Critical thinking, in which students evaluate things instead of accepting them too quickly, is an important skill. To help your child think critically, encourage her to:
  • Know the material. She should read a whole book for example, before assessing it. The more facts and details she has, the better.
  • Figure out the message. What is the creator of the work trying to say? What does he want her to believe? What would he like her to do?
  • Decide what she thinks. Is the work good? Does it make sense? Has the creator changed her mind, taught her something or entertained her?
  • Notice mistakes. She should look for weaknesses in the work and provide specific, constructive criticism.
  • Find the “sales pitch.” Some materials have parts that seem less than honest. The creator may “stretch the truth” to make a point.
As your child thinks critically, keep an open mind. Talk about your views. If you don’t agree with her, that’s okay. Each person should form a personal opinion—and be able to support it.

http://www.parent-institute.com Source: Mel Levine, M.D., A Mind at a Time: America’s Top Learning Expert Shows How Every Child Can Succeed, ISBN: 0-75432-0223-6 (Simon &Schuster), Reprinted with permission from (c) 2007, The Parent Institute, a division of NIS, Inc