The Basics of Critical Thinking {Schoolhouse Crew Review}

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Today’s review is for The Basics of Critical Thinking, one of the books offered by the Critical Thinking Company. This book is intended for students in grades 4-9, so I have been using it with Bug, who is a 5th grader.

“Critical thinking” is something that is often overlooked when I am planning my curriculum for the year. I know my kids need critical thinking skills, and I know that they’ll develop these skills as their work through their other subjects, but as Bug gets older, I feel that it is more and more important to work with him on logic skills and approach critical thinking in a more purposeful way.

The Basics of Critical Thinking is a workbook that is designed to teach logic and thinking skills in a purposeful, clear way. It covers everything from finding evidence, making inferences, the difference between facts, opinions, falsehoods and probable truths, arguments, fallacies, agreements, contracts and even advertising. This workbook is printed on nice, thick paper (the perfectionist in me places a high value on well constructed materials) and is full color.

Each lesson contains enough information that the majority of kids in grades 6-9 are likely to be able to complete lessons independently. However, for my 5th grader, I have found that we need to work through the lessons together, so I can guide him through the instructions and help him think through the concepts.

To me, this illustrates just how much Bug and I really need to be working on critical thinking. He’s a child who is eager to finish his schoolwork and move on with his day, and he doesn’t always take the time to pay attention to the details. This book requires him to look closely at the details and think about what it is that he is reading and seeing.

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We have used many Critical Thinking Company books in our house, and this one is my favorite yet. I love that it has Bug thinking about everything from facts vs. opinions to the advertisements he sees on TV. We have had some very interesting conversations about what messages advertisements are sending, and what tactics they are using to sell their products.

I feel like this book has offered an immediate return in investment. Our time working in the book has been well spent, and I am already seeing Bug think more critically during his other lessons- science, history and language arts have all been enriched by improving these skills. We don’t always continue on and finish every review product that comes through out home, but this book is one we will work on daily until he’s done!

The Critical Thinking Company Review

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