Posted in Critical Thinking Skills and Logic, Home School Review Crew Posts, Language Arts

Review of The Critical Thinking Co.’s Vocabulary Virtuoso PSAT – SAT Book 1


The Critical Thinking Co. makes studying vocabulary to get ready for the SAT and PSAT a breeze with Vocabulary Virtuoso PSAT-SAT Book 1 (Grades 8-12+).  This workbook contains 20 vocabulary lists along with 5 review lists.   The Critical Thinking Co. has provided our family with material to help our children develop Critical Thinking, Language Arts, Thinking Skills, Math and more through the years.  So I was confident this book would be useful for our 17-year-old son.  I want to ensure he has the best resources to help him prepare for getting into college and that includes preparing for the SAT and PSAT.

The Critical Thinking Co. provides resources for everything from Critical Thinking Skills to math to vocabulary to writing skills and more.  Their website states on their “About Us” page, “Since 1958, our award-winning products have helped students of all abilities achieve better academic results with highly effective lessons that sharpen the mind as they teach standards-based reading, writing, mathematics, science, and history.”  These products are guaranteed to produce better grade and increase test scores while being fun and easy to use.


Vocabulary Virtuoso PSAT-SAT Book 1 (Grades 8-12+) is a 208-page book will increase vocabulary while stimulating your student’s imagination.  Each lesson teaches PSAT and/or SAT vocabulary words using definitions, pronunciation keys, parts of speech using several different activities including a story that involves students in a classroom.  Students complete exercises requiring critical reading and thinking skills designed to help expand their vocabulary. Correct spelling is emphasized with an activity that requires them to unscramble the word before writing the correct spelling.

Designed for the classroom, homeschool use, or even independent study, Vocabulary Virtuoso is a highly effective and fun vocabulary resource!  Our 18-year-old son found the activities to be age appropriate and for the most part enjoyable.  His favorite part was the puzzles because he loves working on any type of puzzles he can get his hands on at any time.


Students complete 4 lessons followed by a review lesson.  Our family elected to complete a word list a week.  Each list includes the list of words for the week along with their definitions and sample sentences along with 6 parts to complete.  For Part A, our son had to pick the best word from the list provided on the page that best completed each sentence.  Then in Part B, he again had to pick the best word from the box provided to complete each sentence.  In Part C, he had to choose the best word from the block of words provided to complete the sentences in a story.  In Part D, he was given a sentence that he then had to unscramble letters and spell the word correctly that best complete each sentence.  For Part E, he had to write the best word from the box provided that was a synonym for the word provided.  Then in Part F, he was given the start of various sentences containing words from the week that he then completed based on his knowledge of the word’s meaning.


We elected for him to complete Parts A – D on their own days and then complete Parts E and F on the final day of the week.  This system seemed to work well for our son.  Then for the weeks containing the Reviews, he had to complete three sections.  The first was a crossword puzzle, the second multiple choice questions and the final section was taking fictional book titles and selecting the best word to describe each book.


The workbook contains both the worksheets as well as the answers.  I love how everything is self-contained. It means we do not have to worry about papers being scattered all over the place. Also, it makes it easy to just pick up the book and take it wherever we happen to be going on a given day.


The lessons begin with a list of words and the definitions for them.  This feature made it faster to complete the assignments since our son did not have to refer to actual materials.  Another thing I liked about this workbook is that it requires students to learn the definition of a word, but then they had to use other forms of the word, which helps reinforce what they are learning.  Also, I appreciate that the assignments for every list are laid out the same.  Students know exactly what will be expected of them from week to week.


We loved the variety of words included in each lesson. As I looked through the book, I found words that I was not sure of the meaning. So I can see this book benefiting adults as well as students. Truly, it is perfect for anyone who desires to increase their vocabulary.  Furthermore, the fact that each list repeated the same series of requirements made it easy to know what needed to be done.

