Sign up to receive 10 free downloadable workbooks! Sign Up

Big Topics Feed Kids’ Brains

Big Topics Feed Kids' Brains

Just try talking about an issue of substance in front of your kids. If they’re like mine, they dig right in with questions and opinions. That’s what makes dinner table conversation so lively.

Looking for a curriculum your kids will like?
An online homeschool curriculum can open new doors by creating an interactive learning experience that brings concepts to life.
online curriculum
Homeschooling should be fun.
With Time4Learning, it can be!

No surprise, research says that family discussions about current issues boost kids’ reasoning and mathematical skills. Unlike more casual chats, conversations about social and political concerns help kids make sense of big concepts including numbers. That’s because parents tend to give examples, use real life mathematics, and ask children to think for themselves.

In our house, family blather often includes topical issues but the study reports very few of these conversations are taking place between kids and parents around the world. In the 41 countries studied, they happen less than once a month for 58 percent of children. Interestingly, the impact of family conversation is greater in more affluent countries where young people are blessed with the resources for learning such as books but have less time with their parents. In these countries more family involvement makes a striking difference in learning.

The study’s author suggests talking to kids about oil spill volume and asking them questions about clean-up methods, but there’s no need for a despair-laden quiz session. Open-ended discussions can translate to areas of interest to children. Often such conversations naturally touch on the math, science, history, and ethics of any concern society struggles to resolve. The big issues don’t have easy answers but they do make great topics, even if we talk about them around the table while still chewing.

Laura Grace Weldon is the author of Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything

Laura Grace Weldon

Laura Grace Weldon is the author of Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything, a resource guide for raising life-long learners and also a collection of poetry titled
Tending. She writes about learning, sustainability, and hopeful living for GeekMom.com, Mothering.com, and her blog. She lives with her family on Bit of Earth Farm where they raise cows, chickens, honeybees, and the occasional wild scheme. She's slow at work on her next book, Subversive Cooking.

Read Next Post
»
Read Previous Post
«

Big Topics Feed Kids' Brains />

TheHomeSchoolMom may be compensated for any of the links in this post through sponsorships, paid ads, free or discounted products, or affiliate links. Local resource listings are for information purposes only and do not imply endorsement. Always use due diligence when choosing resources, and please verify location and time with the organizer if applicable. Suggestions and advice on TheHomeSchoolMom.com are for general information purposes only and should never be considered as specific to any individual situation, nor are they a diagnosis or treatment advice for any kind of medical, developmental, or psychological condition. Blog posts represent the views of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of other contributors or the publisher. Full terms of use and disclosure

Comments

  1. Some of my kids most meaningful learning comes from discussions with my husband. My husband has a great mind and really probes the children more than I do. Sharing ideas and questioning things can really expand minds.

  2. Gail C.

    Thank you! I thought maybe we are just weird parents-but no! We have discussed real world issues with all of our kids. I am finally coming to the conclusion I need to homeschool our nine year old. Public school is failing him, in my opinion. He is bored to tears(literally!) in the classroom. Children are not drones. Children should love to learn new things,not dread getting up in the morning, Monday through Friday. They can handle big ideas and should be encouraged to do so. Thank you, again!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *