I started giving him one to do everyday as a “treat” after finishing his regular critical thinking exercises. There were some pages that were quite tricky and challenging, but then there were others that were a “piece of cake” for River. The mixture has been a nice supplement to our math studies. **I think** I really like this company. Hmm…I know I like this company.

I will admit that the price is a bit hefty, but since the book is reproducible I can justify the price by knowing I will have three children working through the book.

**PRICING AND AVAILABILITY**

Mathematical Reasoning – Level F is priced at $42.99.

You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members on The Homeschool Crew Blog.

Disclaimer: The product featured in this review was provided to me in exchange for an honest review by the manufacturer or representing PR agency as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. The opinions expressed are my own. |