5 Ways to Promote Critical Thinking in Your Child

On of the advantages of homeschooling is that we are able to work with our children in an environment where no one will accidentally (or willingly) give our children the solutions to problems.  Our kids can methodically go through the steps of solving a problem from beginning to end whether it takes a few minutes or a few weeks.

Call me crazy, but I have great satisfaction in watching the "wheels turn" as my kids try to figure something out, no matter what the subject may be.  Critical thinking is an essential skill my kids will continually use today and in the future within all parts of life.  Therefore it is my goal to exercise the critical thinking skills of my kids throughout their entire education.  Are you interested in promoting critical thinking with your own children?  Here are some ideas that have worked for me:

  1. When your child is faced with a challenge, have your child try, try, try, and try again!  If one method isn't working, suggest that they try another method.  You might even have them try the task again at another time, so they can "sit" on their problem.    
  2. Invite your child to talk through their task.  Ask open-ended questions to help guide their thinking process.  Sometimes just saying things aloud and having the chance to discuss options helps bring forth more ideas.
  3. Give your kids space.  Walk into a different part of the room or to a different part of the house so your kids don't use you as a crutch.  Sometimes separation helps also give kids more confidence that they are able to succeed on their own.  
  4. Promote creativity in your child.  Have a variety of resources and craft supplies readily available so your kids can experiment with different methods of problem-solving.  Encourage them to think outside the box!
  5. Let your kids reflect.  Whether through conservation or journal writing, give your kids a chance to discuss what worked and what didn't.
What do you do to promote your kids critical thinking skills?  Add your ideas in the comments below!

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