View Full Version : Any thoughts about Critical Thinking Co. products and Thinkwell Math?

05-10-2010, 02:26 PM
I've spent the better part of today reading through some of the curriculum posts here and searching, searching, searching online for things that might work for us as we begin homeschooling. Do any of you use any of the Critical Thinking Co's products or Thinkwell Math? DS(12) might enjoy Thinkwell but on the demo I found that the "professor" talks awfully quickly and it was hard to keep up so I can't imagine how it would be for a child (granted, my son is already better at math than I ever was...:p). I don't see us buying one packaged curriculum for all subjects (although the more I search the more tempting that becomes...) and I'm completely overwhelmed right now by all of the choices available!

Thanks for any guidance you may have!

05-10-2010, 05:28 PM
We used Thinkwell this year and liked it a great deal. Professor Burger does go pretty quickly, but there are lecture notes you could print out before each lesson to get an idea of what's coming (or read after the lecture if you feel like you missed something).

Thinkwell math doesn't have tons and tons of practice problems, so you might want to supplement if you like to have more than 12 or so problems per lecture.

05-11-2010, 07:34 AM
Thanks, belacqua! It wasn't clear from the website that there are notes to print out. I really need to be able to read about a concept in addition to listening to it so it is helpful to know that there are lecture notes as well as the videos. :)

05-11-2010, 10:28 PM
We use a ton of stuff from The Critical Thinking Company. I love Building Thinking Skills, the whole Word Roots line, Editor in Chief. As the kids get older, we have Critical Thinking books one and two, and You Decide! They have so many things that I want to get. Love their stuff, though some of the basics are overpriced.

06-05-2010, 12:20 PM
When the Critical Thinking Company had its Bright Minds sales division (home sales parties) I was a consultant with them. They have outstanding materials. I've used them in the past, use them now, and will in the future. An all round favorite for critical thinking deductive reasoning skills are the Mind Benders. I highly recommend them. If you buy only one thing from them it has to be the Mind Benders! Also, the Red Herrings are critical thinking fun, we take these along on road trips to do in the car. And like ^^^ jenny, the Building Thinking Skills is a winner for sure and Word Roots are great vocabulary builders. I've had mixed reviews of the Editor in Chief, some kids really dig them but my son didn't care for them. Along the language arts line I would recommend the Language Mechanic, Punctuation Puzzler, and the Reading Detective. For math, Mathematical Reasoning is a must! They have very few science materials but what they do have are great for hands-on learning. As for social studies/history they are a little lacking. During my son's 5th grade year I was able to put together his entire year's curriculum (except social studies) with these materials. He took the TerraNova test that spring and way out scored his brick and mortar peers! CTC books and software can be on the pricey side. The Homeschool Buyer's Co-op offers some sort of a discount or points reward (not sure, best to check) if ordered through them on-line though.

06-05-2010, 12:26 PM
Oh! Also, on math, have you checked out Teaching Textbooks? The textbook is a CD-Rom where the teacher instructs using the computer white-board each and every concept and problem. There is a workbook and answer key. All answers to the workbook are worked through on the CD explaining how to get the answer. There is a test book and answer key. Again there is also a CD with all answers worked through with the instructor. The Teaching Textbooks website has sample demos of the lessons and placement tests to help choose which program to buy. Son has done very well with pre-algebra and we will be continuing on with Teaching Textbook's algebra for next year.

06-11-2010, 01:27 PM
I would definitely recommend Thinkwell Math. In addition to the awesome Edward Burger lessons, you get worksheets, interactive excercises and tests. Definitely check out the website as they have all the information there. I also know there are a ton of sample videos from them on both their blog and youtube.

I absolutely love Edward Burger and can't say enough good things about him! He won the Cherry Award for teaching this year and that's a really big deal. Plus, he helped me to re-understand math concepts I had long forgotten. And I didn't get bored like I always did in math class in school. He's a bit exuberant, so yes, the reading the lecture notes can be helpful.

07-15-2010, 07:31 AM
I'm so glad to hear positive reviews of Thinkwell Math. Reviews of Teaching Textbooks have been mixed to say the least, but my son really likes using the computer to learn, so Thinkwell was my next guess as to what to go with after we finish Right Start Math.

07-15-2010, 07:37 AM
BTW, the Homeschool Buyers' Co-op (https://www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.org/) has a group buy for Thinkwell Math (https://www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.org/index.php?option=com_hsbc_epp_order&Itemid=891) through August 18th. After that they will be charging the retail price for Thinkwell and giving SmartPoints as the incentive to buy through them.

07-15-2010, 07:42 AM
My kids also really like Mind Benders, but unfortunately not Building Thinking Skills or Word Roots (the former was the book; the latter the cd-rom), though I did. Maybe I tried introducing BTS too young, though. My soon to be K-er liked Can You Find Me? (http://www.criticalthinking.com/getProductDetails.do?code=p&id=03802) a lot this past year.

Theresa Holland Ryder
07-16-2010, 02:07 PM
My son did the College Algebra unit of Thinkwell Math when he was 14, and did really well with it.