Skills Sharpeners for Critical Thinking & STEM Lessons: 2 Smart Resources for Your Homeschool
Skills sharpeners for critical thinking and STEM Lessons can be such amazing additions to your learning adventures at home.
These super cool challenges and activities are fantastic ways to boost learning fun for your kids.
If that all sounds good to you but you’re worried that it will be too much extra work or money, I’ve got fantastic news for you. Read on to find out how Evan-Moor can make homeschool STEM and critical thinking skills incredibly easy, affordable, and fun.
Disclaimer: I received these products for free and was compensated for my time. As always, I’m sharing my honest opinions and was not required to provide a positive review.
I’m sharing our experiences with Evan-Moor workbooks for Grade 3 and Grade 6 Homeschool Bundles – Skills Sharpeners: Critical Thinking and STEM Lessons & Challenges. As you read through our review (thank you!), I encourage you to consider your child’s level and how you can use the amazing variety of Evan-Moor resources to boost your homeschool learning adventures.
Homeschool STEM Doesn’t Have to Be Stressful
Have you been wanting to add STEM (and other critical thinking skills) to your homeschool but not sure where to get started? Or maybe you’re worried about how much time (or money) it will take?
Oh, and how do you enjoy these types of activities in your homeschool with younger kids (like grades 1-6)?
I totally get it! Even as a homeschool mom with 11+ years experience 😉
My boys and I have always enjoyed science activities in our homeschool. We love the interactive and hands-on learning. And how easy it is to combine a variety of subjects.
We’ve tried different approaches (from DIY to structured kits) to make science doable and fun. Overall, our experiences with all of these approaches have been wonderful.
Recently, our large family homeschool dynamic has changed. My oldest has graduated and working full-time as he trains in his trade. My second boy is a Senior in high school taking online college classes and preparing for his 4-year college experience starting next Fall. My middle boy will begin his 9th grade year in the Fall.
Super exciting stuff but definitely keeping this homeschool mama on her toes!
And that leaves my 2 younger boys who are in 3rd (Xman) and 6th (Bear) grade. They absolutely love all things STEM and I wanted to make sure they could continue these types of activities despite our busy and erratic schedule.
Well, I’ve been so pleased with what we found! Evan-Moor resources of Skills Sharpeners and challenges have made it possible for my younger boys to take their STEM and critical thinking skills to the next level.
And I’m SO less stressed about how to make it all happen. Evan-Moor has done all the work for me – so I can sit back and enjoy the learning fun with my boys 😊
2 Smart Ways to Boost Homeschool STEM & Critical Thinking Skills
When I started to research homeschool STEM options, I was pleasantly surprised that one of my favorite places for practical homeschool resources had a bundle for STEM and critical thinking.
Xman, my youngest boy, has been using Evan-Moor workbooks this year for language arts. I can’t believe how much progress he has made AND how much he’s enjoyed it.
Naturally, I was thrilled when I found these Homeschool STEM and Critical Thinking bundles for Grades 1-6.
I was blown away with these open-and-go workbooks for making STEM and critical thinking skills fun. There are such a fantastic variety of activities that provide opportunities for skills practice with science, technology, engineering, math, AND critical thinking.
Let’s take a closer look at both of these Evan-Moor resources included in this Homeschool STEM and Critical Thinking bundle 👇
Learn More About These Amazing Evan-Moor Homeschool Resources
This fantastic bundle includes 2 workbooks per chosen grade level.
- Skills Sharpeners: Critical Thinking provide opportunities for independent practice.
- 32 weekly units with daily activities
- Each unit has a teacher page with daily teaching tips and ideas
- Answer key is at the back of the workbook to make it easy to check work
- If your student is new to this type of work, you may want to work through the first week or two with them to build confidence
- Your student may want to complete one or two pages a day (for example, do 2 pages on Monday, 1 page on Tuesday, and 2 pages on Thursday – or other type of combination). Go with whatever works best for your child and homeschool family!
