Monday, January 7, 2019

Philosophy for Kids

Philosophy for Kids
Last year at my local homeschool convention, I was looking through the expo hall trying to find any gems I didn't already know about. There were plenty. And this book - Philosophy for Kids - was one of them!

This article contains affiliate links.

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm sharing fantastic resources for homeschoolers who are looking to add something different to their lessons. Philosophy for Kids: 40 Fun Questions that Help You Wonder...About Everything! (aff link) by David A. White, Ph.D. is just that.

Why philosophy? Aren't my kids too young for that? Well, one study showed that kids who study philosophy have higher scores on tests of verbal and computational intelligence than those who do not. More than 3,100 children in 48 primary schools who took philosophy classes were shown to have improved their math and reading skills by about two months of additional progress.

There is, in fact, a whole website dedicated to teaching children philosophy. On it, you'll find booklists and many other resources to help you teach your kids at home or in school.

But I personally, love the book I found at the convention. We've been using Philosphy for Kids since August slowly covering one chapter each week. At this pace, we are able to use this book throughout one school year, but if you sped things up and did two or more a week, you could certainly get through it in one semester.

I love this book because it challenges children to think philosophically (duh!) and introduces them to great philosophers in history, such as Plato, Martin Luther King, Jr., Jean-Paul Sartre, Thomas Hobbes, Simone de Beauvoir, Parmenides, and many others.

The 40 questions are arranged into four categories: Values, Knowledge, Reality, and Critical Thinking. Your child will be asked things like:

  • Are you a fair and just person? 
  • Can you lie to yourself?
  • Can you doubt that you exist?
  • Do you perceive things as they are or only as they seem to be?
  • Can you think about nothing at all? (My favorite!)
There are discussions and follow up questions, as well as a section at the end of each chapter titled, "For Further Thought."

Philosophy for Kids

Philosophy for Kids

The great thing is that my son can go through this book on his own, or we can go through it together. the back of the book contains teaching tips for every single question. And there's also a glossary of philosophical terms. 

The book was written by a university professor of philosophy (at DePaul University) who has been teaching to kids for 10+ years. So all the material is very well presented. 

This resource is best suited for children ages 10 and older, or grades 4th - 12th. 


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