Thursday, March 7, 2013

Is it Working?

My last post was about critical thinking and I realized that I forgot to mention why I began integrating logic into our curriculum.  What prompted me?

I have three children who are extremely creative.  My oldest is compliant and my second and third are extremely strong willed.  Yet, I realized early on with all three that one of the most difficult skills for children to acquire is the desire to not give up!  To try, try again, and then try again.  They need to learn to keep trying.

I remember watching my oldest daughter learn to ride a bike.   I went about it all wrong.  I didn't recognize the disadvantage she was at.  We lived in a neighborhood with sidewalks and because of how cars drove down the streets, she had to learn on the sidewalks--narrow sidewalks.  It was hard.  My second daughter and son learned in a wide driveway and then a large parking lot.  They learned more quickly and easily.  But, for all three, they struggled with the drive to not give up.

Last year, I saw how my oldest daughter was struggling in math to grasp the idea of looking at a word problem and asking herself what she should do.  How could she solve the problem?  What strategy could she use?  In school classrooms, there are lots of posters intended to remind children of how to do this.  But, they have to learn how to put those strategies into action.  

My solution was to introduce logic to our curriculum.  My girls were thrilled.  They love puzzles.  The logic puzzles and exercises have helped them--my older daughter more than my younger one because she's been able to understand and apply the lessons she's learning.

Last week, my oldest daughter was faced with a word problem in her math book and I reminded her of logic and how we look for a way to solve the problem they're asking.  It's the same with math.  What can she do to solve the problem?  It clicked.  I could see it in her face.  Yippee!

That is why I am using logic puzzles and critical thinking exercises this year.

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