For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Math Analogies by The Critical Thinking Co. - TOS Review

Logic and critical thinking are subjects, though very important in one's education, can be very hard to teach. Lots of kids struggle with logic and making analogies. The Critical Thinking Co. has been making critical thinking materials for a few years, and is a very well regarded company when it comes to critical thinking products. We were blessed to receive their Math Analogies Level 2 software for review in the last couple of months.

What is Math Analogies? It is a downloadable software that provides you with exercises to practice logic through Math Analogies. As a software its use requires a computer unto which you can download the program. It only works on Windows though. Once downloaded you do not need any internet connection to use the program. It is stored on your computer and always accessible.

The program comprises 152 questions that the child gets to do at his own pace. There is immediate feedback for each question: correct or incorrect.

How did we use it? I had my 4th grader work on this program everyday and do between 10-15 questions at a time. The program was done mostly independently but my son needed my help with some of the questions.

The Math Analogie level 2, which we got to review, is meant for grade 4-5, but I think some of the problems were a bit difficult for that age group. Nonetheless, the problems really forces you to think analytically, which is the goal. There was no shortcut to these exercises, you had to take the time to think through the analogies systematically and logically. Fortunately you were given a choice between 4 options for the answer.

The program, though it uses Math as its main vehicle for teaching logic, did a good job in the variety and types of problems offered. It explored patterns, fractions, money, weight, comparisons etc...

Only one child can use the program at a a time as its keeps its record, and allows you to complete the ones that you missed over 4 series of attempts, each attempts only presenting you the ones that you have missed..

Once you are all done with your child, you start all over with another child.

The program also shows you your progress and your level of success through a percentage of correct answers to the amount attempted.

My son loves logic and challenges. This was right up his alley, and he liked working on the problems. However, he had lots of difficulty working through these problems. He  got frustrated that the program would not tell him why his answers were wrong. Sometimes I could not tell either. I think it would be really useful if the parent/teacher had an answer sheet with explanations or something of that nature. On another note, the fact that he had difficulty pointed to the fact that he tends to rush through answers, and not take the time to think it through. So, this was really good for him in sharpening his thinking skills.

Overall, these exercises were really useful for my son to help him focus and really think through the problems. Some were obvious, some required him to think outside the box. This program is very easy to use and would be a great add-on in your homeschool in the area of Logic, thinking and analytical skills.

Right now I am having my older son do the problems and the same thing is to be said. These questions are really good at forcing the child to take time to analyse and come up with the most probable solution.

You can find the Critical Thinking Co on Facebook and Twitter.

The rest of the crew got to review other products as well, so don't forget to check them out.

Critical Thinking Company Review

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