I confess, I go every afternoon to pick up my daughter from school at 4.45pm and I love it. I enjoy watching her play before she sees us at the door and how she reacts as soon as she sees us. It’s one of the best times of the day!
Every day as we left school and before the afternoon snack, I started asking her the same questions: “How was your day?”, “What did you do today?”
After several weeks I saw that there was no point in asking her because the teacher summarized the day in one sentence for us (parents) to know if everything went well, normal or regular, and, furthermore, they wrote down in the children’s diary what activity or activities they did each day.
From a few weeks ago until now, I have changed the process and now the questions are the following: “What did you ask today?” and “What did you learn today?”
Being a parent is an exciting challenge and you always do everything to make your child as happy as possible. I made this reflection because when I was at school, I was very embarrassed to ask questions as it was associated with not understanding what the teacher had explained, or because it was synonymous with lack of knowledge.
Having another perspective now that many years have passed since I finished my school years, it makes me upset that I did not make the most of all the teachers’ knowledge for fear of asking questions showing everybody else I didn’t understand something. But that is the past… What I would like to do is instill in my daughters the habit of asking as much as possible in class so that they see that it is something normal and avoid creating any kind of complex.
Have you heard of the Philosophy for Children program? It is a program that was started in the United States in 1969 and was created by Matthew Lipman of the Institute of Advancement in Philosophy for Children. It is currently applied in more than 40 countries and in Spain there are specialized centers in most of the autonomous communities. The program is applied in the classroom to encourage students to develop critical and civic thinking. It can be summarized in one sentence: asking questions is not synonymous with ignorance but with philosophical curiosity.
I ask you a question: Do you think that if we educate and reward our children from a young age to ask questions, we will make it part of their daily learning enhancing their curiosity and desire to learn by assimilating a lot of knowledge?
If I get my daughter to explain to me one or two things that she has learned or asked in class every day when she sees me (without me asking her), then mission accomplished!
What about you? What do you ask your children when you see them? Do they explain what things they have learned? Do you know if they ask a lot in class, what other advice would you give me?
Excuse me for asking so many questions, but I must preach by example.