Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Questions, Anyone?

After finishing a book, ask your child some questions to help her recall the story and better understand it. Be sure to ask questions that require her to expand on her answer. If you ask questions that just have a yes or no answer, your child may stop right there. Yes/no questions are fine, as long as you keep things going. For example after asking whether she enjoyed the story, ask her why she liked it. Asking who, what, why, when, and how questions is a good way to encourage her to think more deeply about her response.


  1. This is quite true! Yes or no is easy, but to get into what they notice requires more depth. Children are much more capable and receptive to language than the average parent can realize.

  2. Exactly! Plus giving a child the idea that you really want to know what is on his or her mind helps convey that those thoughts are valuable and worth talking about.


What I think . . .

There are all kinds of readers. Some—like my daughter and me—are never without a book to read for pleasure. Others—like my son—are careful, analytical, and curious readers who read primarily to seek information from the page.

No matter what kind of reader your child becomes, you can help him or her get started. After all, you are your child’s first teacher. And, best of all, you can have some fun in the process.

Please feel free to share your own ideas. Tell me about ways you've enjoyed reading with your child.

Madeline Boskey, Ph.D.