How to teach critical thinking to my child?
As a human being, a child comes with a brain and a complex nervous system ready to learn. With stimulation, repetition and practice, your child will speak, read, and write. These are life basic skills. Do they need more than that to solve problems creatively? How can he keep an open mind? Can he argue with persuasion? In other words, how can you help your child to master the important skill of critical thinking?
A critical thinker is curious, skeptical and humble. He can analyze evidences and make his own ideas rather than accept the findings of others as fact. There are numerous ways to teach critical appraisal. Let’s talk about reading a bedtime story to a young child.
Go over the picture book before reading the story to your child and get prepared. The illustrations and text should both tell a great story teaching values you want to teach. For example, my picture book Strike At Charles’ Farm teaches the value of responsibilities. I wrote a funny tale about animals on strike. Humor is a powerful teaching tool. Furthermore, if your child has fun reading a book with you, he will want to read another book.
Ask your child to make comparisons
For example, you may ask your child: “Can you tell me the difference between dogs and cats?” Then, help him dig his answer by asking questions about their food, their daily activities, and questions about their physical difference.
Ask your child to imagine what is coming next
Before turning pages, ask your child what is coming next. Let him imagine his own story and ask why it should be as he thinks. You may be surprised by his imagination. Let him explain his decision. You can also ask him to tell you his own ending.
Classify in two main categories facts vs opinions
When you first read the book, select some facts such as — Cow gives milk—or — Bees make honey — and opinion such as — The horse wants lighter carts to draw—. After the story, go back on these pages and ask your child to make two categories of evidence “facts and opinion”. Making the difference between facts and opinions is mandatory to become a critical thinker.
Make a quiz after telling the story. Ask questions about the story line and let your child’s answer. To help him, give him options. Make him laugh by giving impossible options such as—Who lays eggs in Charles’ Farm? —Coco the hen is the right answer; Hoof the horse is an impossible option. If your child is old enough, you can also ask him to create his own quiz and ask you his own questions.
When I write a picture book, I create characters and story lines to help young child becoming a critical thinker? Will this story help the reader to go beyond the facts? Will the kid have fun and be eager to read the story again or another book? This is my mission.
For more details on my Work, visit my Website www.DrNicoleBook.com.