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How do YOU use the Critical Thinking Co. books?


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I am looking into using some of these books/software, but not sure how to incorporate them into our already full curriculum. Do you use them just for fun? Do you include them into your school time, do you use them exclusively for any particular subject? :confused:

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I buy one copy of each book, then photocopy weekly packets (copying for family use is allowed). One page or lesson per week per book. Then the kids do them fairly independently - they just all have to be done by Sunday, and on Monday they get a new packet. They get about 12-14 pages or lessons per week. Doing it this way gets us through about a book a year for each of the CTP books (I also use a lot of Mindware, and our Map Skills workbook pages go into the packet as well).


The copying is a bit of a pain, but I do 8 weeks at a time, and I copy on "fast" quality, which is both faster and uses less of my ink.


For about a year before I figured this method out, the books sat unused on my shelf making me feel guilty! This it the third year of doing it this way, and other than the photocopying marathon every couple of months, it's really fairly pain-free and they get done. :) I personally wouldn't like the software as much, as I'd rather they not spend a lot of time on the computer, and I'd have a much harder time figuring out what they'd learned/retained from it.


The only CTP book this didn't work for at all was Building Thinking Skills. It's a door stopper. For that one I bought separate books for each kid because you need to do way more than a page a week to get through the book. Ugh. We got through the first section and now I have partly-written in, expensive books. I should've gotten the software for that one.

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Over the years, we've used some of the Critical Thinking Press books as just one of many resources in a wide variety of critical thinking and logic materials.


Logic/critical thinking here was scheduled a little like what Hooty Tooty above described. Specifically it looked like this: each morning after Bible time, we had a "together time" -- 15-20 minutes in which we covered all kinds of miscellaneous things that didn't fit elsewhere in the schedule (i.e., material from the "What Your ... Grader Should Know" books; vocabulary or Greek/Latin roots; a chapter from a book on etiquette, character-building, finances; etc.). We alternated so we weren't doing all of our miscellaneous things every single day.


Usually 3x a week vocabulary and critical thinking/logic were part of our "together time". We'd take about 5 minutes to out loud together do vocabulary, and then take about 10 minutes and out loud together do 2 pages out of a Critical Thinking Press book, or some other logic/critical thinking puzzles.


BEST of luck in finding what works for your family! Warmest regards, Lori D.

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I use logic puzzle books as an option for math on days when I need my DD to work independently (we use Right Start).


I guess I think of logic puzzles as being part of math because when I was growing up, several of my math teachers used them as enrichment exercises for those of us who needed more challenge than the standard curriculum provided.

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We use Mind Benders and Building Visual Perceptual Skills. We do not consider them part of our main program, but rather supplemental. They are things that we do from time to time for fun, not things that have to get done by a certain date. My dc enjoy them and seem to benefit from them too.

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I have a subject in the schedule that I, very vaguely, call Study Skills. This has covered alphabetization, dictionary and thesaurus skills, reading comprehension pages, etc. I tend to use some of the Critical Thinking books here. I am also planning on incorporating Science Detective into our science topics but it could also become a study skill with a science bent.

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I only use Mindbenders and Building Thinking Skills. I did use Math Detective last year. My sons love Mindbenders. Those boys can't put it down. It is the highlight of school so, I cannot eliminated it.


I do use it as a supplement.


I want to tell you something that a mom told me yesterday about this program. She said that I was doing too much with the Mindbenders. She said that for each series it is all the same thing. Thus, if my son completes A1, he does not need to do A2, A3, and A4. I can put him in the B series. She said that they don't increase in difficulty. So, you can decide if you want to go through each series like I did or just skip to the next set. It's a scary thought for me.


May the Lord bless you on your homeschooling journey.





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What about those that cover other subjects, such as editor in chief and reading detective? Experiences with those?


I put those all in our packet - we actually use too many of the books for me to pop them out individually - I'd never get them done. We use (at age appropriate level for each kid - older ones are 10, younger is 8):


Editor in Chief

Punctuation Puzzlers (both Run-ons and Commas) - older dds only

Science Detective - older dds only

Math Detective

Cranium Crackers - older dds only

Doo Riddles

Spelling Doo Riddles

Word Roots

Quick Thinks Math - younger dd only


From Mindware we've also got:


Math Mosaics

Grid Perplexors (like Mind Benders)

Venn Perplexors- younger dd only

Math Path - younger dd only

Code Breakers - younger dd only


And our Map Skills book.

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