# Mind Benders

See the complete review in 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum.

Among the excellent resources from The Critical Thinking Company is the Mind Benders series of workbooks. Each 32 to 48 page workbook is self-contained with teaching suggestions and instructions in the front and detailed solutions in the back.

Children organize clues (some direct and some indirect) in grids to derive logical conclusions. For example, in an introductory lesson, students are told, “Edmund, Ida, Joanne, and Tony are two sets of twins. Tony is a month younger than Edmund. Joanne is a month older than Ida.” Students must then answer two questions, “Which pair is the younger set of twins?” and “Which pair is the older set of twins?” These activities appeal to many children, because they are like detective work as students try to match clues with identities. The puzzles get much more difficult as they progress.

Books 1 through 8 cover spans of grade levels from PreK through adults! For example, Book 1 is for PreK through K, Book 2 is for grades 1 and 2, and Book 8 is for grade 7 through adult level. The first two levels are also available on CD-ROM with a family license allowing you to install it on one computer for use by all family members. The CD-ROM versions include hints at the click of a mouse and reward games after each puzzle.

Adding another dimension to the Mind Bender clues and grids, the new Crypto Mind Benders present clues and information as mathematical/logical statements such as this group of three: “i > k > e,” “m > k,” and “m ≠ 9.” Students have to determine which letters (e, i, k, and m) correspond on the grid to the numbers 1, 2, 9, and 10. After solving three grids, students can use the results to solve a cryptogram at the bottom of the page. Two Crypto Mind Benders are available in either print or ebook versions; cryptograms in one book are famous quotations and in the other are classic jokes.

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#### Crypto Mind Benders Famous Quotations

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• Suitable For: all settings