A dinner discussion is one of my favorite homeschool teaching tools.
You may wonder, “What in the world are you talking about? Dinner is a teaching tool? What kind of family dinner ideas do you have?”
When they express themselves about a specific topic, they are learning to think for themselves. The discussion topic does not matter. The fact that your kids are “thinking” is what matters.
When our kids lived at home we always had dinner together. We may eat at 5pm or 9pm – whatever worked to get us all around the dinner table.
We valued spending time as a family which included discussions around the table. Our dinner discussions did get spirited, but that was a chance for our kids to learn a lot of skills.
Gentry is very opinionated about sports topics. Jesse throws in his ideas about politics. Ashley lets her opinion be known. And…Hunter (even at 19yo) raises his hand to say something because he can’t get a word in edgewise.
The Family Dinner talks about dinners as a bonding time, as well as a time for kids to learn how to communicate with each other. Yeah, they’re going to learn good manners and etiquette, but they need to learn how to communicate.
This includes how to keep their mouths closed, listen to other people, and how to argue without going in circles. There are a lot of homeschool activities you can do at your dinner table and your kids won’t even know they are learning. They’ll enjoy it.
Our dinner discussions were not always about academic topics. I remember several years ago Barry Bonds was the hot issue, whether or not he should get his home run record. Next he was in court. Our kids love sports, so we had some heated discussions about Bonds. We also discussed whether the Yankees were really the best team or not.
Trust me, I have very opinionated children in the sports area. I am so thankful for sports because my children learned the art of persuasion through sports’ topics.
To this day we have lively discussions. A year ago my parents drove over for lunch. Everyone was having a pleasant lunch when someone brought up the topic of college loans being taken over by the government. All of a sudden, everyone was throwing out their opinion.
If your children are younger, you can use the conversation starters in The Family Dinner.
What’s the best thing about today?
What was the worst thing about today?
Even when your kids are young, you can have a dinner discussion. Personally, I think this is the perfect time for your kids to learn critical thinking skills. You can guide them as they form opinions, as well as share Biblical concepts they should consider.
Start early and continue at all your family dinners. I wonder what we will discuss the next time we are altogether next week.
What topics does your family discuss at dinner?
Any questions you use as discussion starters?
Please leave a comment and share with all of us.
Kerry Beck encourages homeschool moms as they raise their children to godliness. She has written about raising your kids to be leaders by developing critical thinking skills. You can get her free video by clicking here
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