We all want our children to be able to think clearly and make right decisions. We don't want them to be bamboozled by the latest craze in pop psychology or cultural "un"awareness.
One of the things parents can do to help their children think clearly, or critically, is to provide them with materials that force them to think hard - not just about math problems, or how to spell words, or where Timbuktu is, but to have to think hard about choices and problem solving.
I'll admit it. One of my problems during my childhood is that I was lazy and wanted the "easy" answer. When I didn't know how to spell a word, I'd ask my parents. I'd get frustrated when they wouldn't just tell me the answer. They would tell me to get out the dictionary and look up the word for myself. Sigh.
Or with my math homework. Okay, so my dad is this mathematical genius, like the guy on the "Numbers" television program that used to be on TV, and I would look at my dad like he was plain dumb. While doing my math homework. Duh. I would whine and complain, "But that isn't how the teacher explained it in c-l-a-s-s!!!" and I would usually break down in tears, sobbing, because I didn't understand math concepts in a logical way like my genius dad. This time, he was sighing.
I remember doing very few activities that had to do with problem solving while I was in school. I remember breaking into teams, and we had to choose 10 items we could keep with us if we were stranded on an island. I think we did that activity more than a few times in school. But other than that, I don't remember much time dedicated to making wise choices, figuring out when we were being deceived, and critical thinking skills.
Dr. Funster's Think A Minutes contains thinking puzzles and games that are designed to develop critical and creative thinking skills. It also contains a variety of games and puzzles that include language development, math, writing, visual, spatial, and perceptual skills activities that build deductive, inductive, and logical reasoning.
Here are Brittany's thoughts on this book:
"Dr. Funster's Think A Minutes was fun, but it was also really hard. I had to get Mom's help to explain a lot of it."
She did enjoy viewing the problems presented on the pages she was able to complete, but the kinds of thinking in this book were quite different from what she was used to doing. So, she did come to me quite often. I would give her a clue or two, but even then, there were some problems that she couldn't solve. Considering that she's in the 5th grade and this book is rated at the 6th-8th grade level (ages 12-14), I didn't mind walking her through some of the problems. Now that she has used some of the pages, I think we will put this book away in her school box of materials, and we'll bring it out in another six to twelve months when she has matured a bit more. She did like the challenge of the problems and how they really made her think! She just wasn't able to solve all of the problems.
Easy-to-follow directions and answers are included in this book, so if you as the parent are stumped on how to solve a problem, you can check the back of the book for the answers. There are 44 pages in Dr. Funster's Think A Minutes.
View a sample page from Dr Funster's Think-A-Minutes C1!
What other kinds of materials do you use with your children to help teach them critical thinking skills? Please share your ideas!
Disclaimer: Timberdoodle kindly sent me this book in exchange for my honest and forthright review of this product. No other compensation was provided.
Hi! I'm Julieanne!
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