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No. 2

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by MaryAnn Gaver
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A Good Question
Columnist Host
MaryAnn Gaver

The question mark. Why don’t we use it more? From the rhetorical to the scientific, the unimportant to the profound, a question can be quite effective in getting your child’s attention.

The apostle Paul frequently posed questions, whether piercing, poetic, or powerful. When writing about God’s everlasting love in Romans 8:31, Paul says, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Or who could forget Patrick Henry’s four gripping, rapid-fire questions at the end of his famous speech to the Virginia House of Burgesses?

How about slipping more questions into your teaching this week? Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Keep kids from shifting into autopilot when memorization and regurgitation of facts seem to take center stage.
  • At the beginning of each day, ask each family member, “What is your #1 priority today?” It can really help bring things into focus-even the adults in the family can stop and reflect on that!
  • Try challenging your kids with questions that may require a little investigation, such as, “Why doesn't gold tarnish?”
  • Younger children almost always respond with curiosity to an enthusiastic “Guess what?”

So, I ask you—what could be better than the good old thought-provoking question? This week, try putting the ball in your child’s court by asking, “What do you think?” Just remember not to ask, “What time do you want to go to bed?”

MaryAnn Gaver and her husband, Jay, have been homeschooling their twin sons for over six years.

Pondering the Three Ps


I often use the familiar “five Ws” (who, what, where, when, and why) and our own “three Ps” to help our children think through different scenarios and situations.

People—To help our children think of the other person in a conflict, we ask questions such as, How do you think that person feels? Why would he or she react this way? What led up to the reaction? What was happening at the time?

Perspective—To help our children gain perspective and look at situations from various angles, we ask questions such as, Is that a fact or an assumption? When did this event happen? What are some different ways to look at the issue? What does God's Word say? What would God want you to do?

Praise—To encourage our children to glorify God, be creative, and think excellent thoughts, we ask questions such as, What next steps would bring God glory and praise? How can my outward actions and inward thoughts manifest a heart pleasing to God? How can I be an instrument of God’s love?

by Sue R. / Huntley, IL