Current Events Study Grows Leadership Skills

Does your homeschooling family regularly use or discuss current events as part of your learning program? Our family did and this encouraged critical thinking and lively discussions. It also was a catalyst for futher study on a specific topic, country or politics. You will be surprised to see how one simple subject, such as the recent 2014 Olympics or the political situation in the Ukraine, will spread its tentacles into many areas and give rise to great knowledge gathering experiences. There is no doubt that letting children voice their opinions or ask pointed questions can be uncomfortable for many adults but the key is to teach our children to debate and ask questions in a respectful manner. This will serve them well as they become adults and and take on leaderships roles in our society where they need to think and filter through the opinions and ideas proposed by others.

When discussing current events, set ground rules for your family. If you have a wide age range between your children, then either pick topics that are age appropriate for your younger children or let older children know there are limits to what to discuss in front of their younger siblings. Then allow the older children an  opportunity to discuss more sensitive topics and pose their questions in a smaller group with you. By all means establish protocol, so people are not interrupted and have the opportunity to state their opinions and back them up with facts and logic. I cannot emphasize the importance of children learning to formulate an opinion or idea and then knowing they have to do the work to validate it. This is a sure fire way to encourage critical thinking skills and encourage the development of research skills. Allowing our children the opportunity to voice their opinions and act on their beliefs helps them take ownership of their futures. Many of us forget that most social changes have been strongly influenced by the youth in our country and we need to help our children develop sound leadership skills for this purpose. What better way than to let them exercise their mental skills in a setting where they can be nurtured and honed without ridicule?

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