raising thinkers in a google generation

Kids filling up nature journals with sketches from our hikes, reading literary classics aloud together, cooking to learn fractions, and a host of other hand’s-on Charlotte Mason-y things were among the visions I had when we embarked on homeschooling. Granted we did and do many of those things, but those aren’t necessarily the things that got all my kids excited. I never pictured that the one subject that would get the most excitement from my oldest would be Formal Logic.

Formal logic is often defined as ‘the science and art of reasoning well.’

It is not a subject I would have picked out on my own to teach – mainly because I didn’t understand what it was. By default of the homeschool program we use, my kids will learn it in 8th grade. I figured Corbett and I would make it through this year of logic. I did not anticipate that he would thrive in it. I should have known though – the boy loves a good debate.

He has been learning how to decide if an argument is valid and/or sound and how to recognize fallacies, ambiguities, contradictions, vagueness, etc. It is a whole new world for me.

He is learning to be a thinker, a question asker and a reasoner. These things often delight me except when he debates the validity of my “because I am the mom” answers!

It is increasingly difficult to decipher what is being spoken, typed, and printed around us. I want him to question things and develop understanding and compassion for those that view things much differently than he does even when it means I am that person. The ability to look at the context, background, and life experiences that accompany the words and opinions of others is an invaluable tool in life. I want that ability in his toolbox as a teenager and as an adult.

He is growing up in a world of fake news, YouTube experts and social media opinions labeled as fact. The line between truth, opinion, and experience is increasingly blurry and often purposefully distorted. I want to help him learn to think on his own and that means walking alongside him as he develops his own opinions, questions me, and seeks wisdom.

Parenting is an ever-evolving adventure. Just when I think I might have a couple things figured out, those things change. Some days I could handle a little boring in my life, but I’m pretty sure I could only handle it for a couple minutes (maybe a couple days if an island is involved). So, right now I’m taking a deep breath each time Corbett points out a fallacy in something I say and I’m celebrating when I overhear him break down the various sides to whatever current event he is studying. I will admit, some days I miss the nature journals though!

Whether your kids are public schooled, private schooled, homeschooled or out of school – I know there are countless numbers of you using the tools you have available to help your kids decipher the world around them. I’m hanging in there with you!

Attempting to raise kids that think and use reason in a generation that just googles the answer is not for the faint of heart.

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