I receieved a PDF version of Inference Jones Beginning from The Critical Thinking Company. Inference Jones has 48 with 18 lessons and answer key, and costs $11.99. It is classified as grades 3-4 but can be used for remediation with 5-12+. While Butterfly is considered 2nd grade, she is more in the 3-4th+ grade range for reading so she was the test subject.
Inference Jones helps teach the skill of inference through short stories and questions. 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."
I have used many Critical Thinking Company products over the years of homeschooling and have generally been thrilled. Initially I thought this would be a good one too. The stories are short and each lesson only takes a few minutes, but it was not a good fit for my family. Initially Butterfly was excited to try the new materials for her. After I explained the activity she gave it a try. The first exercise she did in a few minutes. We discussed her answers and she seemed happy. The next day I brought it out again and she told me she "hated Inference Jones." and it was "boring." When I mention it, she immediately gets a deep furrow in her brown and frowns at me. She does not want to do it. I have not had her outright reject curriculum before. If she isn't thrilled with something, she usually tries to whine her way out of it but will reluctantly do it. After some coaxing, I was able to get her to tell me why she was not liking it. She said she didn't like the stories. The first two stories in the book illustrated children who were not exhibiting good attributes. The first is late and the second forgot his responsibilities. After I figured out why she didn't like it, I suggested we try again. This time, I had her sit on my lap and read the story to me. Then we discussed the story and questions without filling in the pages. The story was better than the first two and she was happier. Relief. I will still pull out Inference Jones because I think it is a valuable skill but I don't forsee her grabbing it off the shelf to do with gusto.
As much as I love Critical Thinking Company, this one was ho hum for us. Be sure to read other experiences though so you can make the best choice for your family. Several others on the TOS Crew also reviewed it. You can read about their experiences here.
Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine.