How can we foster critical thinking at home? Teaching critical thinking skills in your homeschool can be a lot of fun! Teaching logic to our homeschoolers is important because it’s the best way we can help our kids learn to be problem-solvers who make sound judgments.
Critical thinking skills don’t come naturally, but I’ll admit that adding another thing to our homeschool day wasn’t appealing to me in the beginning. Thankfully, there are lots of quick and fun ways to incorporate logic and build critical thinking skills with your homeschoolers.
Check out all our favorite critical thinking resources, games, and activities to get some great ideas for your homeschoolers. These fun activities will make it easy to practice logic in your homeschool this year.
Can Critical Thinking Skills Be Taught?
Being able to think critically is a skill that I assumed just came naturally. It definitely does not come naturally though. It is a skill that needs to be exercised, frequently.
Teaching our homeschoolers to use logic will help them to develop critical thinking skills they can depend on throughout life. Critical thinking skills help us to solve problems and make good decisions.
You can teach critical thinking skills in your homeschool in all sorts of creative ways. We like to use games to help sharpen our critical thinking skills here at the Waldock Way. Believe it or not, video games are great for teaching logic too.
Video games present players with complex problems and a variety of outcomes. Solving these on-screen dilemmas helps kids learn to formulate solutions, consider viable alternatives, and make good decisions.
How We Foster Critical Thinking At Home
There are lots of ways we can help foster critical thinking at home with our family. Playing games is a fun way to learn all sorts of things and logic is no different. You can read more about how we use gameschooling for other subjects in our Guide to Gameschooling.
You can foster critical thinking in your homeschool in all kinds of ways! Check out some of my favorite simple ways to teach logic at home:
If your kids love to argue, channel that energy into teaching them how to debate effectively. Debate helps homeschoolers look at alternate explanations and outcomes. Plus, it’s an excellent way to develop communication skills.
Read Diverse Material
Another way to help kids learn to consider lots of possibilities is to provide them with lots of diverse reading material. Look for books from different perspectives. Twisted Fairytales, classic fairytales written from the villain’s perspective, are a great way to do this with elementary homeschoolers.
Learn From Everything
As homeschoolers, we naturally seek out learning opportunities in every scenario. Helping our kids see that learning is a mindset is an important first step to teaching them to approach things critically.
We can learn from time spent in nature, great conversations, fun games, and observing the world around us. Teach your homeschoolers to consider what they see and experience and provide supporting evidence for their claims.
Playing games is one of our favorite ways to learn everything! We love learning through games and discovering ThinkFun games was a lifesaver for us.
Develop Critical Thinking Skills With Games
ThinkFun is the world’s leader in addictively fun games that stretch and sharpen your mind. They have a large variety of games but some of our absolute favorites for logic are the single-player games because Emily can play them independently. When you’re homeschooling an only child, independent activities are really important.
I can leave a ThinkFun game out for Emily to play alone or we can take turns playing the game. It’s fun to challenge each other to “level up” each time we play. We call it leveling up because the cards are labeled from easiest to hardest.
Adding these games to our homeschool days has been such an easy way to incorporate logic lessons and build critical thinking skills. We don’t play them every day, but I try to make sure we are playing one of them once or twice each week. Check out our favorites:
Hoppers – Hoppers is a peg solitaire jumping game – set the frogs on the pond, then jump frogs until only one is left standing.
Shape by Shape – Shape By Shape is an advanced tangram-style pattern game, made more difficult because you also fill in the frame around each shape you make.
IZZI – This pattern matching puzzle consists of 64 square tiles, each printed with a black and white geometric pattern. Your goal is to assemble the tiles into an 8×8 square following the IZZI rule: In order to place two tiles adjacent to one another, their colored edges must match up precisely.
Rush Hour – You have to battle the gridlock as you slide the blocking vehicles out of the way for the red car to exit. For younger children, there is Rush Hour Jr. and for older children who finish the included challenges, you can buy additional challenge cards.
Gravity Maze – Gravity Maze is a gravity-powered logic maze game that builds reasoning skills and visual perception. Dropping the marble and watching it go through the maze successfully is so satisfying.
Laser Maze – Laser Maze requires you to use mirrors, beam-splitters, a little science, and brainpower to direct the laser through a series of mind-challenging mazes and light up the target.
Roller Coaster Challenge – With this game, you get to build your very own roller coaster. Choose a challenge card and set up the beginning pieces, then add the missing ones to complete the coaster.
Balance Beans – Balance Beans is a logic game and math game all in one. Set up the Red Beans according to the Challenge Card. Then carefully place the colorful Beans on the Seesaw to keep it from teetering.
Cat or Dog Crimes – Use your problem-solving skills to figure out where each animal was at the time of the crime. These games are equally amazing and the gameplay is very similar. I suggest buying based on which you like more cats or dogs.
Chocolate Fix – Using the clues, fill the tray with all nine chocolate pieces in their correct positions. Similar to Sudoku, you must examine all clues on the challenge card before making a move.
ThinkFun also has fun downloadable logic games and brainteasers that you can use in your homeschool today for free. How do you teach logic in your homeschool?
Share your favorite ways to build critical thinking skills at home in the comments. I can’t wait to read them!