It is very important that parents use the time during the holidays wisely. The extended break is an opportunity to provide time, structure and experiences to develop your child’s critical thinking skills. There are a number of important steps to take in order to maximize the opportunity for your child to learn to think, reason, and think critically.
Playing time and thinking time
It is important for parents and children to have a balance during the holidays. This means that while the holidays are a time for kids to take a decent break, it doesn’t mean they are abstaining from books for five weeks. There should be days and even weeks when there is no expectation of children doing structured thinking, a balanced life means that the holidays can have time for reflection and lots of play time. Time for interactions social is included, although it is slightly more difficult on these holidays due to Omicron.
First, make sure there is an appropriate structure for each day. Proper structure comes in the form of early discipline, productive thinking with a clear mind in the morning, and free play, social interactions, watching TV, and downtime later. Most children feel more secure, better guided, and also more fulfilled personally when the days are predictable and balanced.
A significant and important skill, arguably one of the fundamentals of critical thinking, is the discipline and regularity of daily reading. Reading exposes children to language, ideas, a world of imagination, perspectives as well as the ability to improve their overall understanding. An important aspect of reading is the ability to read aloud with confidence.
Reading out loud
Allow the children time to read aloud. Indeed, parents themselves should read aloud with their children and use it as a basis to discuss what they read, assess reading comprehension as well as use it as an opportunity to improve expression. , articulation and comprehension of language.
Parents can invest in books that have structured problems and worked solutions. Investing in printed materials can provide a number of different things that can help with thinking. First, the materials prepared help provide structure. Second, the prepared material can help parents to know age and stage expectations. This means that parents can understand the type of thinking skills that would be indicative of a child at a particular age or with a particular ability level. Third, the prepared material gives children the opportunity to work on their own. It is often by working alone that children learn best how they think.
Answers count and answers don’t count
It is very common for parents to obsess over their children ‘being right’. When teaching children to think, “being right” is much less important than understanding how to do it. That is, the focus should be on the process and not on the product.
Learn the right strategies
When developing thinking skills, children need to learn a range of strategies. While there are structured methodologies for responding to critical thinking problems, there is also a common pattern in the questions which can mean that there are several different ways to come to correct conclusions. Parents need to be open to other ways of solving problems, and not obsess over how the way they learn is the only way children learn.
Take risks without knowing
The real development of critical thinking occurs when children can attempt questions even if they are not sure where they are going in their treatment. This is proof that children are not afraid to take risks at school. Taking risks in school means that children will attempt to solve problems by trying a variety of methods, even when the initial outcome is uncertain. It is by experimenting that children learn to gain self-confidence. When parents are too obsessed with kids being right, they limit or stifle children’s ability to learn to develop the ability to try something new.
Not all questions need an answer
Some parents are very determined to answer all the questions a child asks. In my opinion, it can lead to frantic activity on the part of the parents and very little effort on the part of the children. Parents need to develop the ability to discern between questions that are important to answer and those that are just passing time. If you are a parent who remembers the question the child has forgotten and revisits it, you may need to breathe and think about taking time. Not all questions need an answer. It is healthy to live with the uncertainty of some things that are unknown.
Join a class
During the holidays there are always courses available which provide structure and material to support children and their critical thinking. It can be very helpful for parents and also encouraging to enroll their child in such classes. However, before enrolling, parents should be careful to ask questions about who wrote the materials, to what extent they correspond to an understanding of critical thinking, and what the expected outcomes of these courses are. In this way, parents can make informed decisions about the value of such classes.
Finally, I will often start teaching critical thinking with a joke or puzzle. It is quite expected. The purpose of this is threefold. First, learning should be fun. Second, when people tell jokes, it often requires a type of thinking that incorporates critical and creative abilities. Third, humor carries the expectation of additional humor. Therefore, students are open and tend to look forward to what they learn.
In summary, the holidays are a great opportunity to give your child both a break from school and a start to developing habits that strengthen the ability to think critically.
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