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From Quick Question to Deeper Dive: A Guide

Updated: Apr 22, 2021

It’s so easy to worry we aren’t doing enough to support our kids’ academic success. Sometimes we can stay up late thinking about their grades at school or their progress in a subject. What if we could take that worry and turn it into relief by thoughtfully jumping on opportunities to build knowledge that arises when our kids ask questions? Even better, what if this knowledge building also created moments of deeper connection with your kids? Here is an example of a simple question being turned into deeper learning that occurred in our house recently:

Seven year old Charlie pops into the house while playing in the snow: “Mom there are 44 hours in 2 days right?” I was busy working at the moment and could have easily said. “Oh, close. There are 48 hours in 2 days.” But instead I decided to take a moment to let him figure it out for himself.

Me: “Well, let’s see. There are 24 hours in one day.”

Him: “so, 45 hours?”

Me: Well, let’s add 24 and 24. We need to add the ones. What’s 4+4?”

Him: “Ugh, I don’t want to do this right now.”

Me: “I can just show you real fast on paper. (writing down 24+24) so we need to add the ones first-- which is?”

Him: “8-- 4+4 is 8.”

Me: “Yeah. And we need to add the tens. 2+2 is?”

Him: “4.”

Me: “So there are 4 tens and 8 ones.”

Him: “So there are 48 hours in 2 days!”

Me: “Yup! You were only a few hours off with your first guess!”

He then happily turned on his heels to go outside to play. I have no idea what led to his question or why he was thinking about how many hours there are in a day. But guiding him through finding the answer for himself is critical to being someone who considers himself a problem solver, a learner, and