Critical Thinkers: How to Prioritize Education in the Home

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criticalthinkersPrioritizing education in the home is a huge factor in how your child will respond to school and homework. By focusing on your child’s long-term development, you can improve his or her overall ability to solve complex problems and excel in school and life.

Rick Ackerly, the author of The Genius in Every Child, suggests that by focusing on creating enthusiasm in your child for accomplishing goals, you can promote a positive environment that fosters their intelligence. The emphasis on test scores is detrimental to the creativity a child needs to perform at their very best. By making a few changes around the home, you can improve your child’s ability to achieve.

Have Important Conversations

It’s important to start talking with your child about important issues early on to help her form opinions and develop the ability to think. Instead of asking general questions about your child’s day, think about more specific questions you can ask. Start with a leading question, such as “What was your favorite part of the day?” Based on her answer, you can fine-tune that question to get more specific and thoughtful answers.

If your child responds by saying she enjoyed a show about bunnies, ask her if she thinks other kids her age like bunnies too. Keep moving the conversation forward and think of ways you can get your child to think critically. Make this a priority in your home. Ask probing questions and the beginning, middle and end of the day to prioritize the importance of critical and creative thinking.

Maintaining Love While Boundary Testing

Kids aren’t afraid to test boundaries, but they must also be aware of any consequences and think before they act. Your child will naturally test the boundaries you place, but you must respond to these tests with forgiveness while employing consequences. Your child must learn to weigh the consequences of actions with the perceived benefit.

Be forgiving of your child when they break a rule, but remain firm about any consequences that you’ve set in place. Doing so will ensure your child learns responsibility while allowing space to be creative. Set boundaries on work, play and set aside a time where the child can express themselves freely for 30 minutes to an hour each day. During this free play, the only restrictions should be safety-based.

Complete Your Education

One way to improve your child’s access to education is to boost your own. You don’t have to attend a physical classroom either. Most universities now offer complete advanced degrees to help you improve your level of education and open up new career opportunities.

Pursuing an advanced degree has a profound effect on your child, as she will begin to see that education is valued in your home and will seek to improve her own. Make it a point to talk with your child about how much you enjoy your classes, and get her to talk about her own educational initiatives. Make this a daily habit, so you instill the importance of work and education.

Boost Their Self-Esteem

Allowing your child to fail is crucial, but you must follow-up any failure with an exercise that boosts their self-esteem. Explain that even though you fail at a challenge, the mere act of attempting the challenge makes the child better capable of completing the next challenge well. Make time every day to give your child one challenging educational activity, and congratulate their work even if they fail the task.

A critical-thinking child is reared not through an ordered set of tasks and activities, but through the development of behaviors designed to help them meet and complete challenges. Place a priority on creativity, completing challenges and fair consequences for breaking rules, and your child will begin to think about education in a new light. Your child will see education as a gateway to a new and exciting world that can lead to great adventures in life.

Anica is a professional content and copywriter from San Francisco, California. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here. Anica writes on behalf of Norwich University, which offers a variety of degrees including an online master’s in history.


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