How to Build Your Child's Critical Thinking Skills - Kumon

How to Build Your Child’s Critical Thinking Skills

Strong critical thinking and reading comprehension skills are a fundamental part of education. They enhance children’s educational development, as well as provide them with skill sets needed to achieve goals later in life. Although the specialized skills can vary from career to career, the majority of fields that your children could be interested in require at least some level of critical thinking. These careers may range from doctors and lawyers to police officers, teachers, and scientists. Ensuring that your children have developed the critical thinking skills needed to succeed in school is one step toward helping them reach their goals. We have compiled a number of strategies you can use to help your children at home.

1. Monitoring Comprehension

Monitoring your children’s reading comprehension is the first step to helping them develop skills needed to become capable and enthusiastic readers. When they have the ability to distinguish between what they understand and what they do not about a given passage or text, you can help your children practice and figure out ways that can help them improve this skill.

2. Asking Questions

Having your children answer questions about a particular text can help prepare them to think actively as they read. It can also help focus their attention on what they can expect to learn about a specific text and can help them identify specific areas of a text that they are having trouble understanding.

3. Metacognition

Metacognition is another way of encouraging your child to think about thinking. It allows them to think about the strategies they can employ to help understand a given text. Having your children practice the ways they figure out what a passage means will ultimately improve their reading comprehension skills.

4. Making Connections

Helping your children make connections in a text allows them to practice their critical thinking skills as well as figure out how one paragraph can relate to another. Practice of these skills can help them predict how  a story might end.

5. Summarizing

Asking your children to summarize helps them determine what is important in the story. You can help your children remember what they have read and practice their critical thinking and comprehension skills by having your children identify a passage’s main idea. This can also help clarify what your children understand and what they don’t understand in a given text.

What are some additional strategies you can employ to help build your children’s critical thinking skills?