A Back to School Checklist for Little Thinkers (and Their Parents)

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There may be eager smiles, or furrowed brows this time of year, but either way, school is just about to boot up again. Whether your young scholar is ready to go back, or willfully trying to slow the passage of time, there are things you can do as a parent to help them prepare for the coming year, and they don’t all involve picking out new shoes and amassing lunch bag treats.

Why not start the year off by taking stock of your youngster’s thinking skills and getting them focused on where they want (and need) to go? Get started by taking out a piece of paper, a pencil and anything else your child might like to use to make a list. Pose the question “What makes someone a great thinker?”, and commence the brainstorming. Let your child take the lead, and really listen to what they have to say. You can offer your own suggestions after. Decorate the list, and put it up somewhere near where your child does their homework.

Here are some of the things that might end up on the list:
• Good thinkers listen carefully to new ideas, and they know their point of view isn’t the only one out there.
• Good thinkers explain why they think the way they do.
• Good thinkers aren’t afraid to say they don’t know the answer.
• Good thinkers are okay with admitting they’re wrong.
• Good thinkers don’t get angry when someone disagrees with them.
• Good thinkers give examples to support what they’re saying.
• Good thinkers use their imaginations.
• Good thinkers look for new ideas everywhere.
• Good thinkers revisit ideas over and over again.
• Good thinkers work big questions and big ideas into everything they do.

NB- your child will probably think of all kinds of things that aren’t listed here, and that’s great. Writing, bedazzling, and displaying a list like this can be empowering for them, but it also has the side benefit of reminding us big people that our own thinking skills can always use a refresher.

Here’s to a year of big questions, with curious little thinkers to ask and answer them! May 2019/2020 be the best one yet!