Monday, September 28, 2009


I have found a great blog that allows me to add critical thinking to our homeschool without it being tedious worksheets (which is an apt description for the majority of critical thinking curricula I have found). Think! posts weekly challenges that require hands-on work with a definite engineering bent. Usually the new weekly challenge shows up on Thursday, but it can vary. Then the following week photos of what real kids have made for the challenge are shown. The results can be quite original and creative! Here is an example of one of the challenges, and what my two oldest kids (a junior highschool and an upper elementary schooler) created for it.

Marshmellow Madness
  • Your materials: a bag of large marshmallows, a box of toothpicks, 2 pairs of tongs.
  • Your challenge: build the tallest marshmallow arch you can using the materials above, but you may not touch the marshmallows with anything but the tongs.

My favorite part about Think! is that I don't have to assign it has school work, I don't have to correct anything, and I don't even have to tell them to do it. I simply gather the supplies and they ask me what they "get" to do this week. I don't even have to be there when they work on their Think! challenges. This marshmellow arch above was done when my husband and I went out for dinner and a babysitter was in charge. Thus the poor quality photo, by the way. They snapped the photo and then ate the evidence before we got back :D.