Curriculum Review: The Critical Thinking Company's Vocabulary Virtuoso

critical thinking co vocabulary review

Save 20% at the Critical Thinking Co. with the code at the end of this review!

If you are looking for an easy-to-use workbook to help expand your student’s vocabulary, look no further than Vocabulary Virtuoso by The Critical Thinking Co. For the purpose of this post, I’m reviewing the PSAT-SAT Book 2, which according to the Critical Thinking Co. is appropriate for grades 8-12. (They offer workbooks for younger levels as well.) 

To be honest, I didn’t plan to do formal vocabulary work with my son. He reads a great deal, and I know he already possesses a high vocabulary. But now that I’ve seen Vocabulary Virtuoso, I’m going to have him begin the book next year as he starts the 7th grade. Even though the workbook is geared towards 8-12th graders, he’s a strong reader, so I don’t think it will be difficult for him to work through it. I think it will help him prepare for the standardized tests that are required for homeschoolers in our state.

In fact, he’s already looked at it and volunteered to start using it now.  How cool is that? When he was younger, he hated doing worksheets, so I never made him do them. Now, he’s much more willing to do them, and he even seems to like them! A book like this is much easier for me because he can work through it on his own without me looking over his shoulder.

Vocabulary Virtuosos PSAT-SAT Book 2 is 187 pages long, and it contains twenty lessons. Each lesson begins with a list of vocabulary words that may be used on the PSAT and/or SAT exams. The list contains the word, pronunciation key, definition and a sample sentence using that word. 

Following the vocabulary list is six worksheets or exercises that require students to think critically and use words in different ways. For example, they will see synonyms for the word, fill in the blanks with the appropriate word, read a story that uses each word, etc. Another exercise requires them to unscramble the letters in the word, which will help them learn how to spell it correctly. They will also need to complete a sentence that shows they understand the definition of a word. I believe that going through each of these exercises slowly will help a student remember the words and their meaning.

I also like that through the exercises and stories, students who complete this workbook will also learn a little about ancient Greek history, ancient Greek drama, Shakespeare’s London, Renaissance artists, epistolary writing, U.S. musical history, types of literary conflict and many other interesting topics.

The Critical Thinking Co. is a great company with many products worth looking at. Each one incorporates critical thinking, so they aren’t your run-of-the-mill workbooks. I’ve only just started looking through their catalog and determining what we can use in the future. 

They have an awesome free critical thinking puzzle of the week you can get by signing up here.

If you would like to purchase Vocabulary Virtuoso or any other product from the Critical Thinking Co. (Suzanne uses MindBenders in her critical thinking classes), they are offering home/school/life readers a special discount. Use the coupon code TCTCBLOG for 20% off any size order. Expires 12/31/19.