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The Critical Thinking Co. Review

May 10, 2019

Having a high schooler has made me think about things a little differently. I have to look to his future schooling, not only with me here at home, but in college as well. This make me think of scholarships and entrance exams. That's where the Vocabulary Virtuoso PSAT-SAT Book 1 from The Critical Thinking Co. has been a big help!


Vocabulary is important, not only to do well on the PSAT and SAT, but for college, writing, and life! As I have mentioned before, our oldest - a high schooler, is currently writing a short fantasy book. This is a hug surprise for us because he hated writing when he was younger. It was a fight to get him to write even a sentence. He would spend more time thinking about how to shorten the sentence than just writing it. Him writing a fantasy book is an adventure that he has started all on his own and we are so happy about it!


When we were given the opportunity to review the Vocabulary Virtuoso Book 1, I went to him to see what he thought. I have found that things work out better if we have a conversation about them, rather than just telling him that he's doing it. This way he at least as some say in the matter. Now, what I say is final, but I'd like him to see why I want him to do certain things. This book was one of those that I wanted him to do. I knew that it would open his eyes to the numerous words that are in the English language. We all get in a rut of using the same words all of the time and never expanding our vocabulary. He is no different. He actually takes it as far as thinking that he knows it all and that's where this book has really helped. 


Vocabulary Virtuoso Book 1 is set up with four lists of words and then a review. So for every four "weeks" or sections of words, there is a review for those four lists. After the list of words, there are 6 parts to complete with that list (A-F). Here is what they are:


List of Words

This gives the word, a pronunciation of the word, any other forms of the word, part of speech, definition, and a sample sentence using that word. 

A - Complete the sentence when synonyms are given

B - Complete the sentence

C - Story Challenge - They have to finish the story by using the words.

D. Find the synonym of the underlined word.

E. Write the word that best defines the given word

F. Finish the sentence in your own words to show that you understand the meaning of the underlined word.

The Review is a 3 page section that goes over the words from the previous 4 lessons. As you can tell, he didn't complete the crossword puzzle in this review. I was about to talk with him about it when I noticed that there wasn't a clue for that one. I guess I had to let him slide, LOL. 



Would you like to know what our 14 year old high schooler thought? Here's his thoughts about it:


"The book is very difficult for people who aren't the best with words, but it is definitely good at teaching all of the different words. I already knew some words, but I didn't know others. I learned them eventually by completing all of the activities that I had to do with the words. The cover of the book is deceiving because it looked like a little kids books and that I thought that it was going to be undermining my ability. Then I opened the books and quickly realized that it is not for little kids. It is actually a very detailed book. It showed me words that I have never seen or heard before. It also showed me how confusing the English language is. It's our language, so I need to learn it. It's better to know something and not use it than to not learn something and need it."


This makes me happy! I'm so glad that he sees that necessity of having a higher level vocabulary. I am very happy with Vocabulary Virtuoso PSAT-SAT Book 1 from The Critical Thinking Co. We will continue going through this in order to build up his base of words. We might even purchase Vocabulary Virtuoso PSAT-SAT Book 2 when we're done with this one!



Check out the other books that our reviewers were able to use!


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