Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Critical Thinking Company Review

The Critical Thinking Company
has been around since 1958. Their objective is to create products which improve a child's grades and test scores.

I reviewed their Building Thinking Skills Level 2 book. It's for 4-6th grade. My son is in 3rd grade but was able to do the work. In fact, he really seemed to enjoy it and thought it was more like a bunch of puzzles. I thought for sure when he saw this big workbook that he'd immediately complain, but he didn't at all.

This book is meant to build vocabulary, reading, mathematical reasoning, and analytical skills. It uses verbal and nonverbal reasoning as well as visual and auditory processing to increase these skills. The amount of problems on each page is not overwhelming. It's just enough to work on a skill but not so much that the student is bored. I really liked how it slowly builds from concrete skills to more abstract ones that require more thought and giving a written answer. My son hates to write but I didn't let that stop him from getting something from this book. Instead of having him write out his answers, I had him give them to me orally and I wrote them down. I was impressed at how much he could tell me by the end of a series of lessons. He is not one who can give an explanation for things and he could actually describe shapes and give some detailed information for the written answers. This is a great improvement!

My son has a short attention span so we only worked on a page a day. There are 10 chapters in the whole book with some being a lot longer than others. Depending on your child's attention span, he could easily do several pages in a day. Here are the skills covered:
  • Describing shapes
  • Figural similarities and differences
  • Figural sequences
  • Figural classifications
  • Figural analogies
  • Describing things
  • Verbal similarities and differences
  • Verbal sequences
  • Verbal classifications
  • Verbal analogies
There is also an answer key provided in the back.

I was a little hesitant at first about the workbook style for my son. He is a very hands-on learner. However, these are much needed skills. I was very impressed with this book. I have walked by their booth several times at conventions and their stuff has always intrigued me but I never bought it because I thought my son wouldn't like it. I have been missing out! I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to review this product and will continue to use it. He is gaining skills in a format that almost seems like a game to him. That is hard to come by! My son is dyslexic and I can see this benefiting him in so many ways.

The cost of this book is $29.99. It's a consumable workbook with the answer key included in the back. This series is available in Beginning, Primary, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 Figural, and Level 3 Verbal.

They also have products for Reading/Grammar/Punctuation/Spelling/Vocabulary, Math/Science, and Logical Thinking.

To find out more about their products, visit their website
Or call Toll Free 1-800-458-4849 or email them at

1 comment:

Cindy @ Fenced in Family said...

Great review! We received the same level you did, but we didn't go very far because my son didn't show loads of interest. You've inspired me to go back to it!