Ahh, Backseat Drivers!
Everybody loves them, right? NOT! But what about Backseat Learners? Somewhere along the way things begin “clicking” with the kids and learning. Home educating starts becoming organic. It starts happening everywhere. The backseat of the car on a road trip, the line at the grocery checkout, and always during the quiet part of a concert or play. At our house, these are known as “Questions from the Backseat.”
Those pre-school days are great!
BUT, the gazillion questions make a mama crazy some days. Especially this mama! It starts with simple questions like, “Why?” or “How come, Mom? Now that my kids are older the questions have evolved as well. A few years ago we were driving along and my oldest (6 at the time), ask from the “way-back” of the van, “Mom, is the Ice Age real? Me: (yelling at the rearview mirror) Um, yeah, well, let’s see. It’s kinda hard to explain while I’m driving honey, let’s talk about it later.”
Well, we all forgot until the next ill-timed moment for a question arose and there, it popped up again. this happened a few times. It was always a really good question. The subjects were different, but always ones that I didn’t want to give just a “Yes, or No” type answer.
I really wanted to dig deep into the subject. So, I began saying, “Oh, write that down and we will look it up later when we are home!” Let’s just say that didn’t work out well either. The paper would get lost. or spilled on or whatever. Finally, this year I decided to buy a book. Just a simple little book that would fit in my purse, or pocket in the car. This wee book has had a few different titles. Questions from the Backseat was the working title when we lived in the states as we seemed to be driving everywhere. Looking out the window whilst listening to music or a story always fosters good questions.
“Our Little Book of Big Questions”
Now that we live in Scotland and don’t drive nearly as much, the title has changed to “Our Little Book of Big Questions” It’s my hope that every now and then I’ll be able to pass on the questions AND the answers to you. I hope you will consider getting your own little book and doing the same.
Here’s a question my youngest asked last year. He’s 7. “Mom, why do we pronounce the “b” in “debit”, but not in “debt”. “Um, yeah, good question,” I said, “I really have no idea!” “Let’s look that up! Write it down in the book. Here’s the answer I found! It’s the 4th point down in the first section. After I read that I was like, “Well, that’s latin sorted for today too! Good question, Wee Man!
After we find an answer, I generally have them write the answer in our Little Book of Big Questions, too. However if it’s a question like, “Who is David Hume?” I like to turn those into a bit longer paragraph, paper or presentation.
An inquisitive mind is the best kind!
I love ambitious learning where we get to dig into things we know little or nothing about and learn together. What do you enjoy about learning with your family?