Learning Tip: Quirky questions
By Susan Dichter
Sometimes kids don't ask a question in school because it seems dumb. They assume everybody else knows what is going on—what a relief when someone else asks that question that was on their mind!
Kids who grow up in households that encourage inquiry have a head start. They see that no one knows all the answers, and that parents ask questions all the time. It's important that your child feels comfortable asking questions. Problem solvers are people who want answers and are not afraid to ask!
To show your child that there are no dumb questions—and stretch his mind at the same time—try asking what seem like the simplest, the most commonplace, questions in the world:
- Why do tables have four legs?
- Why are most rooms square or rectangular?
- Why do kids love candy?
- Why do girls' shirts button one way and boys' shirts in the opposite direction?
Your child might want to work out his own explanations and then ask a few friends what they think. It's good practice in the art of asking questions and a wonderful exercise for his brain cells. Challenge him to think of other mind-stretching questions and join him in brainstorming possible answers.
Susan Dichter wears many hats—mother, writer, former teacher, museum director, and librarian; her books include Teachers: Straight Talk from the Trenches.
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