In exchange for a blog review, Critical Thinking Company sent our family these two math books: Cryptic Mind Benders Classic Jokes and Cryptic Mind Benders Famous Quotations.
Both math books are geared toward 3-12th graders, and they develop algebraic thinking and teach basic programming operations. Each book is $10.99 (at the moment), and an electronic version is also available at the same price.
These books are chock full of activities where the student needs to break a secret code so he/she can solve a joke or a famous quotation. To break the code, the student will have to apply logic and mathematical reasoning to three sets of clues. Once he/she breaks the code, the cryptogram can be solved by substituting the numbers to their corresponding code letters.
We've had these two books for a few about a month now for reviewing. I think they are fantastic! I love how they teach math and algebraic thinking without the student even realizing they are learning. It is actually fun to crack the codes.
I was really surprised at my four 8th graders reactions, though. Missy has been the one who has loved cracking the codes. She is really enjoying the joke book, and has finished more than half the book already. She just keeps checking with me:"this is just for fun, right? - not for school?", and I affirm her: "yes, it is not for school, it is just for fun", and I chuckle inside. (Heh.)
I really thought my boys would love these books, but I have to be honest, they have not really been interested. I have waited the month to see if they would start cracking codes, but so far they haven't. Mr. D had helped Missy on the first one, but that was it. (They are really missing out.)
Missy has done the first activity in the Famous Quotations book, but she doesn't find it as interesting. My guess is she'll get into it, too, as soon as she has finished the Classic Jokes book. (Unless they boys realize how much fun these books are, and take over for her.) The jokes have been very cute, appropriate, and fun to crack. In the Famous Quotations students will find quotations from famous thinkers such as Albert Einstein, Voltaire, Socrates, and many more.
Despite my boys' current lack of interest, we heartily recommend both Cryptic Mind Benders Classic Jokes and Famous Quotations books. I think they would make a wonderful addition to any homeschool curriculum, or would be great as No-School-Books-Just-For-Fun for anyone:)
Thank you, Critical Thinking Company for providing us with these books. All the links are non-affiliated, and our opinions are entirely honest, and our own.