Monday, January 17, 2011

A Timberdoodle Review: Critical Thinking Press

He completed the book in 4 sittings . . . if even that. 

Dear Timberdoodle, my favorite homeschooling supply store, the workbook was supposed to last longer than that!  We want more books from Critical Thinking Press!  Thank you!


Granola Mom

xmas sitting 001

Mr. Smackdown and I  went on a date to Starbucks.  Instead of chatting like we normally do . . . making up stories . . . he wanted to do school work.  Specifically, he wanted to turn multiple pages and finish his Visual Perceptual Skill Building (Book 1), that we were reviewing from Timberdoodle.


He didn’t finish on our date, but not many more school days later . . . the book lay completely used and lonely. 

Does that mean it was potentially too easy, not age appropriate though the Timberdoodle website states that it is for ages 3-6?

No.  I think the book is just that much fun for children – especially after reading some other reviews regarding the Visual Perceptual Skill Building workbook.


What are visual perceptual skills?  They are the set of skills we use to gather visual information from the environment and integrate them with our other senses.  These skills tap into previous learning and life experiences in order to derive meaning.  Without visual perceptual skills you basically can’t learn.  Things like reading, giving directions, copy work, visualizing objects, even discerning where a sound is originating from becomes difficult.

The purpose of Visual Perceptual Skill Building is to provide exercises in “a clear, uncluttered format, perfect for the easily distracted preschooler.”   This workbook endeavors to prepare students for high achievement in reading, spelling, writing, spatial reason and visual math. 

Each topic begins with a pre-test and ends with a post-test so that you can “marvel” at the progress that your child made (according to the Timberdoodle website).

And that is what I did.  “Marvel.” 

Thumbs up for the Visual Perceptual Skill Building Workbook that can be found at Timberdoodle for $24.99.


Mr. Smackdown wasn’t the only one who has been enjoying a workbook by Critical Thinking Press.


Sir Honey Ezra, my kangaroo, is L.O.V.I.N.G. his Math Reasoning Level A (kindergarten) workbook. 

This seriously surprises me.  This is my little boy who has to be moving, running, or vigorously touching you 99% of the time.  But when it comes to “math time” his is engaged .  . . .

as long as I am hovering over. 

xmas sitting 004 

If I am absent, a little someone gets distracted.  It becomes difficult to hold his pencil correctly.  Then, mysteriously random lines begin to appear all over his workbook page.


As soon as I reappear to work alongside the little man, he is happy to continue his learning. 


But I can’t blame the little guy.  If I basically had a personal teacher . . . I would want their ever-present help, too. 

Not to mention the fact that Sir Honey is only 4 . . . doing a book intended for kindergarteners. 

The Math Reasoning A Kindergarten workbook features (in full color) activities such as:

  • addition
  • bar graph
  • calendar
  • capacity
  • coins
  • count
  • fractions
  • language
  • length
  • likelihood
  • match
  • number line
  • odd/even
  • order
  • pattern
  • real world problems
  • shapes
  • subtraction
  • time
  • weight
  • whole numbers

I should have warned you that it was a long list . . . but because this list is so long . . . it covers everything that I would like Sir Honey Ezra to learn this year.  Thus, Math Reasoning A Kindergarten has become his math textbook.  We do about two pages a day.  I think it is a very affordable curriculum . . . $39.99 at Timberdoodle.


We picked this book, Can You Find Me Preschool, for Gabe (2.5). . . thinking based on the description that he would be able to participate . . . ummm . . . didn’t happen.  Not even close.  But the boys and I enjoyed it!


The great thing about Can You Find Me Preschool is that it is a book that can be reused and works well for a special snuggle time! 


This book can be used to develop your child’s “skills in using similarities and differences, sequences, classifications, analogies, and logic to solve colorful rhyming riddles. All riddles require the answering of two or more clues to figure out the answer. Each book covers reading readiness, science, math, and social studies. Includes answers and a chart of skills developed in each activity.”

This book was a breeze for Mr. Smackdown (6). . .

031(Do you know the answer?  Let me know and you might win my copy!)

And an appropriate challenge for Sir Honey Ezra (4).


My only bug-a-boo about this book . . . these guys are weird looking, don’t you think?


Thanks, Timberdoodle! 

Legal Disclosure:
As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of these books in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.

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