When you really consider it, no curriculum in itself teaches a child to think! Textbook curriculums are involved with one thing—giving a child a "conceptual alphabet" only. San Francisco is located here; a molecule looks like this; we write a "g" this way; we divide this way, etc. Much of education, at even its finest levels, is getting a lay of the land of what is. It is in the middle of the night that we take that "life-alphabet" and have our "aha moments." Thomas Edison had many of those—not taught by any teacher—but attentively and lovingly listened to and prodded forth by his mother.
Two things encourage a child to think, academically:
ONE: Reading – and discussing—good literature…in the evenings. If you need help with what that would be—download Melanie's reading list: it's a list of the choicest literature at each level. She hunted long and hard for those titles and did not include any titles that weren't absolutely stellar after reading them and scrutinizing them. Get godly books from the get-go.
However, just a side note here: literature alone will never substitute for skill development. Countless mothers who rely on a literature-based program during the day as their core curriculum feel guilty that they may have skipped something vital. They are right to be concerned. Such an approach results in an academically lopsided child who is at sea with skills—can't multiply, can't spell, hasn't a clue about grammar, all of which our forefathers regarded as rudimentary to a basic education. Check out the McGuffey readers; talk about rigorous! The ACE curriculum will solve this problem.)
TWO: Another thing that grows a child's ability to think is a parent's thought-provoking ongoing questions to her or his child throughout the day. Not yes/no questions, but just a bit "out of reach" questions. "How could Jamie have treated her sister better? Why do you suppose God made roots under trees? How do you feel about that?" etc. It is the MOTHER who teaches the child to think. Get our 99-cent Humpty Dumpty questions eBook to help you fashion some exciting zinger questions. You’ll be right up there with Mary Poppins in their minds when you routinely ask them these kinds of questions, calling forth worlds out of their OWN minds!