My children enjoy a good challenge, and they both also like math. The Critical Thinking Co. has combined these to create fun logical problems for children. Over the past several weeks my children have been using Math Analogies Beginning.
Logical thinking is a good skill for everyone to have, and it doesn’t always come easily to everyone. I think it’s a good idea for children to learn how to use it. I took a logic class in university to satisfy a math requirement, but I didn’t think about applying it to young children. But you can! And in a fun and easy way, too.
Analogies follow the structure of:
As big is to little :: large is to small
The vast majority of the analogies at the beginning level are not worded, but instead use pictures of shapes and other things. There are a few that have words, and Kallista needed help with these, but Tristan or I were happy to oblige.
Kallista is currently of Pre-K age, and the first time she worked her way through the 152 anaolgies she scored 42%. After the initial run-through you can work on the questions that you didn’t get correct the first time. In total you can have 4 attempts at the questions.
When Kallista began to use Math Analogies Beginning, she sat on my lap at the PC and I explained the way to approach the questions and helped her along, but let her make the final choice. Even though she was scoring low, she really enjoyed doing them.
Kallista worked on them about three times a week. Sometimes I’d ask her to stop at a certain number so she didn’t go through the whole lot at once. Other times I’d set a timer for about 10 minutes and see how many she could complete in that time period. Other times if I hadn’t set the timer, she’d just work her way through about half the lot before we knew it!
On Kallista’s most recent attempt, she scored 77% on her first run-through, which I think is a great improvement as she isn’t yet in Kindergarten. Each time she improves. Excellent!
After the 4th attempt at the problems you clear the board and you can start again. The program won’t store the scores, so if you want to see if your children are improving, you’ll have to write those scores down yourself. And preferably before your well-meaning husband clears the board without tracking the scores!
Tristan was rather impatient as he also wanted to try his logic abilities. He did really well and found it quite easy as I’d suspected he would after he had tried out the free demo lessons for this stage. However, he did still enjoy going through the problems and increasing his self-confidence.
Math Analogies Beginning is a Windows software download for Kindergarten to Grade 1. It costs only $6.99 USD for a 2-computer licence (There are also physical workbooks available). The children have been enjoying it so much, that we’ll be ordering the next level up to give Tristan a greater challenge, and something for Kallista to work towards.
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