Today after my son had finished what we had planned he got out an encyclopaedia about military aircraft we had recently purchased and just sat for a while reading and telling me facts about different aircrafts as I was preparing lunch.
Why am I telling you this?
It started me thinking about allowing our children to follow their passions. Military aircraft is a relatively new passion here but one that I wanted to nurture, hence the new book, well second hand as then it only cost the grand total of £1.50.
Over the years of home educating I have learnt how to preserve my child’s passion for learning. We have done this by following our child’s interests, adding great books, documentaries and websites plus some adult guidance. The main things we have left out, that is done in schools, is tests and assessments.
I believe that this has led to my child’s continued joy and engagement with learning.
This thought led to me asking myself how do we teach our children how to think and not what to think?
I am home educating because I would like my child to be able to think for himself and question everything, which he does a pretty good job at all of the time. Do you ever wish that your child would just stop talking for two minutes? Just two minute’s peace without constant talking or questions. Sorry I digress!
How to teach our children how to think
The answer that came to mind immediately was that we give them freedom. In home educating our children have the freedom and opportunities to think and solve things for themselves.
We can allow our children to create and allow them time to figure things out and struggle if needed with a problem. We can allow them the freedom to test ideas and either succeed or fail. Yes they need the guidance of adults to facilitate but not to give them the solution.
As parents we can give our children the freedom to think, but also the environment and opportunities to think. As parents we can give insights into different ways of thinking and give them additional viewpoints but our children can come to their own conclusion.
Our children have unlimited potential and are creative and innovative when presented with a challenge and the freedom to solve. Our job as parents is to nurture this passion and thinking and to facilitate opportunities for our children.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this.