When Julianna finished the book (six months sooner than our lesson plans called for!), she asked for the next one. She loved figuring out the logic problems. It was more like a game to her than a school workbook.
I have been a fan of this series for years!
I was thrilled to get Building Thinking Skills Level 2 by Sandra Parks and Howard Black to review! Now, This workbook covers logical thinking, similarities & differences, sequences, classifications, analogies, antonyms & synonyms, spatial awareness, vocabulary development, following and writing directions, descriptive writing, geometry concepts, map reading, and graphic organization.
It is a massive book with 367 pages of thinking skills workbook pages plus an answer key at the back. You can buy it on their website, Critical Thinking.
Then one year, I didn't want to spend so much on a thinking skills workbook, so I bought two cheaper ones. It was a big mistake! I ordered two different thinking skills workbooks from two different publishers, trying to find something as good. Each one was confusing to work with. Now, I haven't worked with all the thinking skills workbooks that are out there, but with my limited experience, I don't think that Building Thinking Skills has any real competition!
Building Thinking Skills will not take the place of formal logic. I use Introductory Logic by Douglas Wilson in middle school with my children to teach formal logic--but, that's another review! However, Building Thinking Skills teaches your child to think logically and to apply logic to simple problems. I highly recommend this book!
A Word about Logic & Critical Thinking
Gone is the classical "search for truth," only to be replaced with a "discover what I belief truth is" or, better yet, "make up what I want truth to be." These educators, while sounding so intellectual, are only spouting off nonsense! This is why I am concerned when I hear the term 'critical thinking.' You can recognize these products because they show one-world governments as heroes who will rescue mankind or the polluted earth from the evil white male chauvinists. They will stress that there are "no right answers," promote skepticism, and produce confusion in your child. When you see these materials, toss them in the garbage where they belong!
However, because logic is out and critical thinking is in style with secular educators, some companies package LOGIC in workbooks and call it 'critical thinking.' I think this is the case with Critical Thinking Press. There 'critical thinking' problems are based on the principles of logic, rather than the current educational nonsense we have left public schools to get away from.
Check out their website, Critical Thinking, and take a look at all their products. They offer free printable sample pages and free trials of their software. They also offer test preparation if you are worried about standardized testing.
"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind," (Romans 12:2 NIV).
Even more important than learning to think critically and logically is learning to think God's way. As you teach your children logic and thinking skills, keep in mind that wisdom is even more important. We read the Bible every day with our children to obtain knowledge, we meditate on Scripture to obtain understanding, and we apply what we have learned in the Word of God to daily life to obtain wisdom. Let Scripture be part of every day for the rest of your life and your children's lives. Teach them to apply the Word of God to all situations. Let God's Word transform you and your children. There is no greater book for teaching logic and critical thinking than the Bible!
Be blessed as you pursue Truth, logic, and wisdom with your children!
(Meredith Ludwig Curtis)