Thursday, September 1, 2011

Let's Speak Logically

Maybe the word "Logic" scares you.  I used to put it into the category of "Calculus" and "Advanced Chemistry".  I just didn't know what I was talking about.  Now, after thumbing through some books at this year's Homeschool Convention, I get it.  They are just puzzles.  Ranging from very easy to expert, there is something for every child.  We have just recently started using logic and lateral thinking puzzles as warm-up activities.  Analogies are also a great way to get your kids to start thinking logically.  If you are already using Daily Grams, then you are getting a good dose of those. Remember analogies?  Meow is to Cat as Chirp is to Bird (or, meow: cat :: chirp: bird).  These show up on standardized tests and you can bet your bippy they are going to show up on the SATs! You may as well expose your kids to this kind of thinking now.  They'll have an edge over their peers and feel at ease dealing with information logically.

Have you tried Perplexors by Mindware Catalog?  Or Mind Benders by The Critical Thinking Company?  Both of these are amazing.  It takes my boys about 5-8 minutes to complete a puzzle each day.  When puzzles seem to easy, we kick it up a notch.  They are actually having a lot of fun figuring out something that at first seems impossible to figure out with the information given.  I'm currently working on an "expert level" one from Perplexors (geared toward 9-12th grade, so I'm a little embarrassed it's taking me this long!).  I'm carrying it around in my purse and work on it bit by bit.  I'm determined to show my kids that I'm smarter than a highschooler! Speaking of high school, I've also heard great raves about The Fallacy Detective by Nathaniel Bluedorn.  I'm planning on checking it out for the upcoming years.

So, why don't you try your hand at this puzzle?

Sample from Mindware's Perplexors (for age 10-11)

Why the big deal over logic, you ask?  Everywhere you turn, the world is attempting to sell our children lies, wrapped up in packages that are so gorgeous and convincing, we very often believe we need what they are selling.  Whether it's a cell phone, a hairstyle, or a sense of morality, advertising execs want you to trade your boundaries for their bling.  Picking out what's true in a sea of lies is an important life skill that our kids need to survive in today's world. In addition to good guidance from us, their parents, I believe that logic and lateral thinking puzzles will also help them bulk up their ability to wade through the ocean of junk out there and come out on the other end with their standards intact, more money in their pocket and a greater sense of truth.

"Fear is a disease that eats away at logic and makes man inhuman."
~~Marian Anderson


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