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Tinker Thinkers Review by Ta’Neisha KempSusan Gardner and Amy Leask
Enable Training and Consulting, Inc.
Tinker Thinkers, by Susan Gardner and Amy Leask is a book designed to teach children tools for applying logic and reason. By using construction as a metaphor, your child learns how to properly build and argue their point of view. This is an important skill for children to learn and can be used as a foundation for debate, speech, and so much more.
The Tinker Thinkers are a construction crew of six students that guide your child through properly preparing and executing their point of view. First, we are shown the toolkit which houses tips for this process. For example, a hammer is used to test the strength of the reasons while a flashlight helps you discern factual and false points. Next, we learn the importance of justifying your actions, understanding conclusions, and preparing counterexamples. Finally, practice arguments are provided along with various activities to reinforce what was learned.
I created a Logic and Reasoning unit study with this book as the basis for introducing information. Each day we read significant portion of the book, conversed about the topic, and worked through the examples provided. For instance, on the first day we read the first 10 pages and then discussed the meaning of justifying our actions. Coloring, drawing, and fill in the blank pages are also provided, which would be good for younger children to use. I added a notebook journal to my son's studies so he could write through the recommended thought process which he preferred over the art activities. When testing the provided arguments, he wrote his reasons, conclusions, and counterexamples which helped him prepare an efficient argument.
Learning to effectively apply logic and reasoning is important for all Christian children. Applying these tools at an early age and pairing it with bible study creates a firm foundation. This also ensures our children will be able to respectfully and thoroughly argue the Christian perspective of all topics in any setting. Tinker Thinkers, by Susan Gardner and Amy Leask is well written with children between the ages of 8 to 11 in mind. The graphics, activities, and content kept our son engaged during our unit study and helped him apply the principles once completed.
-Product review by Ta’Neisha Kemp, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September, 2018