Critical thinking opportunities for almost 6 year old - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 09-23-2011, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son loves to do time4learning, starfall, happy scientist, how it's made, etc. They're great learning opportunities, but they're mainly facts. Are there any online/software/books out there that have fun activities that help develop critical thinking?

 

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Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#2 of 15 Old 09-23-2011, 07:03 PM
 
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This is my opinion.  (I have a fact loving 6.5yo as well.)  The best companion to all that fact-oriented stuff is time for one-on-one observation, without naming, classifying, without adults or curricula directing the course of exploration.  It is an open, nonverbal curiosity.  I am thinking primarily of science oriented things, but this could be used for many areas of study.  Bring them to the forest, to a cultural festival, to a garden and allow exploration.  As parents, we go about our business, making our own discoveries instead of concerning ourselves with theirs unless they draw our attention to it.  I guarantee they will.  Don't forget to write down his discoveries in your homeschooling records.  Voila! 

 

I know that's not the exact question you asked, but I offer up my perspective nonetheless.


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#3 of 15 Old 09-23-2011, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is my opinion.  (I have a fact loving 6.5yo as well.)  The best companion to all that fact-oriented stuff is time for one-on-one observation, without naming, classifying, without adults or curricula directing the course of exploration.  It is an open, nonverbal curiosity.  I am thinking primarily of science oriented things, but this could be used for many areas of study.  Bring them to the forest, to a cultural festival, to a garden and allow exploration.  As parents, we go about our business, making our own discoveries instead of concerning ourselves with theirs unless they draw our attention to it.  I guarantee they will.  Don't forget to write down his discoveries in your homeschooling records.  Voila! 

 

I know that's not the exact question you asked, but I offer up my perspective nonetheless.


I appreciate your thoughts as I mainly agree with them. I think my husband is teaching critical thinking by doing woodwork with him and letting him solve their building dilemmas. He learns problem solving when playing, with or without friends. I just want to offer him "games" that also reinforce this. He won't be required to play them, but I like to have a selection of options available.

 


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#4 of 15 Old 09-23-2011, 07:21 PM
 
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We really love puzzle books, our favorites being from the Highlights publishers.  They are expensive, but they get loads of use.  PuzzleBuzz for my nearly 5yo.  Puzzlemania for my 6.5yo.  That one if *just* beyond her skill level but she still loves it.  Each has 3 sticker puzzles.  We save them as if they were gold and eventually they get some pretty thorough use.  


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#5 of 15 Old 09-23-2011, 10:12 PM
 
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We have a Lollipop Logic workbook that my DD is really enjoying.  That might work for you.

 

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#6 of 15 Old 09-23-2011, 10:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have a Lollipop Logic workbook that my DD is really enjoying.  That might work for you.

 

Tjej



I saw Lollipop Logic on amazon. Frankly, the sample pages didn't seem all that interesting, but maybe that's because they were black and white. How old is your daughter?


Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#7 of 15 Old 09-24-2011, 11:34 AM
 
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I really understand your concern about wanting to provide lots of good critical thinking opportunities for you child, but I assure you from first hand experience that it really is going to be his everyday experiences with his parents, friends, and his own strong interests that are going to provide the most profound influence on that part of his mind - and it will grow most effectively when he's older, and I think being read interesting classic books of wonderful stories he can let his imagination soar with is probably the best source of stimulation for it. That way he can vicariously experience all sorts of adventures, thinking, and decision making in ways that really mean something to him. Darn - got to run! Will try to get back..  Lillian

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#8 of 15 Old 09-24-2011, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really understand your concern about wanting to provide lots of good critical thinking opportunities for you child, but I assure you from first hand experience that it really is going to be his everyday experiences with his parents, friends, and his own strong interests that are going to provide the most profound influence on that part of his mind - and it will grow most effectively when he's older, and I think being read interesting classic books of wonderful stories he can let his imagination soar with is probably the best source of stimulation for it. That way he can vicariously experience all sorts of adventures, thinking, and decision making in ways that really mean something to him. Darn - got to run! Will try to get back..  Lillian


Thanks. I agree with you, I just  like to have all kinds of opportunities for my kids to experience.

 


Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#9 of 15 Old 09-24-2011, 07:19 PM
 
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Have you looked at Timberdoodle and Fat Brain Toys for logic games, puzzles etc? We have a few - Castle Logix, Color Code, Shape by Shape that are very popular. We also have Equilibrio but have not really tried it yet. My DD is also turning 6 soon.

