With all the knowledge and experiences we provide to our children are we teaching them to think, see a problem or answer a question?
Does our education system teach our children to follow a learned process to solve a problem? This is one very important area of learning, however, being able to identify issues before they are there or even to solve the problem involves a much more in-depth thought pattern.
Can we enhance this at home by teaching our children to think?
Heather Welch from Edx Education gives us five easy ways in which parents and caregivers can encourage children to think during the early years.
- Choices – It may be as simple as choosing their own clothes (even if they don’t match) deciding on what to spend their pocket money on, choosing from a menu, a sport, books. Explain your reasons for a good choice, why certain activities are a bad choice
- Listen – List to them when they are trying to explain to you the difference between a character in their game, story or new sport they played, etc. Ask open-ended questions so they have to explain to you the different concepts, encourage them to tell a story.
- Explore – Allow them to take a few risks (within reason and supervised) Let them make their potions, play with water, climb trees build forts, make up their own games at the park and do many more activities.
- Experiment – Talk to them about things to solve. For Example, plant tomatoes in four areas around your garden near shade, sunlight each area looking a little different. Then experiment, why did it grow here and not here? Take them grocery shopping, look at why we pack the trolley, why we choose certain foods?
- Experiences or Opportunities – Try different activities, allow them to find their passion. What do they love doing? Try to engage with them with their interests. Take them to local markets and keep an open mind about the culture around them, talk about food on the shelves from around the world.
Last of all spend time with your children, engage them in your interests or even things you use to do as children. In life sometimes we become busy and make decisions for our little ones.
If we encourage them to think we are teaching them how to be leaders in their school community and workplace and we are making sure they are ready for the world which we are going to leave them.