Education is quickly becoming a competitive field. There is so much information as well as expensive programs available to us more than any other time in history. As parents it’s our responsibility to be sure what we choose for our children is clear and focused on the family as a whole as well as address individual needs of each child.
I always begin with identifying each child’s highest values. Once you know their values, the strengths and areas for improvement can be honed in on allowing you to direct the focus of their training on a direction aligned with their highest values. This will give them the leading edge needed to move forward in our quickly evolving society.
In my previous article What Will Give Your Child The Leading Edge, I covered the discovery process with the admissions board at Texas A&M University dealing with the “what”. In this week’s article I delve into the “how”. The following topics when mastered will give your child the leading edge.
As you’re reading the “how,” see it as something you experience in your everyday living through your parent partnership loving your children unconditionally. I don’t want you to go out and buy a stack of curriculum, hand out worksheets or create a formal class. All that is needed is for your family to love more, live more and learn more through shared experiences.
How to cover the following 7 topics in your homeschool and everyday living to give your child the leading edge:
- Ethical reasoning
Ethics is something you will be living and your child will learn in the way that you live. This is all about the Golden Rule: Do to others what you would have them do to you. On the other hand ethical reasoning is a way of thinking about issues and the implications what’s involved. This is lived out day in and day out as you go through life facing real life situations. A homeschool is a perfect place for this to cultivate because families are involved in their world and have daily experiences to use ethical reasoning. Whether it’s relating to a sibling, taking care of a pet, or reading the classics and discussing how the characters worked through ethical reasoning, it all comes down to living more life to all and less to none.
- Critical thinking
Every day you can leverage your experiences to teach critical thinking. As you’re guiding your children simultaneously you increase in your critical thinking skills. It’s for the whole family! Keep the conversations going by asking questions out of genuine curiosity. Lectures should be no more than 30 seconds to inspire questions. This means don’t be afraid of constructive controversy. Let them hash out controversial topics, but make sure it’s respectful for all. Don’t feel like you have to always hold the reins. As you let go and let the children lead thy will step up.
Becoming an effective communicator can result in happier, more successful people with greater earning potential. Early skills can be learned as easy as playing games like telephone when children are young then working up to having your child practice how to be responsible with answering the real phone and taking messages. Have your child navigate you home from the store or on a vacation. Have a round table game at dinner and let each person take a turn talking for one minute about their favorite topic without saying “um”, “er”, “uh”, “like”, or “ya’ know.” Other ways include creating presentations within the family as well as larger groups, finishing a story, or even doing an impromptu speech for 2 minutes.
That’s three of the seven topics. I will continue with the next four in the next blog post including compassion, empathy, leadership, and maturity. When you’re fully present with your children, engaged and practice the above suggestions, children will naturally progress to greater levels of ethical reasoning, critical thinking and communication. Remember, actions speak louder than words so model what you want to see in your children.
Parents Inspired Action:
After reading this article, checking in on your child’s highest values and keeping in mind their strengths; make a short checklist of items you would like to begin implementing in your every day to bring in the ethical reasoning, critical thinking and communication skills.
What are your favorite ways to nurture your children in ethical resonating, critical thinking and communication skills? Please share your thoughts on this by leaving a comment below.
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Peace and love,
About Donna Vail
Donna Vail, Education and Parenting Specialist, is founder of An Inspired Education and the Mentor Mastery Inner Circle, the proven step-by-step program dedicated to maximizing the success in the human potential through homeschooling and life mastery for the whole family. She creates educational programs for homeschool children, “after-school” study programs for public schooled children and personal development for moms, while homeschooling her five children. Get free tips and resources from Donna Vail at: www.donnavailinternational.com