How to Nurture Your Child’s Problem Solving Skills!
National news has focused on educating children for the jobs of the future with a strong emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Developing habits of mind that will give children the curiosity, confidence, and skills to pursue careers in these fields can be nurtured from a very early age.
The more opportunities babies, toddlers, and pre-school age children have to explore, problem-solve, and test their skills, the more prepared they are to tackle abstract thinking when formal schooling begins.
As children mature they need constant challenges just above their comfort level but within their ability to achieve. Put a desired object just out of reach of a six-month-old baby and watch problem-solving in action!
Children need to be encouraged to ask questions and take appropriate risks, feel rewarded for their efforts, learn how to sequence, persist, and feel satisfaction as a result of their own actions. Mistakes are important learning opportunities. Confidence grows when achievement is celebrated in the context of the effort expended, not in the context of pleasing adults.
Many children believe they are not good at certain school subjects such as mathematics and science.
By nurturing their problem-solving skills and persistence in all areas, confidence to try subjects they perceive as difficult will grow. Encourage questions. After all, science is inquiry so encourage questions as much as answers. Make sure success is attainable but don’t give in and hand your child everything in life.
Our future depends on the ingenuity, creativity, persistence, and problem-solving abilities of today’s children. Give them the tools to lead us all to a better tomorrow.
Head of School
West Side Montessori is an independent, accredited Montessori school educating children 13 months through 8th grade (preschool, kindergarten, elementary and middle school) with locations at 13587 Roachton Rd in Perrysburg, Ohio, and 7115 W. Bancroft Street in Toledo, Ohio.