Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Critical Thinking Co. ~ Inference Jones


Inference Jones (beginning level) is a 48 page paperback workbook designed to help with reading comprehension in grades 3-4. It can also be used with older students who need remedial help. Inference Jones Level 1 is also available for students grade 5-6.

From the website.....

"Inference Jones provides short, fun, and easy-to-use activities that improve critical reading and higher order thinking by developing the student’s ability to draw inferences from written text. Research shows inferential reasoning is a prerequisite component to superior reading comprehension. The National Foundation for Educational Research concluded that "the ability to draw inferences predetermines reading skills: that is, poor inferential reasoning causes poor comprehension and not vice versa."

This book was easy to add in to our everyday homeschool routine. The lessons are short, just one page (front and back) including the story to be read. The first few pages give teaching suggestions and a sample activity to help the teacher understand how to use the book effectively. 

For each story I start by reading the title, the kids then guess what the story might be about. We discuss how they came to that conclusion. This is always fun, they come up with some interesting guesses!

Then I read them the story, and they are supposed to listen carefully. Sometimes I have to repeat the story if they are being wiggle worms that day. The book suggests trying to make an association between the story and something they can relate to in real life. This has been very helpful!

Then they get to answer the questions about the story on the workbook page. Most of the questions are either True or False, or multiple choice. A question or two at the end will ask the student to explain an answer or add personal knowledge. If your child is a reluctant writer (like mine) they can answer these questions orally. 

The last 5 pages contain all the answers for the workbook pages. 

You can see a sample page by clicking on the CLICK TO LOOK INSIDE link on this page

So what did we think of Inference Jones?

I thought the book was easy to use, and because the stories and pages were short and easy to complete I had no complaining from the kids. They even asked to read the stories themselves some days. I was so glad to see that happening, now I know that they can read and get information by themselves! I had worried a little about their reading comprehension at the beginning of this year after talking to some other moms who mentioned their child had difficulties when taking state tests. This product helped ease my mind. 

I LOVE that we are allowed to photocopy the pages to use with more than one child! I only need one book to use for all of my children. That is always a bonus with me, as I have two more younger ones I can use this book again with later on.

The kids whined a little bit about having to write out some answers, but I allowed them to answer out loud and we discussed their answers together. The important thing to practice here was not writing skills, but reading and comprehending skills. So keep that in mind if you give this book a try in your homeschool.


 You can order Inference Jones from The Critical Thinking Co. through their website at or by calling 800-458-4849. The price is $11.99. The pages are reproducible for your own personal use so you only need one book per family.

Read what other members of The Homeschool Crew thought about Inference Jones and other products from Critical Thinking Co.


Disclosure ~ We received this product as a member of The Homeschool Crew in exchange for an honest review of the product after using it in our homeschool. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are my own.

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