It’s no secret I’m a homeschooling advocate. The reason being that, if your child is enrolled in the compulsory educational system, this system is KNOWN for sucking the imagination out of children and turning them into obedient little drones. Let’s keep it real, I went to public school and you, the reader, most likely did too. Were questions encouraged? What about intelligent discourse? Pointing out inconsistencies or inaccuracies in the school curriculum? We all know that’s a QUALIFIED NO! Hence, my whole reasoning behind my advocacy of homeschooling one’s children.
With that being said, because of the learning environment that one’s child is dropped into and the school administrators enforcement and upholding of it, it is no wonder that our children come out tending to NOT question anything…anything. Critical thinking is a foreign concept and because the news said it, or someone with “authority” said it, they don’t question it. This can be problematic in the long run. We need the youth to ask questions. We need all people to be asking questions if something doesn’t look or “feel right”.
As parents, there is something we can do about this, teach our children to ask questions that will help them develop their critical thinking skills. In an article by Yvonna Graham, M.Ed, she suggests 24 specific questions that will assist parents in their endeavor. It is important to ask these questions as your child is trying to problem-solve in new situations, based on information they already have or know.
- What can you do about that?
- Do you have some other ideas?
- What could you substitute for that?
- Do you see any advantages or disadvantages?
- When is the best time to do it?
- Where is the best place to do it?
- Who can we ask?
- What do we need to do first?
- What’s likely to happen if we do that?
- What happened when you tried that?
- Do you have an idea why that happened?
- Could we test that idea with an experiment?
- How will we know if that works?
- How will we know that’s true?
- Where could we find more information?
- Why do you think that?
- Is that always true?
- Tell me more.
- Let’s think of an example.
- Can you explain that a little more?
- Could we break this big problem into smaller pieces?
- Do you think your idea is different from his? How?
- How is your idea the same as hers?
- Could you convince him to do that? What would you say?
As you can see, any of these questions can be asked in a myriad of various life situations, such as, trying a new recipe, sibling arguments, peer arguments, observing something on social media, and the list goes on!
If you have a child that has dyslexia, then you may want to check out more of Yvonna Graham’s, M.Ed. work at dyslexiakit.net.
See you on the next post!