Science, math, history, grammar, art, reading, and writing. Most educators and parents would agree that those subjects form a good backbone for our children’s education. There are other elective studies you could add to give children what we refer to as a “well-rounded” education. However, there is one subject, or skill, that I would add that would help students make sense of all the other subjects.
1. The study of the principles of reasoning, especially of the structure of propositions as distinguished from their content and of method and validity in deductive reasoning.
2. A system of reasoning
3. Valid reasoning: Your paper lacks the logic to prove your thesis.
4. The relationship between elements and between an element and the whole in a set of objects, individuals,principles, or events
Logic is using the facts that we know as rules to see relationships between things, make inferences, and to come up with conclusions. For example, if our facts are: all birds have feathers and a robin is a bird. From those statements, we can conclude that robins have feathers. Can you see the reasoning behind our conclusion?
We use logic to take the facts that we have learned through education and everyday life to understand the relationships between them. Facts are useless if we don’t know how to use them. Logic makes us critical thinkers and problem solvers in educational studies and in everyday life.
Logic In Education
In the study of science, we see that the scientific method is based on logic. We use the facts that we know to make a prediction, or inference, that leads to our hypothesis. We then set up a logical experiment or study to test that hypothesis. Critical thinking and reasoning is used to analyze our results and to determine if our hypothesis holds true and becomes a theory, or not.
Math is based on rules and logic. The very structure of numbers and the relationships between them serve as a basis for most other sciences. To be able to recognize and use mathematical rules, is using logic and developing critical thinking and reasoning skills.
Critical thinking skills and inference are important when students are reading. They can make predictions and make inferences about a story based on the information given. Using inference. students might be able to tell the approximate time period or location of the story without the author actually stating it clearly. Students can make these assumptions based on how the characters relate to each other, what the author tells them about the setting or information the characters might share.
When studying history, we learn a lot of facts. We can use those facts to create logical explanations of why things happened, the personality traits of historical figures, and maybe the answers to mysteries.
In the US, the current educational push is toward building STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) skills. This includes coding skills. Every where I look, I see new coding resources for students popping up. What is coding? Coding is the language that computers use to perform tasks. It is based on, you guessed it, logic. Learning to think in a logical way gives students a good start in the world of coding.
Learning Through Logic Games
There are many ways to teach logic to students. Just talking with them and asking them questions is huge. Make them draw their own conclusions and ask them how they came up with that answer. There are lots of critical thinking puzzle books available to students of all ages. Logic and thinking skills can, also, be developed with games.
Children of all ages love to play games. They can be captivated and entertained for hours on end. Capitalize on that by introducing logic games.
If your children are like mine, they can smell an educational game a mile away and will flee the scene, so I’ve learned to be very picky about our choices. When I look at our collection of games, one company stands out with some of the most played games. ThinkFun gave us Rush Hour, Roll & Play, Zingo, and Math Dice. We have played them over and over again through the years.
ThinkFun recently gave us the opportunity to test three of their newest logic games. These are all fantastic choices to both keep your child entertained and hone their critical thinking skills.
Clue Master is a one-player game that uses deductive reasoning skills to complete challenges ranging from beginner to expert. The Sudoku-style board uses colors and symbols (dog bowls, tennis balls, and bones) instead of numbers. This is the game I find myself curled up on the couch with.
Don’t let this game fool you. Balance Beans is recommended for ages 5+ and is a great game for those young ages, however, it is challenging enough for all ages. This game teaches critical thinking, math, and physics at the same time. It uses cartoon-like beans and a seesaw balance to complete challenges given on task cards ranging from easy, medium, hard, and super hard. This is my 11-year old’s favorite.
When I saw this game, I got all excited. Circuit Maze is a logic game that, also, teaches electric circuit skills! This is a one-person game that uses challenge cards of increasing levels to give you clues needed to complete circuit mazes and light up beacons. I love that a beacon lights up when you complete the maze correctly.
Grab any of these games to teach your children logic and have fun doing it! How do you teach your children logic skills?