Igniting Curiosity in Children

Igniting Curiosity in Children - Saturday February 2nd, 2019

De-railing Uncritical Trains of Thought

The term “Critical thinking skills” is often part of many academic conversations because having and using this particular set of skills can produce ideas and thought structures which are sturdy and reliable.  While there is no definitive list of skills or abilities which will guarantee cognitive success, there are a number of elements that can be part of the category called “Critical thinking skills.”  A short list we have found helpful includes the ability to analyze, discern, infer, reason, interpret, and generate. 

When working with the student in your life, a powerful way to engage is to ask questions which jumpstart critical thinking in the area of analysis.  In looking at analyzing something, “How” and “Why” questions are helpful in that they explore how to reach conclusions by breaking down the whole into its parts.  Often, 4-5 year olds are experts at asking “Why” questions.  While many adults may lose their patience with a plethora of “Why” questions, young children who ask,  “Why” are taking their first steps into the world of critical thinking skills.  As the student in your life matures, begin to ask “How” questions.  These questions encourage looking at the process of how something gets accomplished or done.  To add a bit of unpredictability to your conversations with the student in your life, ask “Why” questions when you would normally ask “How.”  Instead of asking, “How was school today?” Ask- “Why was school interesting today?” 

In our next blog, we will build on asking questions that shake up predictable trains of thought. 

Until our next blog, happy engagement with the student in your life. 

Igniting Curiosity in Children - Tuesday January 22nd, 2019

Our staff at Crystal Children and Teacher Supply is here to support parents, educators, and students in exploring and finding new opportunities to engage with the world around them such that students are prepared to excel in their academic and social endeavors.  Each month we will post The Igniting Curiosity blog.  The intention of this blog is to be a guide and a full partner with educators- which includes all of us.  The Igniting Curiosity blog will touch upon issues and concerns which matter to parents, educators, and students.  We look forward to connecting with you via our blog, tutorial services, and store events.   We want to meet you and would appreciate your feedback. 


Critical Thinking Skills- and the Power of Curiosity

Children have natural curiosity.  Beginning with the reach and gaze of infants toward their caregivers, to the climbing skills of many toddlers- the curious part of us is in constant motion.  The challenge facing many parents is working with teachers and educators to maintain and encourage that curiosity in their children as their young ones begin to face life beyond the perimeters of their own homes. 

Albert Einstein once said, “I have no special talents.  I am only passionately curious.”  While the world would beg to differ regarding Professor Einstein not having special talents, his words do speak to the importance of cultivating a life-long curiosity.  A question that pleads to be asked is, “My child is bored with everything except her phone and her video games, so how can I get her to be curious?” One way to spur curiosity is to learn a few points regarding her phone or her favorite video game, and ask one question which will spark her critical thinking skills.  For example, “Who deserves recognition for developing this game?” or “What are a couple of new upgrades on the phone you want?”  While this first step may not produce a heart to heart discussion, you will be engaging with your child in a way which will cause her to think of her phone and video games in a new way.    

In our next blog, we will look a bit closer on how to encourage your children to activate their critical thinking skills.