Support Their Inclination to Be Critical Thinkers
Most young children are enthralled by challenging games they can master. Encourage that natural inclination by nurturing the instinct for critical thinking in your child. Start by asking questions that are simple on the surface but allow for in-depth thinking. For example, ask why your kids want something or how they figured out an answer.
In everyday conversation with your children, here are some common examples of questions you may want to repeat:
How did you figure that out?
What do you wish that your friend knew about that?
Who might agree with you about that?
Why do you want that?
How will that make you happy?
Encourage children to consider how other peoples’ perspectives might clash with theirs. This can be done in simple ways. For example, if a child doesn’t want to share a toy, encourage them to think about why their friend might want to use it, too. If their desire to share the toy doesn’t change, helping them figure out a compromise can encourage critical thinking.
Encourage a Variety of Learning Styles
Although some theories suggest that a child will be one type of learner, most kids are quite happy learning in a variety of ways. According to Scientific American, visual learners can learn just as well through hands-on activities and reading books. Encourage your children to learn in any ways that come naturally to them, then encourage them to try something new.
Nurture Interests That May Become Hobbies
Encourage knowledge acquisition when your kids are genuinely interested in a topic. For example, if a small child is fascinated by flight, you may take them to an aviation museum that has a program for kids. This will show children that being interested and curious about a topic can lead to fun and rewarding activities.
As they learn more about flight through games and activities, they may discover that isn’t really something they care about. If that happens, encourage kids to come back to it later. For the moment, you may want to encourage them to pursue their next interest. Learning should remain a joyful exploration for young children, never something that’s forced.
Take Kids to the Library
If your children ask a question that you cannot answer, let them know that it is a good question. Then, tell them you’re excited because you two can find out the answer together. Make going to the library a fun adventure of discovery. Rather than get frustrated over what you don’t know, this show children how fun it can be to seek new information.
Also, if a child’s first trip to the library is to get information they want to know, it can leave an especially positive impression of libraries. Although young children may be too young to use a reference section or utilize some of the more complex parts of the library, they will learn about the fun of simple research to get the facts they want or need to know.
Show an Enthusiasm for Learning
Small children are consistently observing the world around them as they naturally try to learn. They most often observe their parents, so what you do and say around them can have a big impact on how they perceive learning. Nurture this natural curiosity and set a good example by often expressing your own enthusiasm for learning.
Finally, contact the Advantage Learning Center to speak to a caring member of the team about the programs we offer. We prioritize providing each student with a safe, nurturing, challenging and loving environment. We design our curriculums to address the unique needs of each student, so each child has the chance to continue their love of learning in the classroom.