Reasoning with young children (part 1)

There is a philosophy of education that takes the perspective that reasoning is for older children. Younger children are to be filled with facts and enticed to learn with interesting topics and presentation. I don’t happen to agree.

On the surface, this sounds reasonable enough. How on earth can you reason when you have nothing to reason with? You need a certain amount of knowledge to be able to reason, to think things through. So what about reasoning with a second grader? A kindergartener? Is that even possible? I exhuberantly shout YES!!

Mustard SeedsThe beautiful thing about reasoning from God’s Word is that it is God’s Word. It is alive and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword. It is not head knowledge. It speaks to the heart, to the spirit.  A child can hear the voice of God, just as adults can.

In A Guide to American Christian Education, Mr. Rose discusses the seed principle, that is, when you use the Principle Approach you plant the seeds of the whole subject in principles, notdisseminating facts in an evolutionary, fact-based method. You can see in the salvation message that a child and a full-grown adult hear the same Gospel, feel the tugging of the same Holy Spirit and receive the same salvation. It is only the expansion of the idea that is different. It is the same with math, science, HisStory or English. When you are reasoning those subjects from God’s Word then your child, even a young child, can reason at a rudimentary level. The principles are planted and God can grow them into mature plants for His glory.

The most powerful thing I can really say is that I do it every day in my own home. I know that I would have missed out on some wonderful discussions with my children if I had simply been filling their minds with facts and fun. Since we are looking for principles and reasoning together, I cannot imagine doing anything else. And it gets better each year, because they are able to reason deeper and we can take the discussion into uncharted waters. God is good!

Comments

  1. A friend once pointed out to me that even disciplining our little ones is teaching them to reason. They reason when they choose their behavior knowing either consequences or blessings will result.

    It does get more exciting each year. My son is putting so many things together. Sometimes he even teaches me! :)

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