We use critical skills every single day to make good decisions, understand consequences of our actions, and solve problems. Now that technology has infiltrated our children’s lives, critical thinking skills are harder to achieve. However, our children still need to be able to think critically even with all the gadgets that they can rely on. If our children can’t think for themselves, how will they function in this complex world? We are all in big trouble if our children lose the ability to think critically.
It’s up to us to help them develop a critical mindset throughout their childhood. By instilling critical thinking skills from an early age, we will teach our kids how to effectively analyze the world around them. Here are some ways that you can enhance your children’s critical thinking skills at home.
🔹 Read books for fun
You can shift this pattern by reading with your children daily and discussing the material with them in ways that will challenge them to think critically. See if they can make connections between the story and their own life. Ask them to use what they have read so far to predict what will happen next. All this practice with fun stories will help them analyze more challenging pieces of literature, both fiction and non-fiction, as they get older.
🔹 Explore science
Science experiments and other related activities are fantastic ways to teach children how to think critically because they need to make predictions, evaluate data, and then interpret the scientific facts and findings to relate them to the world around them.
🔹 Show them how to answer their own questions and evaluate information
Take advantage of their curiosity to teach them how to look for answers to their questions in a critical way. Provide opportunities for them to speak to people who can provide them direct answers. For example, if they want to know what a fireman does, schedule a trip to the local fire station so your child can learn firsthand how everything works. When your children are doing research online, sit with them and help them find reliable sources.
Show them the difference between evidence-based information and opinions. Our goal is to give our children the critical thinking skills so that they can spot unreliable sources on their own. It is very important that they know how to question what they read and to evaluate its validity.
🔹 Build problem-solving skills
When dealing with conflicts, our children need to use critical thinking skills to understand the problem at hand and to come up with possible solutions. Use games, puzzles, riddles, mystery novels, physical challenges, and other activities to teach them problem solving skills.
🔹 Force them to memorize basic information
In order to exercise your kid’s memory muscle, you can go a bit retro on them. Make sure they know some basic facts by heart like their address and important phone numbers. As they get older, continue to add more facts to this list like relatives’ birthdays, math equations, and state capitals. Also, see if they can give directions from home to school and other places you frequent.
Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.
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