Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Balance Benders

When I first saw the title of the book Balance Benders, it brought visions of yoga to my mind. Of course it has nothing to do with yoga. Balance Benders is a book from the Critical Thinking Co. to help students learn deductive reasoning through puzzles using balance scales. I really cannot say enough good things about the Critical Thinking Co. Critical thinking skills are something that is so crucial to life, but often overlooked in education. The Critical Thinking Co. has put together a vast array of resources to help teach these concepts to our children. Even if you don't homeschool, these are great resources for extra practice or even summertime exercises to keep your kids brains working all year.

I digress. Let's get back to talking about Balance Benders. This book is targeted for kids in approximately grades 2 - 6. I gave it to my fifth grader. If you were to categorize it into one of the core subjects, it would fit best in the math category. My fifth grader hates math. He loves Balance Benders. "Mom, can I do Balance Benders today?," he says. Then, he proceeds to do 4 or 6 pages. We've probably had the book for a month, and he is nearly through it. The concept behind the book is this: If a square weighs the same as a circle, choose the statements below that are true. They give about 6 choices. Do two squares weigh the same as two circles? Does a square weigh the same as a rectangle? Of course, in the book it is all in pictures. I think that is why he likes it so much. There are 4 levels of Balance Bender books altogether. We reviewed the beginning level, which is available here for $9.99. While there, be sure to check out all the other great products from Critical Thinking Co.

You can read other reviews of Balance Benders here. Also, some Crew members received Language Smarts Level C to review. You can see those reviews there also. My first grader currently uses Language Smarts Level B, and we both love it.

I received the book to review, but received no other compensation.

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