“It takes brilliant imagination to be a teacher; it takes brilliant reasoning power to be happy in this world. If all children were taught to reason as they learned a few facts, they would have what nature intended for them to have, a better castle for their defense.” – L. Ron Hubbard, Ron Magazine on Education
No matter our personal education, religion, beliefs or creeds, we can probably all agree on this point:
With hordes of data and advertisements aimed at our children on a daily basis, CHILDREN MUST BE ABLE TO REASON (*to use logic to spot actual truth)
If they are to succeed in life, they have to know how to filter information – including yours.
They need to be able to logically REASON out for themselves what to believe, what to suspect, what to verify and what to toss out immediately. It is the most important skill we as parents and teachers can pass on to our offspring and future generations.
Most of us have no intention of participating in creating an army of TV-addicted, order-following, unquestioning robots who think and do as mass media wills and directs them. Mindless blindness is not our goal.
Remember – your kid may be the one who chooses your future retirement accommodations and controls your finances. So you are grooming them now to make wise choices for your own sake and sanity, if for no other reason.
TEACH KIDS HOW TO REASON – SHARPEN their LOGIC SKILLS
1. Teach your kids how to play Chess and encourage them to play often.
This helps teach them to think ahead with strategy based on the idea of “outwitting” opponents.
2. Embrace electronic teaching aids.
Most schools are incorporating I-Pads, laptops and other electronic devices that SPEED UP the educational process and STRENGTHEN the skills these kids need to function and communicate in the 21st Century.
There are a great many game Apps that help sharpen logic skills. I pre-loaded my 8-year-old son’s I-Pad with plenty of mind-challenging Apps and I regularly add new ones as I find them. I will know I have truly succeeded when he challenges my choice of Apps and presents arguments as to why it should or shouldn’t be played, including recommendations of his own. www.commonsensemedia.org/app-reviews is a good site to start with.
3. Discuss what you watch on TV, including commercials.
After watching a commercial with my son I might ask, “Did that make you want to buy it?” If he replies “Yes,” I point out that whoever designed and created the ad had done their job, since that was the purpose of the commercial.
This type of dialogue allows him to understand the intention behind the ad, so he no longer has to have “buying urges” he just “feels” but can’t explain.
4. Reply to their questions whenever possible with, “What do you think?”
It allows them to review their own thought process before you give them your opinion – or some view you might secretly wish they would just blindly follow. But come on people, suck it up; no mindless robots for our next generation, please.
5. Be sure to tell your child “This is my opinion,” or “This is what I think, but it may not be true.”
You do not want them putting any one person on a pedestal (including you) and idolizing them to a point where they blindly agree or follow that person.
There’s a big difference between reasoned loyalty and blind following.
6. Admit when you are wrong and fix whatever you did, said or messed-up.
Do this right in front of the child, so they can see it’s okay to be wrong or mess up as long as you fix it and make it right.
7. Teach kids to question behavior they cannot think with.
Lately, there hasn’t been a day that my son or students didn’t ask me questions for which I honestly didn’t know the full answer. My natural response has become “Let’s research that,” and we do. We “Google” and analyze away. Because they want to know the answer, they are fully willing to study whatever the subject requires. Use this willingness as a perfect opportunity to show them what I call “Research Reasoning” skills. I coined the phrase myself – feel free to use it.
Here’s to unbridled imagination, streaming from true reasoning power!
* Brought to you by the letter “R” for “Research Reasoning”
Written by Dana Houston Jackson – Teacher and YouthMUSE