Your child probably fires dozens of questions at you every day. But turning things around and posing some to him can fuel his excitement for learning. For instance, asking, “Why do you think the birds always come back to that same spot in the backyard?” can spark a conversation that introduces a variety of interesting concepts.
But beware of turning your child’s life into a pop quiz. “Some parents make the mistake of asking kids to display their knowledge. “They’ll ask, ‘What color is this?’ even though it’s obvious that their child knows it’s green. If you want your child to stay excited about learning, it’s much better to engage him in an active inquiry than to ask him to spit out routine knowledge.”
And when you ask about his day, be specific (“Did the guinea pig in your classroom have babies yet?”) rather than too general (“How was school?”). “Everyday talking is essential to learning,”. “Kids need to be able to take the hubbub of their lives and spin it into narratives if they’re going to become capable readers and writers.”
If you don’t know the answer, look it up. If your child is curious about something, take the time to explain it to her. But if you don’t have a clue either, it’s perfectly all right to say, “I don’t know. Let’s find out.” Turn to a dictionary, an encyclopedia, or the Internet, and do some detective work together. “You’re showing her not only how to find more information but also how thrilling it can be to learn new things,”
Our Time to Learn books may have the answer your child questions.