 

 

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#10 of 15 Old 09-25-2011, 01:21 AM
 
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Quote:

 

I really understand your concern about wanting to provide lots of good critical thinking opportunities for you child, but I assure you from first hand experience that it really is going to be his everyday experiences with his parents, friends, and his own strong interests that are going to provide the most profound influence on that part of his mind - and it will grow most effectively when he's older, and I think being read interesting classic books of wonderful stories he can let his imagination soar with is probably the best source of stimulation for it. That way he can vicariously experience all sorts of adventures, thinking, and decision making in ways that really mean something to him. Darn - got to run! Will try to get back..  Lillian  

Perhaps this isn't what you want to hear but I second what Lillian said above. IMO, this is the best way to build critical thinking skills.

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#11 of 15 Old 09-25-2011, 09:50 AM
 
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Timberdoodle does have a lot of fun looking stuff.

 

DD is 5.5yo, we got book 2.  So far I guess she hasn't gotten anything "wrong", so maybe it is too easy, but she doesn't mind that.  It is black and white, but DD is more having fun with the ideas of the puzzles themselves, not the pictures in it.  It isn't a magical book - it has simple analogies and sequences, etc.  DD just likes it and it fits the "critical thinking" category you mentioned.

 

I am just reading a science text - Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding - that is for K-2.  Right now I am in the intro and the author is spending a lot of time talking about how to support thinking and discussion without giving answers and while creating interest.  It isn't rocket science either, but it is interesting.  One on one a person tends to do some of what the author suggests anyways.  There are certain things he has suggested so far - like how to handle different types of questions and suggestions for good leading questions (such as: I wonder how...? and What do you think causes...?) that are natural but when brought to my mind to be more intentional about asking questions that way would very well lead to more critical thinking on the part of my child.  Besides the approach being very good, I think the text does seem like a really good one for science, if you are interested in one.  It's all about connecting experience with understanding.

 

Tjej

 

 

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#12 of 15 Old 09-25-2011, 10:38 AM
 
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Had a thought - FUN-Books is packed full of wonderful resources you'd probably love for this kind of thing - they probably don't have much that would be identified as directed toward critical thinking, but will have lots of stuff that will contribute to that anyway.

 

And Vicki Cobb's books, although mostly categorized as science, are yummy.

 

You might dig around in my annotated Gateway to the Internet list of educational sites too - lots of stuff to explore in there - but I'd suggest scrolling through the various sections before beginning to click on links.

 

Have fun - Lillian!

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#13 of 15 Old 09-25-2011, 07:11 PM
 
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We have enjoyed board games as a family for the last 2 years.  Once you get away from the random games like CandyLand you get into lots of decision making.  My oldest easily learned Stratego and Battleship by 5yo.  She is still learning MasterMind etc.  DH is teaching her to play chess and backgammon.  This is a fun way to explore critical thinking.  You hardly know you are doing it!  I've taught one version of solitaire to her that has more decision-making involved.  Sometimes our game playing gets a bit silly.  We found an old copy of TakeOff! to play.  The countries are outdated, but that leads to some good conversation about current geography.  Right now we are playing an original Star Wars board game (and exactly like one I had as a kid).  Not the best choice for critical thinking, but we've been having fun, she's been practicing reading the cards, and I like it best because it's short!  I plan on getting the girls a Monopoly game.  Even my almost-5yo is ready to play banker.  

 

What I like about these games vs. computers is that the whole family faces each other.  It is much more sociable and serene.  Not that I'm opposed to the alternative, just that this is our preference.


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#14 of 15 Old 09-25-2011, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post

We have enjoyed board games as a family for the last 2 years.  Once you get away from the random games like CandyLand you get into lots of decision making.  My oldest easily learned Stratego and Battleship by 5yo.  She is still learning MasterMind etc.  DH is teaching her to play chess and backgammon.  This is a fun way to explore critical thinking.  You hardly know you are doing it!  I've taught one version of solitaire to her that has more decision-making involved.  Sometimes our game playing gets a bit silly.  We found an old copy of TakeOff! to play.  The countries are outdated, but that leads to some good conversation about current geography.  Right now we are playing an original Star Wars board game (and exactly like one I had as a kid).  Not the best choice for critical thinking, but we've been having fun, she's been practicing reading the cards, and I like it best because it's short!  I plan on getting the girls a Monopoly game.  Even my almost-5yo is ready to play banker.  

 

What I like about these games vs. computers is that the whole family faces each other.  It is much more sociable and serene.  Not that I'm opposed to the alternative, just that this is our preference.


Games are a great idea. I looked up take off on amazon--$139. Of course they also have copies for $4.33, but those are smaller numbers on the page. lol

 


Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#15 of 15 Old 09-26-2011, 07:40 PM
 
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Games are a great idea. I looked up take off on amazon--$139. Of course they also have copies for $4.33, but those are smaller numbers on the page. lol

 


Wow!  I got mine for 2.99 at the Goodwill.  Why would people be asking $139 for it?  Hmmmm...... 

 


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