Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Critical Thinking...a Very Important Life Skill

As I was doing some research in order to be able to write this post, I came across the definition of Critical Thinking and one phrase caught my attention: Expressed most generally, critical thinking is “a way of taking up the problems of life.

Wow, what an important thing critical thinking can be to our lives! And very often, this is a neglected area of "study" for our children. As I was perusing "Building Thinking Skills, Level 3 Verbal", from The Critical Thinking Co., I came to realize what a large percentage of standardized testing is really critical thinking. I was an excellent student, but very bored. I am also an incredible test-taker - not because I am so smart and know so much, but because I am a very good critical thinker. I can look at several answers to a question I don't know and eliminate those that could not possibly be the correct answer, thus narrowing down the problem to find the correct answer. And all without knowing the process to find the correct answer!

Critical thinking is also very important for us and our children to be able to encounter all the fallacies in the world and be able to discern what is truth and what is fiction. It includes logic as well as intellect, analyzing options and much, much more. Through The Critical Thinking Co. products, you will be able to provide your children (and yourself) with a fun way to increase their critical thinking skills. These books are so much fun that you don't even have to tell them it is school work! Just give them some pages to try and see if they don't ask for more.

So, back to the actual book that I had the opportunity to use and review for you - Building Thinking Skills, Level 3 Verbal. This book covered many different types of verbal thinking skills, including Verbal Similarities and Differences (like antonyms and synonyms), Verbal Sequences (including following directions, maps, flowcharting), Verbal Classifications (like diagramming, sorting, classes) and Verbal Analogies. I let me daughter try many different types of these worksheets and she had a great time! She is actually younger that this was intended f
or, but actually did quite well. I also enjoyed them very much and had a hard time putting the book down long enough to write about it. This is the kind of book that you can just leave laying out for your children to use in their free time. They don't have to have it assigned really, they will want to do it. And you can work on these together and discuss the problems presented, which will help broaden their thinking skills even more.

This was my first introduction to this company and their critical thinking skills products. I am hoping to be able to try out more of their products with my children, because I think that critical thinking is absolutely CRITICAL (excuse the pun) to being successful in life! Every profession requires critical thinking skills and in order to be strong in your beliefs, you must have strong critical thinking skills. I believe that if we educate our children to the best of our ability and equip them with strong critical thinking skills, they will be successful in whatever God calls them to do and we will have fulfilled
our calling as their educators at home.

This book has 350 pages of worksheets for only $29.99! And they have many other products available for all grade levels. They also have Building Thinking Skills, Figural which would help with math. They have What Would You Do? books that give children the opportunity to apply their moral values to real-life moral dilemmas. What great discussions this could inspire!

There are so many different products at The Critical Thinking Co. that I can't possibly cover them all, but I would greatly encourage you to stop by their website and check it out. There are so many different types of products that you could use to enhance your homeschooling and increase your child's critical thinking skills.

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