I ran across this very cool website today that I wanted to share. Teaching Children Philosophy would be a great resource for homeschoolers but even those of us that don't could get a lot of mileage from the site. It uses children's literature to teach kids as young as elementary age (possibly younger). It would be nice if there was a larger selection of books in the list but I'm sure that most of us have at least a few of them in our collection.

Example: Questions for discussion of Where The Wild Things Are

One night a forest grows in Max's room.

1. Do you think the forest was real? Why/Why not?
2. How can we tell if the forest is real or not?
3. Could the forest be real to some people but not to other people?
4. If you think something is real, does that make it real?
5. If everyone agrees something is real, does it have to be real?
6. Can something be real for you but no one else?


When Max is at home, his mother makes the rules. But when he goes to where thewildthings are, he's in charge.

1. When do you have to listen to other people's rules?
2. Do you feel powerless then? Does that feelbad? Is anything good about it?
3. Do you ever get to make the rules? When?
4. Do you feel powerful in these situations? Does that feel good? Is there anything bad about it?
5. Would you like to make all the rules all the time?


Max is lonely and wishes he were where someone loved him best of all.

1. Can you think of a time when you felt lonely? What made you feel lonely?
2. Can you think of time you felt loved? What made you feel loved?
3. Do the wild things love Max?
4. Does Max's mom love Max?
5. Can you feel loneliness and love at the same time?
6. Can you be lonely even if you are with other people?
7. Can you feel loved all by yourself?



I'm curious what you think about the site. I'm a beginner when it comes to the subject of philosophy so I'm not able to critique it as well as I'd like.

Tags: children, children's literature, philosophy, teaching

Views: 1

Replies to This Discussion

A few years ago my daughter was outside with a friend playing. This friend's mom was a very pushy christian, who I know put her daughter up to asking mine for the 5th time to go to Sunday school. Mine had enough of it and told her flat out "I don't believe in god". Well it turned into a 'my mom doesn't lie, well mine doesn't either, uh-huh' type arguement (they were barely 8). I just raised the window sill higher and turned off the sink. The little girl said "Well if there's no god, where did Adam & Eve come from...hmmmmm???" My baby girl (with NO COACHING) shrugged and said " I don't know, did they look like us?" Girl said "Duh, of course they did!" My daughter said "Then that means they had belly buttons, and that means they came from their mommies--cuz that's how babies eat in their mommies bellies!"

I couldn't stop laughing! The little girl asked her mom, which did spark her trot over to my house and tell me that if I don't care that I'm raising my daughter to go to hell, to have enough "decency" to not drag her daughter down too and tell her such evil words!!--My response was too long and not very warm to repost here--but let me tell ya...that philosophy just made me wanna load up and go to church!!!...lol
I think the important thing with philosophy (the love of wisdom) is that there are no right or wrong answers, much in the fashion of Socrates (Plato's author) the real point is to ask questions that make us think! not give us answers that allow us to be mentally static. I think the WHere The Wild Things Are is a fabulous book to start with, but any book or topic can be one which raises interesting and challenging questions, and kids come up with some GREAT reasoning!

mrs kelligurl: lol! great comeback to be proud of! I've heard the "well my mom wouldn't lie!" argument SO many times! I hope my son reaches the point in his beliefs/non-beliefs that he even questions ME!

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