Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Three most important things to teach your children...

Besides transferring your core beliefs--such as your faith, and things like honesty and kindness--which are paramount, what are the three main academic things you should teach your children?

This is my very own list done with absolutely no scientific studies or animal testing. No children or pets were hurt while I found the answer to this all important question.

  • Read
  • Think
  • Communicate
That's it! If you can teach your child to read and think and communicate, they have it made. Once the key to reading unlocks the secret to knowledge, you have accomplished step #. Then, they need to be able to think--really think--about what they have read, what they have heard, what they have experienced and to analyze and compare to find out what the truth or reality is. This is not easy.

Children do not learn to think by answering the questions [or assessments if you want to use the fancier terminology] at the end of the chapter. They don't learn to think by someone telling them what to think. They learn to think by thinking, by comparing, by reading and applying what they have learned. They learn to think by answering questions about how what they read or heard can be applied to real life, or how it compares with what they know, or how it compares with something else they have read. They learn to think by talking to you. That is step #2.

And that is where step #3 comes in. In order to succeed children need to learn how to communicate what they think. They need to be able to look someone in the eye and have a conversation. They need to be taught to have good written communication skills. They need to be able to express themselves to others in a concise and clear manner, both verbally and in in writing.

If they can do these three things they will do well in higher education, in a job and in interpersonal relationships. In order to succeed in this culture; reading, thinking and communicating are the most important skills you can teach your child.

I believe reading to your children from a young age, discussing with them what you have read to them, and then asking them to tell back or narrate what the story was about or why it was important is a great way to begin to teach the THREE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS. As your child grows you can continue discussing what they are reading and include them in discussions of politics, or religion or other things to sharpen their minds--to help them critically think about things and not to just accept and repeat what someone else has concluded.

  • Read
  • Think
  • Communicate

That's it.

Take care,
Jill

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