Problem solving is the process of achieving a goal by overcoming obstacles. It is a skill that needs to be developed for everyone, not just homeschool students. Problems in need of solutions range from simple personal tasks to complex issues and if one knows how to handle them, life can become much easier. As a homeschooling teacher, you can set small problem solving games for your homeschoolers to help them develop this essential skill. Here are a couple of examples that you can use or modify.
Save the Egg
This is a problem solving game that can be used for slightly older children as working with raw eggs is a messy affair. The idea is to give them the task of securing the egg well enough to survive a drop from a certain height. This could be from the top of the dining table to the ground to start with. As they master the concept, you could even drop off the secured egg from the first floor of the building to the ground.
The homeschool students need to come up with different ways to secure the egg so that it survives the drop without breaking. They can experiment with cushioning methods, ways to slow down the drop using parachutes, and more. Have them use their imaginations to come up with possible solutions to the problem, and then make the physical effort to see if it truly is the right solution.
Build A Rube Goldberg Machine
A Rube Goldberg machine is a chain reaction-type machine or contraption intentionally designed to perform a simple task in an indirect and overly complicated way. For instance, the goal might be to create a contraption with pipes, rubber tubing, and pieces of cardboard that can carry an egg from point A to point B in a certain number of steps, using only gravity.
It might be a good idea to use a boiled egg in the initial test runs till the safety of the raw egg can be ensured via repeated testing. The games allows the homeschool students to think creatively and be innovative in prioritizing actions. They will also learn to seek alternatives for things that did not work out. The team will brainstorm and analyse the problems, and a wide range of such problems can be created using different materials.