Help Children Learn the Process of Research
Research is the process of (i) knowing what information you need, (ii) knowing where to find that information, and (iii) understanding how to use that information. The most widely used sources of information are traditional print resources such as books, newspapers, and magazines, and, electronic resources such as reliable websites on the internet. Children can also interview people to obtain the information they need.
It’s never too early to help children learn the process of research. So, how can parents help children master the process of research? Here are 6 helpful tips for improving your child’s research skills.
1. Help children understand the research process. Discuss the definition of research. Provide examples of how you use research to find the answers to everyday problems.
2. Take your child to the library. Discuss what types of books the library has, how the books are organized, and how to find the books you want in the library.
3. Deconstruct nonfiction books. Don’t take them apart, literally, but make sure your child understands the parts of nonfiction books, for instance, the table of contents, headings, subheadings, tables and charts. These graphic aids can assist young researchers quickly find the information they need.
4. Discuss reliable, safe websites. Educate your child about the function of search engines and choosing reliable, safe websites to gather information.
5. Show your child how to be a good note-taker. It’s hard to remember all of the information we read. Good note-taking skills help children to refer back to the information they’ve gathered and helps to solidify information in their long-term memories.
6. Demonstrate how to use gathered information. Sometimes, the information your child will find will need to be “processed.” Demonstrate how to read and evaluate the information your child finds and process it into a usable answer or solution. Help them to synthesize information across disciplines. For instance, using math not just for math school work but to count change at the store or divide cookies amongst friends.
Having impeccable research skills will be a requirement for our children in tomorrow’s 21rst century economy. Research is the foundation of much of Evolution Homeschool’s curriculum, particularly Reading and Social Studies, and will provide your child with the research practice they need to be successful.