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Why Teach Logic To Your Kids?

Jun 9, 2008
In Star Trek, there's the purely logical guy, Mr. Spock, and the purely emotional guy, who is just about any other character. Real life isn't like that--we need to be able to function both ways, with our minds and with our emotions.

Unfortunately, learning logical thinking doesn't just come naturally for most people. But it's an important skill. Logic traps are everywhere.

Instead of just going with the flow, you can be proactive and teach logic to your child. In the process, you may get some practice at it too. Here's why:

1. Your child will be able to make better choices, understanding the principle of cause and effect. For instance, any "friends" who push him to waste money and time may find he turns a deaf ear, because he understands the logical consequences.

2. Problem-solving will be something your child can do as he grows older. Faced with any problem, such as dealing with a plugged-up sink or a broken-down car, your child will be able to list options and pick one.

3. Your child will be able to see through advertising. For example, he will be able to find circular reasoning in an advertising slogan such as "Happy people buy Grandma's Granola." The advertiser really is saying, "Buy Grandma's Granola, and you will be happy." Is your child able to identify circular logic such as this?

4. Your child will be able to carefully consider persuasion from politicians and the media. What if a TV reporter interviews five people who say the US should allow illegal immigrants to stay? Then the reporter concludes that everyone in the state wants illegal immigrants to stay. What is the problem here? This is an error in generalizing from too small a sample group. The reporter needs opinions from a much wider sample group. Can your child see the error?

5. Your child can learn to evaluate advice on the basis of the qualifications of the person doing the advising. If your dentist tells you to floss your teeth, you will believe him -- he's an expert. But if he tells you to put an oil additive in your car, you need to weigh the advice because he's not an expert there.

6. Computer logic is another thing your child will be able to understand. Computers are very basic thinkers: if statement A is true, do action B. If not, do action C. In comparison, our own brains tend to skip around. But learning programming and logical sequences helps a child learn logical thinking. This is a useful skill for the Information Age. In fact, if your child learns about computers, he will be able to master them eventually.
About the Author
Find out about computer programming for kids and get a no-cost e-lesson on Internet research, the Internet Scavenger Hunt. Phyllis Wheeler provides curriculums for parents who want to instruct their kids fun computer skills.
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