In a world where technology advancement has engulf almost all aspects of our day to day lives, critical thinking becomes very vital skills to have and also help our children grow with the skills too.
To be succinct, every one need to be able to offer what a machine cannot considering the fact that trending machine are digitize and required IQ to operate it. I mean one has to bagged with reasons as to why you or your children cannot be replaced by artificial intelligence inbuilt programs in machine.
What is critical thinking?
Critical thinking is the ability to form a judgment from the analysis of facts. It is being rational, unbiased in the analysis and evaluation of factual evidence. This serves as a guide to what you believe and your steps of action.
To be able to think critically, one must be able to think analytically, have good communication, must be open minded, must have the ability to solve problems, asking thoughtful questions and most importantly been able to filter fact from assumptions.
How important is Critical thinking ?
Critical thinking is one of the most important skills that a child needs to be equipped with in the current fast developing technology world in order to face the future head-on.
Machine learning is a field currently engulfing the world advancement, almost in every facets of live endeavors are currently embracing artificial intelligence to make our day to day activities lots easier. And to be able to interact with digitize gadget found in most rural areas critical thinking skill is required.
Irrespective of our child’s chosen profession, large percentage of the gadget we use this day definitely require some degree of critical thinking to operate it optimally.
As parents, we must make sure our children are equipped with critical thinking skills that are necessary for their success in schools, chosen careers and in life long learning and advancement.
What you can do to grow your child critical thinking skills?
There lots of strategies and exercise you can embrace to help your child grow with critical thinking skills; however I will mention herein few most important ways you as a parent can do it.
Strategies and exercises to help your child grow critical thinking skills
The following are ways you can help your child grow critical thinking skills:
- Improve their reading comprehension skills
This is an essential first step to develop the skills needed to become excellent readers and critical thinkers. To be able to form a judgment from facts, one must first understand the facts and to do that; one must build extensively on how to comprehend what has been read.
Children must be able to distinguish between what they understand and what they do not about a statement, write up or a book.
As a parent, you can test and improve their reading comprehension skills by reading a passage and then asking what they understand in the passage they had just read. Doing this constantly is sure to bring out amazing results.
- Ask questions
Asking your children after reading a passage helps you know how well they understood what they have just read. It helps them to think actively as they read and focus their attention on what they’re learning.
By answering questions, they show that they have read, understood and interpreted what they have read. It also helps the parent identify the areas their child has trouble understanding and the extent of their reading comprehension skills.
Teach them also to challenge statements and ask questions to ensure that factual statements are established; it is a vital thinking building block. It also equips your child with the ability to recognize half true and untrue statements and to conceptualize ideas.
- Learn while playing
Children are most likely to learn and retain things when they do it while playing. Testing how things work is another fun way to developing critical thinking skills, and children do this the most when they play.
How can I make these objects balance on this ruler? How can I join these blocks to make a house? If I put a square inside a circle, will it fit? They ask themselves these questions when they play, and it contributes to their critical thinking skills.
Provide safe indoor, and outdoor spaces for healthy play. Make them try different things and see the reaction for themselves. These practical experiences provide a solid foundation for abstract critical thinking later on.
- Be patient
When you give your child a task to do, it is imperative to also give them ample time to complete the task. Give them time to think, attempt, and generate responses. As important as it is to deliver answers fast, it also is important to give them time so that they can deliver their best.
Whenever you ask a question, try to count to 60 silently while your child thinks before you intervene or speak. This gives them time to reflect and refine their response instead of spitting out the first thing that comes to their mind.
Also, try to avoid completing tasks for your child, observe and see the different ways they try to tackle the situation; this encourages continued problem-solving. For older kids, ask critical questions and provide adequate information so that they don’t get frustrated.
- Explore questions
Encourage your child to ask questions, and when they do, lead it to another question so that you can dive deep into the topic.
Ask them questions like; what do you think? What should he have done? Respect your child’s answer, whether you think it’s correct or not. You could further ask: why do you think so? How would you solve this problem? This helps to develop the skill of thinking analytically.
Whenever your child answers wrong, correct with love, let them learn to respectfully question facts and theories that do not sit well with them.
- Encourage thinking in new ways.
When children think differently, they are honing their problem-solving skills. The world needs fresh ideas and widely welcomes those who can think differently. Encourage this by asking questions like, what other ideas can we try? What can we do in a situation like this?
There will be times you might need to step in as a parent; it helps to model what you are trying to instill in your child. As you work through your decision-making process, verbalize what is going on in your head. Children learn by observation; they will learn to break down their approach step by step to get a solution to the problem.
- Connecting the dots
When reading, your child should be able to make connections. It helps them know how one paragraph relates to the other and possibly predict how a story might end. This instills the ability to analyze a situation and make a critical analysis of potential outcomes.
Help them form hypotheses while playing, ask your child, ‘if we do this, what do you think will happen?’, ‘try to predict what will happen next.
Have your child summarize a passage or a story; this helps them determine what is important and worth retaining in the story.
Let them identify the main ideas of the story and the role of the characters in the story. This helps them remember what they have read while honing their critical thinking and comprehension skills. By doing this, you know what they understand and what they do not in the passage.
- Solve riddles
Practice solving riddles with your children. This helps to task their brain and gets them better at analyzing information. When their brain actively tackles a question, they think about all the possible directions they can get the answer from, thereby developing a wide-range approach to solving problems.
- Read the newspaper together
When reading the newspaper, pick out some articles and read together with your child, let them tell apart the facts from bluffs. Let them also tell you what they think about the article, double-check facts together, showing them how to analyze and think critically.
- Play computer games
Computer games are known to be intelligent programs which require good thinking through learning and practise to be able to play it. It therefore stand a good take you can use to grow your child critical thinking skills.
Fact is, some few selected computer games are better of than the other, so you need to be selective by choosing educational computer game that will help them grow critical thinking skills in direction that will make them yo be creative and help them love to solve challenges.
- Engage them in STEM education
STEM education is another outstanding way to grow critical thinking skill in your child. As it is a curricular in school, it can as well be encourage at home.
STEM Education is an approach based on learning and development that integrates field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics which in turn makes students develop key functional skills which include problem solving, creative thinking etc.
Therefore, STEM Education tools built for this purpose can also be adopted to be use at home. You can find them as software and hardware. It has virtual environment that support simulation and practical hands on.
So having a computer system unit at home where those software can be installed is a good thing that will enhance interactive section where child can learn and boost his/her intelligence.
- Healthy diets
Prepare good and healthy meal rich in balance diets. Let then eat well, sleep well, exercise, drink enough water. As this will help their body system more functional, most especially the brain that does whole lots of thinking and reasoning will have sufficient nutrients to aids it performance.
- Watch documentaries
Documentaries are very interesting and educational. As it is a video or film examining event or person based on facts, it main purpose is to inform and educate. It has the ability to trigger curiosity in children and subject them to start cross examining facts.
This simply means digging deep into how stuffs work. Such is capable of helping kids to grow critical reasoning which is a product of critical thinking skills.
So far we have been looking into Critical thinking and how to help a child grow this indispensable skill timely. By now you have the information you need to help your child become analytic in thinking.
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While carrying out what you have learnt herein, kindly endeavor to be observant enough to see impact of what you are doing and teaching. Be welcoming enough to embrace positive change that will start taking place in your child.
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