Building your kid’s critical thinking skills today can be the key to ensuring his bright future. And I can attest to that! I’ve seen a lot of successful people in the industry who have achieved what they have accomplished because of critical thinking skills. It’s no wonder that this is one of the things that is being taught in the Seriously Addictive Mathematics classes of Zeeka.
In just a few years, job descriptions and requirements have changed. I couldn’t imagine how fast things will change in the years to come. The question is, how do we prepare our kids for what’s ahead? How do we ensure their competitive edge when the time comes?
It’s just normal for us, parents, to get worried about these things. That’s why we do our best to send our kids to school and enrich them with experiences that will help them prepare for real life.
But first, let’s define what critical thinking skills are, and how conceptual understanding skills play a role in it.
What are Critical Thinking Skills?
Critical thinking skills are defined as a set of skills that lets you observe, experience, and analyze information to establish its integrity. It is our ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking and our response as an active learner rather than a passive observer.
These skills vary in levels, but also include the following:
– The ability to observe, analyze, and interpret topics in an objective and critical way
– Reflect, evaluate, and infer different arguments and angles in relation to a particular topic or issue
– Analyze and evaluate a point of view to determine its validity and strength
– Recognize negative points in an argument
– Ability to infer and predict implications of statements or arguments
– Explain and provide a structured reasoning and support for an argument
– Ability to solve problems and decision making
Critical thinking skills are the most sought-after skills in business today. People who have critical thinking skills can be a strong asset to any organization. These people are great communicators, fair leaders, and brilliant strategists that earn well and live purposeful, meaningful lives.
Sounds too good to be true? Definitely not.
As an entrepreneur, I get to be a part of different local and international communities. And every day, I get to meet awesome people who live amazing lives.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that these folks don’t ever have problems. It’s just that they respond better to challenges and find the best solutions to make things better. That’s how I imagine my child would be like in the future. And it’s the reason why I choose to invest in Zeeka today so she could get to have the life she wants.
Today, I’m sharing some tips on how I help Zeeka improve her critical thinking skills. Most of these things are pretty simple, doable things you can do every day. Some of them are worthy investments I make to ensure her future.
How to Improve your Child’s Critical Thinking Skills
1. Read to them and ask questions.
Do you agree that reading is the key to success? 🙂
Reading is actually equivalent to flexing the muscles in your brain. Every time you read, your brain creates different connections and responses, enriching your critical thinking. You get exposed to different ideas, travel to different places, and even change the way you see things with just books.
Reading also increases empathy and emotional intelligence. Stories help kids learn more about other people’s situations and recognize emotional cues. This helps them respond properly and learn more about human interactions.
This is why I invest in storybooks and read bedtime stories with Zeeka as much as I can. I also ask her questions about what she thinks and even let her tell her own stories through the pictures in the books.
Pro Tip: Kids learn through imitation so make sure you also read regularly at home. Kids who see their parents reading have higher chances of picking up books themselves.
You also don’t have to spend big bucks on books. But make sure to get topics that your kids are interested in, like dinosaurs and spaceships.
2. Let them play.
Children learn best through play. It reduces stress, improves balance, enriches cognitive skills and contributes to their social and literacy skills.
While it looks simple and complex, play is actually a form of expression that helps kids develop their imagination, dexterity, and emotional strength. It is through play that children make sense of the world around them. It also strengthens their immune system and also develops self-confidence and self-esteem.
It is recommended for parents to spend at least 15-20 minutes a day playing with their kids. Not only does it build your relationship with kids, it also gives you a chance to see the world through their kids’ eyes.
Pro Tip: Let your kids take the lead when you’re playing. As much as possible, don’t impose rigid rules especially on younger kids. Let them explore different materials and let them be creative with their play. As your kids grow older, you can introduce more structured games to help kids practice understanding and applying strategies and decision making.
3. Encourage them to try new things.
Children are naturally curious, and most of them learn through trial and error. And as parents, it’s important for us to encourage them as they go through this learning process.
It’s also an awesome opportunity for us to teach kids about life skills. Challenges are bound to arise, and children can be frustrated when encountering them. With proper guidance and processing, facing these challenges can teach them the value of resilience and courage.
Pro Tip: Kids need to know that they’re safe before they try new things. Strengthen their sense of security on a daily basis by making time for them regularly and paying attention every time. Assure them that mistakes are OK, and encourage them to find solutions to these errors.
4. Pause and wait.
As much as we love our kids, it’s also important for them to learn how to be independent.
Research shows that kids who are given tasks and responsibilities at home grow up to be more successful. They also need to have the chance to learn things and process their emotions on their own.
Yes, it does hurt when we see them cry when they’re frustrated or hurt. But we also need to understand that we won’t always be there to fix things for them.
Giving them the chance to do things on their own will benefit them in the long run and also help them become holistically stronger.
Pro Tip: Get a list of chores your kids can do and assign it to them. Here’s a quick guide of tasks according to age group and abilities.
5. Teach kids to love mathematics
Kids usually find Math difficult to understand because of its abstract nature. The good thing is, there are existing supplemental Math programs that make it easier for kids to understand.
S.A.M Singapore Math let kids learn Mathematics the fun way. With tools and strategies that encourage self-learning, kids of all ages get to learn more than the traditional processes.
Students of the method increase its students’ conceptual understanding. This means children get to grasp ideas and concepts and apply it to different situations and domains.
Solving problems can get frustrating. But this level of frustration can always be a good thing especially if it builds character and grit. As kids solve more problems, their self-esteem grows. It makes them more open to ideas and more confident to face the challenges that come their way.
Pro Tip: Enroll your kids in supplementary education programs like S.A.M Singapore Math to improve their critical thinking skills. Because there is no spoon feeding in S.A.M Singapore Math, kids learn independent thinking and life skills.
If you’d like to know more about S.A.M. Singapore Math, visit the website here.
And here’s a surprise!
To avail of the discount:
- Register via SMS/Text by sending: PD15 / Parent’s Name / Mobile No. / Email / City of nearest SAM branch to 0917-5826867
- Wait for the reply with the 6 digit code and save it.
- Show the 6 digit code at the SAM branch upon enrolment.
*Terms and Conditions:
- To avail of the 15%, register to the Promo Discount
- Show SAM center the 6-digit code from the reply text of SAM Head Office
- 15% off is to be applied on the first month of tuition fee only.
- 6-Digit code is unique and is assigned by SAM head office
- Only non-SAM students can avail of the 15% discount.
- Promo discount is valid from Aug. 27, 2018 to Feb. 28, 2019 only.
Build your kid’s critical thinking skills with these tips! Or better yet, share more tips with us in the comments section below. 🙂