3 Questions to Incorporate into Your Homeschooling Day ~
Written by Lusi Austin from That Homeschool Life
It’s so easy to do everything for our kids, isn’t it? Let’s be honest. It’s often faster if we just do it ourselves. But I’ve found with my kids, that teaching them HOW to do something helps them to really master that task or skill.
I’ve also learned that getting them there can be a journey in and of itself. Encouraging our children to work out the steps by themselves is part of the lesson. And in order to get them to think about the steps involved, sometimes I need to be the asker-of-questions.
Here are three questions that I incorporate into our homeschooling day that have helped our children in their learning and in their leaning towards independence.
3 Questions to Ask in Your Homeschooling Day
1. How do YOU think it is spelled/solved/working etc?
“Mum! How do you spell the word ‘pumpkin?’”
I’ve been asked this kind of question often – especially in those formative years. I sense whether or not my child is capable of working this out. I never want them to feel like I wasn’t willing to help them but if they know how to do it themselves, I’ll encourage them to work it through.
Instead of telling them the answer, I’ll respond with ‘How do you think it is spelled?’
I then wait as they sound out the word and help as is needed. I am supporting them but they are actually doing the work themselves.
Another example of when I use this question would be in an instance like this: “Mum! How do I put this kit together?”
Instead of doing it for them, I’ll ask, “How do you think you can do it?” If they say, “I don’t know!” I might suggest something like, “Have you tried looking back at the instructions?” Or “which step are you getting stuck on?” I am there with them, supporting them.
I might suggest they search for a troubleshooting video on YouTube. I won’t fix it for them but I’ll be there to help when they need it.
Of course there are times where it is necessary for me to act quickly and fix something on the spot but as parents, we have to discern the difference and if they can do it themselves, then I will always encourage them to do so.
2. What could we do differently next time?
I will often ask this after an upset has occurred or something has been broken. First I’ll wait until people have calmed down. Then I’ll ask, “What could we do differently next time?” and then I’ll listen to the answers.
When said calmly, this question can be a great tool for helping our children to reflect on what occurred. It can also help them forward-think for the future.
3. How would you like to spend your time?
I ask this question A LOT in our home because I want my children to be independent thinkers who use their time well. I want them to unlock interests and pursue their passions. Years ago, I’d ask my kids what they’d like to learn. Sometimes, they couldn’t verbalise this.
Instead, I now ask my younger two, ‘how would you like to spend your time?’ If they still don’t know, I’ll help them break it down. I’ll ask, ‘What’s something you’d like to bake? Or make? Or a game you’d like to play?’
On days when we are all really quite exhausted, I’ll get the kids to fill out the little template I created with these questions on it (you can find it for free too HERE on my website) and then we have an instant plan for our day.
It works because the answers are their own and they are learning how they like to spend their time.
I hope incorporating these 3 questions from our homeschooling day can help you and your children reflect and encourage them to lean towards independence.
What’s Your Homeschool Mom Personality? Take Jamie’s quiz now and receive a free personality report to help you organize your homeschool based on what your personality type needs most!