Critical thinking is an essential skill in children’s development. It is achieved when a kid can internalize a topic or a book and then analyze, synthesize, conceptualize, and apply concepts and ideas in their everyday lives.
This skill is, however, not acquired overnight. Conversations and experiences play a significant role in developing this cognitive skill. Parents can also chip in by reading their children quality books.
Critical reading requires a parent to pause and let the children digest the teachings from the book. For example, a particular book might invoke debates on what the children have learned about a character’s personality.
Also, asking the kids open-ended questions challenges them to think deeply.
Books That Encourage Critical Thinking
Quality books that stimulate critical thinking have relevant content that you and your child can discuss. For children, fictional stories have been known to boost this skill.
Such books leave the readers wanting to understand the deductions and symbolism illustrated in the book and insights into critical thinking. Several good authors focus on teaching young readers essential ideas, like Children’s books by Connor Boyack.
Why is Reading to Kids Important?
When parents read to their kids, they nurture their love for reading. Here are some reasons why this is important:
• It improves their academic performance
• It encourages free imagination
• It fosters empathy
• They can better understand the world
• Increases creativity levels
• Cognitive development is boosted
• It helps them become more social
• They can put their focus on one thing
• It acts as a bonding time between the parent and the child
• Helps them expand their vocabulary
How Can Parents Read With Their Kids?
As discussed above, critical thinking is built by conversations, and books are a great place to start! Reading to your child at home can help add to what they’ve been taught in school. Reading sessions can be made more successful by:
1. Starting Young
When children are young and unable to read, they can still be able to view images in books and listen to you. Ensure you point and name the images on the book and be audible. This teaches your children about actual existing objects and the need for language.
Later, when your child can read properly, please continue reading to them aloud and ask questions that might trigger in-depth thinking.
2. Including It in Your Routine
Consistency is the key. Parents should try and read to their children daily. Reading should be taken seriously and a natural part of a kid’s routine. It should be as usual as brushing their teeth before bed.
Missing a day of reading should not discourage you from pursuing your goal of making it a routine! Also, as a parent, it’s important to know how to read to the kids. Remember that you must slow down and let your kids absorb the book’s contents.
3. Encouraging Variation
As a parent, picking the best book for your child is essential. Being able to vary the type of books is also paramount. Don’t always go for books with silly stories and basic ideas.
Let the children learn about critical ideas they can apply in real life is good. Let their imagination run wild by reading to them about the diverse cultures, history, and characters.
4. Being More Patient
Children sometimes get distracted by minor things during reading time. A parent should understand this situation more and be willing to be patient. Also, children are still learning is something to keep in mind.
5. Continuing the Discussion
Even if your child is no longer small and can read alone, reading together is encouraged. This creates an opportunity for your child to ask questions about parts that might be challenging to them.
Always encourage discussions after a book to help the children express their understanding of the books. Parents can achieve this by asking about their take on the moral lessons of the story or what a character’s actions talk about their personalities.
Critical thinking in children is encouraged by reading. So choose a book every family member can enjoy and boost their critical thinking skills together!