Skip to main

June 11, 2024

6 Tips for Asking Better Questions at Home

It is no secret that families are incredibly important in their student’s learning journeys, and one big part of learning is asking questions. You are probably asked questions by your child all the time, but have you ever considered the impact that the questions you ask can have on their learning? Asking questions is a powerful way to support student learning, as well as a great way to help develop critical thinking and social-emotional skills.

Tips for Asking Better Questions

1. Ask “How” and “Why” more than you ask “what”

For early learners, “what” is all, but “what” is the lowest level of thinking: identifying. It does not require any real understanding to recall “what”.

WHATWHYHOW
What book did you choose for us?Why did you choose this book?How did you decide on this book?
Requires identifying the result of the action.Requires providing reasoning for an action. Requires articulating the decision-making process.

2. Probe with follow-up questions to push understanding.

Sometimes, you are not sure if your student is ready to go deeper than “what,” and that’s okay. So, instead of replacing “what” questions, you can instead use them to build.

3. Use questions to help students develop stronger decision-making-skills.

Asking questions that require students to articulate their reasoning gives you a chance to praise strengths of that thinking process or to offer formative feedback on weaknesses.

4. Ask questions that require students to draw connections between different things.

The world is a very interconnected place and understanding that starts early. For younger learners, you may ask them what experience a story or movie reminded them of in their own lives. for older learners, you can expand this to what connections a story or movie might have to current events.

5. Ask questions to challenge their views.

In order to be strong thinkers, students must be able to critically consider alternative views and ideas. (As a note, this is also important in developing strong emotional intelligence and empathy as well.) You can ask these questions in a variety of ways, here are a few examples:

  • What is this happened though?
  • Can you think of someone who might feel differently? Why would they feel that way?
  • Can you imagine something that would change your mind about this?
  • What impacted your feelings on this?

6. Be comfortable with silence while they think.

Remember, you ar purposely asking challenging questions. So, give them a little time to think about it, before you decide to answer the question or move on. If they really seem to be struggling, try restating your question in simpler terms before you give up.

There are so many great ways to support student learning. Asking better questions at home is just one simple step you can fit in easily into every day. So, give these tips a try, and enjoy watching the wheels of their mind turn!

Share

Search the K12 Hub

More From Teaching Channel

Recommended Courses

Engaging Parents for Student Success

Teaching Excellence

#5844

Grade

PK-12+

Flex Credit

$189

3 Credits

$475

Parent Trap: Achieving Success with Difficult Parents & Difficult Situations

Teaching Excellence

#859

Grade

K-12+

Flex Credit

$189

3 Credits

$475

Anxiety Awareness: Empowering Students with Help and Hope

Social Emotional Learning

#5102

Grade

K-12+

Flex Credit

$189

3 Credits

$475

Want to partner with us?

We’re always looking for new authors! If you’re interested in writing an article, please get in touch with us.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Get notified of new content added to K12 Hub.

-
Pay as You Learn with our Course Bundles. Select Bundles on SALE now! Explore Your Options >>
close-image
Pay As You Learn with our flexible payment plan - starting from $75 per month! Learn More >>
close-image