The Importance of Asking Questions

the_importance_of_asking_questions

“My mother made me a scientist without ever intending to. Every other Jewish mother in Brooklyn would ask her child after school: “So did you learn anything today?” But not my mother, “Izzy,” she would say, “did you ask a good question today?” That difference – asking good questions – made me become a scientist.”

Isidor Rabi

I’m a firm believer in never letting go of our love of learning. Even as adults, we ought to continue increasing in wisdom. But while some might think learning is merely a matter of intaking knowledge, learning is also the asking of great questions.

One of the many reasons I love our pastors at church is their openness. They are willing to admit they don’t know everything and are constantly encouraging us to test everything we hear against Scripture. Why is this important? We aren’t to simply intake information, accepting it for truth; we are to search truth out and verify what aligns with God’s Word, not man’s.

Shouldn’t all learning be this way? When learning anything new, we ought to break it down to the innermost parts. We ought to weigh the arguments being made, turning them inside and out. Everything we hear, read, and see should be carefully considered and thought over; weighed against God’s Word.

Some parents are afraid of their kids’ questions, especially those about their faith. However, there is no need for fear. It is okay to ask questions. It is good to ask questions! There is no question too big for God; He knows them all and their answers.

Let me be clear, I do not believe in teaching our children to be skeptics; they need to trust our word and what we share with them. But we also want them to be inquisitive and examine the world around them. It’s also important to note: not all questions are because you doubt what is being learned, but because you are attempting to build an argument for why something is true.

In our home, our children understand they are welcome to ask us anything. They are able to question our beliefs and ask why we believe what we believe. By asking these questions of us, in the comfort of a loving family, they are able to have their questions answered fully and truthfully. We are laying a foundation for all the learning to come and the questions they will receive from the world around them.

If we don’t ask questions of our children and encourage them to ask in return, how are we preparing them for the world outside our front doors? We need to learn not only to be open to questions, but welcoming. Wisdom and knowledge have been gained through many a good question. Why not start asking more today?

“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”
~ Acts 17:11

We’re curious… How do you help your children determine the difference between asking a good question and just questioning authority?

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2 thoughts on “The Importance of Asking Questions

  1. This is beautiful. Jesus often taught through asking questions; we absolutely should model that for our children. Teaching them to not only ask questions, but to ask good questions is imperative in today’s culture.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this – questions are SO important! It’s not just important for our kids to feel free to ask them, but also for the way we lead them to knowledge. When Jesus taught, he asked questions much of the time, because if someone comes to a conclusion rather than being handed it, they understand it that much better.

    Good questions can lead to discussions, which are always better than lectures when it comes to internalizing a subject. The important thing as teachers is to make sure our questions are open-ended – if you ask a fact-based or yes/no question, it shuts down the conversation. It can be scary at first, because you feel like you might be losing control of the lesson, but you can always bring it back around by asking more questions.

    As for how we taught our kids to ask good questions — they were always allowed one reasonable appeal when told to do something, which I would take very seriously and consider, but if I determined the “mitigating circumstance” didn’t warrant them not doing the thing, then they still had to do it. I think this same concept can cross into question asking – I take their questions seriously, but if they start piling them up belligerently I call them on it. Teens are especially prone to asking “fence-rattling” questions, trying to establish if your boundaries are really real. Like the student who once asked if he could use pot leaves for his leaf-pressing lab activity in my Biology class. I simply refused to respond to what he was doing and asked with a straight face, as if I was trying to help him with his lab, if supply might be a problem in that scenario. He never asked that kind of question again.

    Liked by 1 person

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