Humor me for a moment...If you were trapped on a desert island with all your kids and could only have one school resource/book besides the Bible what would you choose? Tough one, I know. But, assuming that all my children have learned to read, I would MOST DEFINITELY bring some kind of logic building resource.
By taking a sneak peek at our curriculum list for the year, you will probably notice that each of my school-aged Littles have "Logic Skills" listed as a weekly subject. You'll also probably notice that they are all working through a Critical Thinking Co. book...but we'll get to that...
Kid's are sponges. Give your child information and he/she will, inevitably, be able to regurgitate it to you. Tell him that 1+1 = 2 and he will eventually be able to parrot that information back. But, does that mean that he is smart? Or does it just means he's a good parrot? So much of "school" is the giving and taking of information. But that is not necessarily imparting useful knowledge. Knowledge is only useful when a child is able to take facts and information and apply it to their own personal lives and situations...
when 1+1 = 2 can be USED and APPLIED not just repeated in a monotone voice.
I'm a firm believer in teaching a child HOW to think not WHAT to think. Don't just fill a child's head with information without ALSO giving him the critical analysis tools...cognitive skills...reasoning ability...logical assessment prowess to DO SOMETHING with that information.
My children will not be under my tutelage forever. I'd like to give them the discernment skills necessary to THINK whether I am standing next to them or not. Logic and reasoning are essential requirements for a lifelong love of learning...which should be a primary goal of all homeschoolers.
Building Thinking Skills Level 2
For the past six years (since Sweetie Pea was in pre-k), I have been using various Critical Thinking Co. materials to help develop some of those analytical aptitudes. This year, Sweetie Pea is working her way through Building Thinking Skills Level 2. Designed to be used by 4th-6th grade learners in the, this dynamic, core program workbook contains chapters featuring the following skill building activities:
- Describing Shapes
- Figural Similarities and Differences
- Figural Sequences
- Figural Classifications
- Figural Analogies
- Describing Things
- Verbal Similarities and Differences
- Verbal Sequences
- Verbal Classifications
- Verbal Analogies
What I LikeAs with my experience with Level 1, I appreciate the graduated succession of each page. Skills are repeated for several pages in a row but at a slightly more difficult level. Although you can choose to assign the first page of each chapter before going on to the second page of each chapter in order to vary the skills being practiced, I have chosen to assign a group of pages in chapter one (describing shapes) before assigning a group of pages in chapter two in order to establish mastery.
In addition, I also really like the easy layout of each reproducible page. The directions are clear. The sample sections are clear. The problems are clear. I don't need to babysit my daughter while she completes the page. It is COMPLETELY independent work.
A busy mom can also appreciate the small amount of problems on each page. Let's face it, a child either GETS IT or they DON'T. There's no need to beat a dead horse by assigning dozens of similar problems. If, by chance, a skill has not been mastered by the 6th or 7th problem, there is always the opportunity to do another page.
Best of all, the book is completely reproducible for home use. I buy it once and use it five times! Brilliant!
With this and their many other wonderful cognitive building resources, it is easy to see why Critical Thinking Co. is the #1 selling thinking skills program in the world.
The Nitty Gritty
- produced by Critical Thinking Co.
- 416 black-and-white perforated pages
- completely reproducible
- 1374 activities
- retails for $29.99
Want to win one?
No purchase necessary to win. Must be 18 years old or older and have a US or military address to enter. A winner will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter and will be announced sometime after Friday, October 23, 2012. The winner will be notified via email and will have 72 hours to respond. If an email address is not provided or the winner does not respond, the prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be randomly selected. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook.
***Mandatory Entry: To enter, be sure to leave a comment in the "comments" section of this post telling me what you like about the Critical Thinking books and which core book you'd like to win. (Remember, simply leaving a comment does not ensure entry. You also have to click the +5 after you have LEFT a comment.)
Good luck and thanks for following The Unlikely Homeschool!
*I was given a copy of Building Thinking Skills, Level 2 in exchange for a thorough review. All opinions expressed were true and completely my own. I am not responsible if your experiences vary.