Review of The Basics of Critical Thinking from the Critical Thinking Co.

In today's world, people often talk in sound bytes, with little regard for facts, and with much emotion. It's popular in movies, politics, and social media, but it's not the way I want my kids to communicate. How then, do parents easily teach their kids the basics of critical thinking and Socratic method? We had a chance to review the The Basics of Critical Thinking workbook from The Critical Thinking Co., and I think it's one of the best ways to start kids in the right direction.

First, I should tell you that I'm a big fan of all of The Critical Thinking Co.'s products. We've used their Root Words, Science Detective, and You Decide! materials with our kids for years. I knew that they had a full line of Critical Thinking foundational studies, but I hadn't tried them. This book was a great introduction into what to expect from them with regards to handling the heavy topics of critical thinking.

I had my 6th grade son do this workbook a few times a week, and he told me -- after the 2nd lesson -- that it was one of his favorite activities to do. Often, if we had time, I would go over the activities with him in the car, while my husband drove. I loved learning alongside him! Some of the topics that were covered in this colorful workbook included: 
  • Decisions vs. Conclusions
  • Beliefs vs. Claims
  • Facts vs. Opinions
  • Venn Diagrams
  • Advertising
  • Valid and Invalid Arguments
  • Straw Man Tactics
  • Analogy Arguments
  • and so much more!
Some of the answers were not very easy for my son to come up with, but he was very successful in using the processes taught in this book. If nothing else, your child will soon discover that all is not what it seems, that the easy way to make a decision may not be the best way, and that people don't always speak with facts. We need to carefully examine everything before we buy into it fully. It will be the bedrock of decision making for a lifetime, from what to eat for breakfast to who to cast our for as President.

I will be requiring all of my children to go through this book when they are in 6th grade. It's recommended for 4th - 9th, but 6th is the age when all of our boys are reading at a very comfortable level and know enough about current events to be able to do case studies from the news as our practice examples. I sincerely hope that this next generation of children can learn to think critically, and I'm thrilled that such a user-friendly and interesting product is on the market for parents to use with their kids. (I would also recommend that all adults go through this book, as well.)

See other reviews from parents below:

The Critical Thinking Company Review

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