Pros: extends reading comprehension to more complex aspects of comprehension....clear, concise, interesting
Cons: none - truly none
Reading Detective from Critical Thinking Press is one of those ways educators - formal ones or parental ones - can interject learning into a child's life without it feeling like work. Sort of like pureeing veggies into spaghetti sauce, Reading Detective takes reading comprehension exercises and twists them into junior Sherlock Holmes mysteries allowing readers to unlock the great mysteries of comprehending what they read while actually solving mysteries of their own.
While basic understanding of a story may come easily, some fast learners or slower readers may lose some of the deeper aspects of being a reading 'detective'. Namely things like drawing inferences, learning about cause & effect, more complicated vocabulary, & working with setting to determine the context of a story. Terminology that is often not utilized when discussing the reading challenges of a 3rd or 4th grader, but actions that are perfectly possible if only they are presented to a learner.
Whether utilized in book form or CD-Rom form, stories are presented with a mystery twist (obviously geared for younger readers) and the reader is asked questions - progressing onward as the book and/or CD-Rom progresses - until a young reader can really take apart a story. The book presents stories & activities pertaining to the story on the same pages - no flip flopping back and forth. The quality is high with very clear graphics and printing.
Eventually a young reader is making predictions about what will soon happen, or examining what he/she knows to determine the context - or what already has happened. The content is:
- age appropriate
- geared for children already reading (i.e. this is not meant for remedial readers)
- progressive from lesson to lesson - & rather rapidly progressing
- contains stories & themes which would be found interesting by both boys & girls
The "Detective" series is available in various grade levels with 'Beginning Gr. 3-4' being the first book. A wonderful addition to a homeschooling curriculum, or added to the life of a student who needs to be challenged a bit more without 'simply' being pushed up in terms of book offerings.