2. STEM Lessons & Challenges promotes creative problem solving skills in real life situations.
- Features 15 STEM challenges for life, earth, and physical science concepts
- Your child may choose to do 1 or 2 challenge projects month
- Enjoy a reading selection that includes visual literacy support
- Includes design process guidance that leads your child through:
- Also includes suggested materials list (although you can totally use similar items that you have in your home)
At first, I wasn’t quite sure how these 2 resources worked together. The free printable pacing guide (available here at Evan-Moor) showed that the Skills Sharpeners: Critical Thinking workbook serves as a “Warm-Up” with daily activities. The STEM Lessons and Challenges workbook is designed to “Teach, Practice, & Extend” about 1 or 2 times a month.
Of course, you can use the resources however you like! I just thought it was helpful information and wanted to pass it along 😊
Each workbook costs $10.99 for Grades 1-6 of Skills Sharpeners: Critical Skills. For the STEM Lessons & Challenges, each workbook costs $21.99. If you buy each workbook separately, it would cost you $32.98.
When you get the Homeschool STEM & Critical Thinking Bundle, it only costs $24.74. That’s a saving of $8.24!!
Our Experiences with Skills Sharpeners and STEM Lessons & Challenges
My boys have had a blast with the exercises and challenges in these open-and-go workbooks. They have enjoyed these types of activities throughout our homeschooling adventures because:
- Consistency (know what to expect and how to complete the work)
- Independent work (like in the Skills Sharpeners)
- Collaborative work opportunities (like in the STEM Lessons & Challenges)
- Easy-to-follow instructions
We’ve been impressed with the variety of types of activities. For example, in the Skills Sharpeners: Critical Thinking Grade 3 workbook, week 1 (All About Monkeys) includes:
- Reading selection
- Writing prompts
- Word puzzles
- Math word problem
- Sentence structure
- Same/Different chart
- Logic problems
- Draw a monkey (with step-by-step instructions)
- Fill in the blank
- Complete the paragraph
- Word chains
- Create Monkey Paper Chains (with step-by-step instructions and materials in the workbook)
Xman loves having so many different types of activities to learn about a topic and also challenge him. Other activities include crossword puzzles, analogies, poetry, and more.
STEM Lessons & Challenges Grade 3 have been fantastic! I no longer struggle searching for ideas or projects. Everything ties together and combines for a wonderful learning experience.
For example, the first STEM Challenge for Grade 3 is about Dams. I had Xman and Bear work together so they could work on collaboration skills. They enjoyed a reading selection, as well as relevant pictures for Visual Literacy.
The boys were then challenged to design a dam that holds back water based on what they had read, researched, and brainstormed.
Once they completed their design, Xman and Bear went through the Suggested Materials List and gathered items that we have in our home (plus added a few for good measure 😉).
The next step was learning about the 4-step Design Process (Plan, Create, Test, and Evaluate & Revise). Based on that process, they described and drew their plan and results.
At first, Xman got frustrated. He has perfectionistic tendencies and leans towards a short fuse. It was awesome hearing Bear talk him through the frustration and encourage Xman to continue the project.
Both boys have been learning so much through these experiences with both STEM and critical thinking. I’ve been excited about all the opportunities they’ve had to practice and build growth mindset skills, too!
Also, I LOVE having these worksheets to add to our homeschool portfolio. Makes it super easy to demonstrate learning and progress!
Skills Sharpeners and STEM Lessons & Challenges Grade 6 include similar activities that are more grade-level appropriate.
The boys have decided to independently work on their Skills Sharpeners workbooks. They’ll first collaboratively work on the STEM Lessons & Challenges Grade 3 and then move on to Grade 6 together. (They’re used to working together on projects so it is totally doable.)
Skills Sharpeners Make Homeschool STEM & More Fun for Your Kids
If you’re looking for simple and affordable ways to enjoy homeschool STEM (plus critical skills) activities, I highly encourage you to try this Evan-Moor bundle.
You’ll discover just how easy (and stress-free) it can be to make learning fun at home for your kids and you.
Do you have any questions about these homeschool STEM and critical thinking resources? If so, let me know in the comments area at the bottom of this post. I’ll be more than happy to help 😊
Wishing you tons of learning fun!