Homeschooling scares a lot of newcomers, and understandably so. There is a lot to be concerned about, from wondering how your children will fare in social activities to how they will get their PE credits to whether they will stir up too much trouble from being home all the time.
When they first started homeschooling, this homeschool dad and his wife worried about whether or not their children would develop the ability to thinking critically.
- Teach your children to become critical thinkers, not just consumers of information.
Teach your children to become critical thinkers, not just consumers of information.
From kindergarten through high school, students encounter an abundance of information. There are at least three ways a student can deal with all this content. One, they can ignore it, slack off, and flunk school. Two, they can learn the information—but only memorize and not understand it—to pass exams and get a diploma. Finally, they can comprehend the information, understanding its effects and applications to the real world and connections to other subjects, thereby becoming mature critical thinkers.
It’s this third option, of course, that parents want their children to take.
This homeschool dad was concerned his children might not develop critical-thinking skills. But by observing how his children treat the information they are learning, study things outside of school that interest them, and write papers that incorporate content from multiple subjects, this dad realized that they are indeed becoming critical thinkers and that his homeschooling efforts are working.
How can I apply this to my life?
Ultimately, students will determine what they will do with the information presented to them. However, you can still play a significant role in encouraging your children to apply what they have learned. Ask them questions about the material they are learning, such as its application to real world circumstances, to get their gears turning as they develop critical thinking habits.
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