There is one word that is part of nearly every parent’s daily life – WHY. From the time our children learn to speak, the word “why” appears in nearly every conversation or interaction. Children are born with an innate curiosity. They have a natural bent towards wonder. They year to know and understand the way the world around them works.
Questions are vital to success in school. Your kindergartner can learn, grow, and double their understanding through asking AND answering questions.
As often as you can, ask your child questions. Ask what they think, ask what they know, ask what they like. Try to ask a variety of questions, but make sure you are asking plenty of complex questions, that cannot be answered with a “yes”, “no”, or one word answer.
Asking questions helps children employ critical thinking, reasoning, develop opinions and ideas, add detail, find their voice, and increase their vocabulary.
Justify Your Answer
Ask your child TONS of questions. It doesn’t matter what you are asking about, as the process will be the same. When your child gives an answer, help them extend their answer with a justification.
When your child states that he/she likes something, feels a certain way, wants to do something, etc. ask them WHY, and make them tell you! (“Just because,” is NOT an answer!) Get your child in the practice of backing up their idea with reasoning, opinion, facts, etc. This is as simple as asking a few prompting questions, such as, “Why do you feel that way? What makes you think that? Why do you like that ? etc.
When your child justifies their answer, they are practicing skills they will need in nearly every core academic subject.
Satisfy Their Curiosity
Some days it may seem that they “whys” are never-ending. Your little learner may have an insatiable drive to know and understand….and this is a GOOD thing! Make it a goal to answer at least 2/3 of their questions. Avoid answers like, “just because” or “that’s just how it is.” Give new information. Provide new vocabulary. You never know what new interest you may be opening up to your child, just by taking a few minutes to answer their question!
If you don’t know the answer to a question, admit it! It is a great thing for kids to see YOU learning and growing as an adult! We want our kids to know that learning is a life-long process. So if they ask a question you don’t know the answer to, head to the internet or the library, and discover something new together.
This post is part of the Ready for Kindergarten series on Chasing Supermom. Click HERE to find all of the other great kindergarten related posts!