Questions, Questions, Questions…. As parents we hear tons of them, and as homeschooling parents we hear even more! It is easy to get annoyed with the constant stream of questions that comes from our children (especially the toddler variety). I mean how many times can a child ask “why are we going to the park?” (yes mine even question things they want to do) before you just never want to mention the park again! But questions are extremely important to everyone, and especially so in homeschooling.
Questions are good. They indicate that our child is curious. They are our children’s way of learning about the world around them. Why is the sky blue? Why does it rain? Why do birds fly? All these questions demonstrate an interest in how the world works and give you a jumping off point for further discussion.
Questions are also how our children learn about life. As homeschooling parents we teach our kids to read, do math, understand science, or memorize important historical dates, but the key to having a good relationship with your kids is being available for questions. I don’t mean the questions they have about when, where, or how something happens or the definition of a word either. I mean the questions that they will have as they grow about life and relationships. The real life questions that can have a way of making most of us uncomfortable. You need your kids to be willing to trust you enough to ask you these questions rather then turning to peers or the internet!
I think a good way to start this open conversation is to ask questions yourself. Ask questions about your kids even when they are young. Get to know them on a deeper level. Even if your kids aren’t young, start asking now. Questions about their life like what they enjoy or what frustrates them, or what goals and dreams they have. It is easiest to do this one on one maybe at bed time or if you have the chance take your child out one on one! Let them ask questions of you too, and be honest. Obviously you need to keep things age appropriate, but be open and honest with your kids and tell them what you learned from the mistakes you made!
We, as parents, also need to remember to ask questions of God (and to encourage our kids to do the same). To ask if we are following His will and if we have our priorities straight! Knowing that we are obeying Him makes even the difficulties in life easier!