Though tiring when the kids were little, their endless questions make my heart swell. These little questioning minds are in good stead to serve them well in the future.
Asking “why” or “how” deepens children’s general knowledge. It opens discussions about what they notice and helps them to make sense of the world around them. Although it can be the last thing I feel like doing, I try to be honest and direct with my answers to their questions. And the ease of the Internet and Google Image make things so much quicker when difficult questions come my way!
Megan and Alex constantly ask “what does xxx word mean?” And I try to give as close an explanation as a can, without dumbing things down. Explaining the meaning of a word expands vocabulary which children can then use in their conversations, their reading and writing. We often get comments on the ‘big words’ that our kids use, and use appropriately.
However, their reading ability is where I have seen the biggest benefit of all those questions. If readers can make connections with what they read to their prior knowledge and extensive vocabulary, they develop a deeper understanding of what they have read. And that’s the whole point of reading, isn’t it? To be able to understand?