We received a copy of Mastering Logic & Math Problem Solving from The Critical Thinking Co.™, and it came just at the right time! Attention was waning on our regular math curriculum, and I wanted a way to get my oldest son off screens anyway, so having a hard copy workbook was exactly what we needed. The workbooks are available in digital format (easily reproduced if you'll be using them with multiple students) or hard copy, and shortly after it arrived, my 10-year-old had several books he wanted me to add to his wish list from the company!
The hard copy workbook we received is sturdy and nicely bound, with plenty of space for problem solving. I love that it can be done entirely independently, and it gave us a nice break from our computer math lessons.
Since my 10-year-old was so incredibly pleased to receive this book, I thought I would do an interview with him to discuss different aspects of the book. This particular level is intended for grades 6-9, so a rising 6th grader who is ahead in his math studies should have no problem with it!
Me: Do you find your Critical Thinking book easy, difficult, or just right?
JP: I think it might be somewhere in between, like these coin problems were in my Algebra 2 course, these types of problems were in it, but it wasn't coin problems, it was "find the kayaker's speed going upstream or downstream" or whatever.
Me: Is it a nice break from your usual math?
JP: Yeah, I guess. Some are Algebra problems, some aren't, and I just like them. And there are some problems that don't really involve math, like the Kin problems in chapter one. An example is, "Two mothers and two daughters sleep in one room. There are only three beds, and each one sleeps on one of them. How can this be?"
Me: So would you say there are logic problems, as well as math?
JP: Yes, yes. AND there are topological problems.
Me: What does that mean?
JP: Topological problems, like the Moebius strip. And then there's tracing a given figure without going over any given line twice. Or lifting your pencil.
Me: What were your favorite problems in the book?
JP: I think my favorite ones were the Consecutive Integer problems, they're really fun. So one of the examples is "For three days in a row, the low temperatures in Trumansburg, New York, were consecutive integers with the sum of -27 degrees Fahrenheit. Find the lowest temperature." And you would do, "X + (X+1) + (X+2)= -27, and then you would remove the parentheses because of this mathematical property, I think it's the associative property of addition, and then you combine like terms, and then you subtract six from both sides... Wait... No... You subtract three from both sides... And then you divide both sides by three and then you get your answer, which is -10 degrees Fahrenheit.
I think it's very likely that we'll continue using products from The Critical Thinking Co.™ in order to add variety and interest to our homeschool day. If you have a logic-minded kid, definitely check these out!
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