Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
We have been a part of the Homeschool Review Crew for quite a few years now and I have to say this has been such a blessing in so many ways. We continue to learn and explore various materials and organizations that we may never have, if not for this great group. One of those is The Critical Thinking Co.™ and whenever we see their materials available we get pretty excited because we all enjoy their materials. Right now we are practicing our critical thinking skills with Mastering Logic & Math Problem Solving. We received a physical copy of this book but it is also available as an e-book. This is recommended for grades 6-9 and has ten chapters full of great problems to solve!
This book is full of brain teasers, word problems involving algebra, topology, ratio, number theory and lots more. Not sure about your ability? This is one of those books you can hand to your kids and then watch them dive in. I know the older I get, the more I feel like critical thinking is not my strong suit – I mean, some days I don’t remember what I had for breakfast! ha
This book includes a few pages of introduction and guidance. Starting with a quick reading about, What is Problem Solving and moving on to discuss ways to find puzzles more fun. The goal here i to help our kids develop strategies and confidence in their ability so that they see how fun the challenge of the puzzle can actually be! There are even some tips for mom and dad so if our kids do struggle, we can help encourage them along the way. As you progress through the book, ideally, you are learning how to gather information, visualize and solve all sorts of complex problems.
My boys were curious when this book came in the mail. My oldest son tends to be very reluctant when it comes to books of any kind and while his brother loves to read, he also tends to require a bit of a push to do something new. Yet he is has a curious mind; likes to know the inner workings of things, so in the long run it really wasn’t hard to get him involved. Of course it helped him a lot to keep an eye on the questions the book listed along with their General Problem Solving Strategies.
A good word problem in mathematics requires some thought process beyond a quick arithmetic solution…It can be a puzzle, brainteaser, game or any problem that engages the reader in using a strategy.
My oldest son has always enjoyed debating, logic and philosophy. Anything that gives him the opportunity to think outside the box. He has one of those minds that just works in an unusual way. He also tends to be very stubborn and resistant to typical academic work so there are many times that these sorts of materials become a huge blessing. It often takes awhile for him to get into a book, but when he does, I like to think that he is really getting something out of it. Aside from the practice of mathematics, reading and critical thinking there are so many other benefits to be had. These benefits are even discussed at the beginning of each chapter.
We may not always think about the different ways that just one thing can really impact our kids so it is a wonderful reminder to see it notated throughout the pages of this book. Relationships of one to another – knowledge of verbs and adjectives – patterns and sequences. As our children work through these pages, hopefully, they are seeing how these things can relate to problems outside of the pages of this book. Careful reading and critiquing help as they go along, developing a greater ability take care in what they read and develop a deeper power of observation. As my boys learned, sometimes the struggle to solve the puzzle comes from simply slowly down and paying more careful attention to the details given. Going too fast will make it all the more difficult. What a great way to encourage them to slow down and take their time in things.
Honestly, we have so many great materials from The Critical Thinking Co. We love them all! If you want to try them out be sure to sign up for their free weekly puzzle delivered right to your inbox. They have these for grades K-8 and this is a great tool to encourage our kids in their thinking. What a great way to inspire that out of the box thinking in them all!
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Be sure to click on the image below to read about other the many other great materials that members of our Crew received from The Critical Thinking Co.™