How to Encourage Critical Thinking at Home

Father playing with childrenOne of the differences between ACT and SAT is that the former includes a science portion, which is not necessarily a test of knowledge but a measurement of critical thinking skills.

Businesses and large organizations have realized that there is a gap between their requirements for analytical thinking and their new hires’ ability to do that.

The best way to prepare your kids for the future is to develop their ability and inclination to think deeply. Teach them how to view a situation from different perspectives and thus solve intellectual problems. As parents, what are some of the steps that you can take to help your young learners?

Enroll them in supplementary courses

A great ACT prep course won’t spoon-feed information. These courses are specifically designed to develop the necessary skills to pass the test, including critical thinking exercises and practice tests. According to the Foundation for Critical Thinking, only 9% of faculty teaches this skill in regular classes.

Emphasize the importance of curiosity

There’s too much value placed on “knowing a lot” but not on analyzing the information they learn. Encourage your kids to ask questions, even the ones that sound stupid or silly, and reward them not just for their grades but their efforts to find out more even if this is outside of school work.

Join them in celebrating even small discoveries

Cover one end of a straw, and it will stop water from flowing out of the opposite hole. This might not be amazing for you, but for young minds discovering the world for the first time, this is pretty amazing. Be excited when they are excited.

Be a critical thinker yourself

Adults often have strongly held and fixed beliefs. Not being open-minded, though, is a barrier to critical thinking. This is a trait children will easily pick up from their mentors at home and in school.

As they grow into adults, it becomes increasingly hard to form the habit of deep thinking — or seeing beyond the surface of an issue. Start them off early and maintain the efforts consistently.