by Marilynne Eichinger
Museum Tour Catalog
Helping your child to think independently and critically is a difficult challenge of parenthood. Equally challenging can be the process of supporting your child through homework without doing it for them. As parents, most of us remember doing homework and receiving assistance from adults to complete it. Few of us, however, were taught at "Parents University" to assist our children in completing their homework.
This page will address way to help your child complete academic goals.
What is meant by "The Process of Thinking"?
Thinking and being aware of our own thoughts are skills that make us human. Thinking is an active process. It encompasses events that range from daydreaming to problem solving. It is a kind of ongoing, internal dialogue that accompanies actions like performing a task, observing a scene, or expressing an opinion.
What Does "Teaching Thinking in School" Mean?
The "teaching thinking" movement goes beyond the learning of facts. It encourages children to ask questions of the information and ideas presented in class. It helps them learn how to identify unstated assumptions, to form and defend opinions, to see relationships between events and ideas.
There are many approaches to teaching thinking. Some parents and educators teach students to use a set of identifiable skills - such as discriminating between relevant and irrelevant points in a particular argument, or generating questions from written material. Others try to involve students in experiences that will help them think more actively - such as a planned dinnertime debate about current events.
How Can Parents Help Their Children Think More Actively?
- Encourage your children to ask questions about the world around them.
- When reading to or with young children, ask them to imagine what will happen next in the story.
- Actively listen to your children's conversation, responding seriously and non-judgmentally to the questions they raise.
- When your children express feelings, ask why they feel that way.
- Suggest that your children find facts to support their opinions, and then encourage them to locate information relevant to their opinions.
- Use entertainment - a TV program or a movie - as the basis of family discussions.
- Use daily activities as occasions for learning. For example, instead of sending a child to the store with a simple list of items to purchase, talk with the child first about how much each item might cost, how much all the items might cost, how much all the items might add up to, and estimate how much change s/he should receive.
- Reward your children for inquisitive and/or creative activity that is productive.
- Ask your children what questions their teachers are raising in class. For example, a history class might be "asking" how American westward expansion began.
If your children are active participants in a home where there is talk about the why and the how of things, they are more likely to be active thinkers both in and out of school.
This article provided by the Family Content Archives at: http://www.Family-Content.com
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