I was so excited last year to be accepted into the Timberdoodle Blog Review program! I grew up with Timberdoodle catalogs coming to our house, and I always loved to look through the neat homeschool supplies they carried. Now that I have started homeschooling my own children, we all get excited whenever a catalog is delivered to our mailbox. We had a late Christmas with my Dad today, and several items given to my boys were purchased from Timberdoodle. Hurray for educational games!
I was sent some books published by Critical Thinking Press to review. My children are ages 7 and under, and I know now is the perfect time to start teaching them how to solve problems and verbally communicate what an object is. It is one thing to look at a square and call it a square, it is another thing for a child to explain that a square is an object with four sides, four corners, with four equal sides, etc.
I was sent three books to review - one for each of my children who are old enough to use workbooks! My oldest son (who is 7) was sent the Building Thinking Skills Level One book. It says grades 2-3 on the book, but he has been able to do it really well! I have made some adjustments and not had him do as much writing as the book calls for. I have been very pleased with the progress I see in his thinking skills. It is stretching him beyond how he normally processes things in his brain.
In this book a child can learn:
Similarities & Differences
Antonyms & Synonyms
Following & Writing Directions
Graphic Organizers, and more!
I know many moms dread the thought of adding one more book to the school load. This really doesn't take long to do. We normally sit at the couch together, and just pull the workbook out before reading aloud. My oldest really enjoys doing it. When I first received it, I was disappointed that the content was not in color (the other two books that I was sent were in color). After using it though, I think the color would be too busy for what he is doing and might actually distract him. Overall, I think this is a simple, quick workbook that is ideal for training your child to think on a higher level! I look forward to us continuing it.
My second son (a 5 year old boy) was sent the Can You Find me? Building Thinking Skills, Reading, Math, Science, Social Studies. This book is for kindergarten or first grade level students. I was delighted when I opened the book to see simple color pictures (I am not a fan of flashy, busy color workbooks for little ones). Israel struggled through parts of this book which clearly showed me that we have some areas we need to work on. Thankfully though, he enjoys doing it so the challenge doesn't bother him. If you have a child who really struggles with solving problems read out loud to him, than this book would be excellent at helping strengthen them in that area. One section of the book includes four different pictures. The child is expected to tell you chronologically what comes first, second, etc. in the scene. I found that to be very good for Israel to think through those problems. He liked the reading part, putting the ABC's in order, finding out what comes first, listening for the sounds, etc. We will continue working through this book, as I still see some areas that need to be improved upon before moving on. I think this book could be revisited several times if needed in order to brush up on the problems the child struggled solving a few months earlier.
The third book I was sent was for my daughter (who will turn 3 in March). She LOVES her workbooks! The Building Thinking Skills Beginner book has made her so happy! She gets a book just like her big brothers, and she gets her own special time of sitting on the couch with her Mama. This has been very helpful in reinforcing colors, as she does not know her colors as well as I would like. Because of her age, I have not given her a pencil to trace anything in the book. We simply use her finger to trace the page, and it works great. I have been instructing her how to answer questions, listen to the problems, and look carefully at the page for the answer. This book is great at developing reading, writing, and math skills. I wish I would have known about this book with my older two!