You can find The Critical Thinking Co. on social media at the following links:


Having already reviewed one product from The Critical Thinking Co., I was glad to be able to review this product. You can also check out our family’s Review of The Critical Thinking Co.’s Critical Thinking Detective Book 1 by clicking here.

The Critical Thinking Co. makes studying vocabulary to get ready for the SAT and PSAT a breeze with Vocabulary Virtuoso PSAT-SAT Book 1 (Grades 8-12+).  Also from now until December 31, 2019, you can use the following coupon code to save 15% on any size order along with free shipping.

Other members of The Home School Review Crew are reviewing this product as well as other products, so click here or on the graphic below to read more reviews from this fantastic company.

Posted in Critical Thinking Skills and Logic, Home School Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling

Review of The Critical Thinking Co.’s Critical Thinking Detective Book 1


As the mother of three sons ages almost 22, 19, and 17 along with a daughter who is 15, I recognize the importance of critical thinking skills.  We have always loved The Critical Thinking Co.™ so I jumped at the opportunity to review Critical Thinking Detective Book 1  for our daughter.  As the youngest of four children, logical thinking is a must for our daughter.  In order to counter anything her brothers might send her way, I knew this book would be very helpful for developing her reasoning abilities.

The Critical Thinking Co. offers a variety of products from mathematics, logic, test prep and more for toddlers through high school.  So there are plenty of options to choose from no matter what your need is.  The Critical Thinking Co. has been serving students and their families since 1958.  On their “About Us” on their website they state their mission statement is: “The Critical Thinking Co.™ is committed to developing students’ critical thinking     skills for better grades, higher test scores, and success in life. We do not teach through drill and memorization or teach to the tests—we empower the mind!”

Through the years, our family has used a variety of products from this company.  We have always found the materials to meet our family’s needs.  We have talked to representatives from the company at several different Home School Conventions.  So I truly was thrilled for our daughter to review “The Critical Thinking Detective Book 1” which is meant for grades 4-12.  I feel this grade spread is a good representative of the ages who would be capable of doing this work.  You can get the book as either a printed book (which is what our family received) or as an e-book.  Personally for something that involves critical thinking skills and figuring things out, I prefer a physical copy.  But I can also see the benefits of having it as an ebook.

Our daughter is an artist by nature and talents, but I knew she would benefit from this book.  I also knew she has the ability to reason and deduce things courtesy of her older brothers.   I knew I wanted our daughter and I to work on this book together.  So we began by reading the section that tells about the book and then the section that tells how to solve these cases along with the hints.  Then we moved into the first case which dealt with a car thief.  I knew it would be helpful for our daughter to have someone to bounce ideas off of and to brainstorm with while trying to solve the cases.

I love how the sentences are numbered which made it easy to demonstrate what sentence proved the innocence or guilt of each suspect.  For example, in this first case, our daughter was able to see who was wearing dark pants and which suspects were not over 6 feet tall.  Basically, we determined who was innocent by their statements in order to finally determine who was guilty.  I found it helpful that the book reminded us that the the stories and the statements made by the suspects all were true.  This helped eliminate any confusion when trying to determine guilt or innocence.  I know if our daughter had done this book when she was in the 4th grade, that would have been very helpful.

The Critical Thinking Co. has provided the following special offers for you to utilize:

A $75 Value! Delivered weekly to your inbox. Choose PreK – Grade 8. Sign Up Now!

Special Offer from!
Free Shipping + 15% Off Any Size Order! Use Coupon Code: TOSCREW18. Expires 12/31/2018.


You can find The Critical Thinking Co. on socail media at:


I have to say we really enjoyed working through this book.  I am sure we will do more in the future.  So check out The Critical Thinking Co.™  and Critical Thinking Detective Book 1  for yourself.

If you want to read reviews by other members of the Home School Review Crew including reviews of Critical Thinking Detective Book 1, Understanding Pre-Algebra, or Vocabulary Riddles Book 1, click here or on the grahic below.