Truly one of the greatest joys of homeschooling has been the AWESOME conversations I get to have with my children. Conversations I would ordinarily have missed. My boys, though only 8 and 7, have truly blessed me with their BIG insights and WONDROUS pontifications from such tiny people. However, with that comes the ever-included QUESTIONS. Questions are great, wonderful, MAGICAL, but for the love!
If you have a child like mine, you hear the phrase "Why..." at least eleventy billion times a day. And
yes, it happens so often I've started counting with mythical numbers like Eleventy-Gajillion. IT's a real number. As my 7 yr old! FOR REAL YA'LL, between my three boys, some days I can't BEGIN one conversation or teaching topic that we don't rabbit trail down 15 different paths of WHYs and HOW COMEs and HOW DOES etc. While I LOVE their inquisitive nature, and I don't want to stifle that, I do need to add SOME measure of control to the whole thing or we'd never get to the point of our discussion.
And then there's that beautiful Mom-Truths where some honestly, some days, I'm legit FED-UP and wanna shove a pencil in my ear.....but I digress....
In my desperation to find a balance I struck across this amazing idea and I'm COMPLETELY excited to share it with you!
Our BIG BOX of QUESTIONS!!!!!
The concept is so simple yet effective. Create a fun way for the kids to FILE away their million irrelevant questions so they feel HEARD and LOVED and still have that beautiful INQUISITIVE joy about their world.....but organize them in a way that they don't DERAIL Every. Single. Lesson or table conversation. Here is how we built ours, ON THE CHEAP, using materials around the house we already had AND (homeschooling hive mind will applaud) doing it TOGETHER as a CRAFT project! It's scratching all the multi-tasking mama itches! AND -- we did this for FREE from things around my house. But I looked and you could buy a box, washi tape, and sharpies for less then 12 bucks on Amazon. THIS IS A CHEAP SOLUTION to the constant barrage of WHY WHY WHY!
STEP 1: FIND A BOX
This was super easy. We had one of those great plastic containers that Ziploc sells "sets" of
containers in. It's been repurposed into half a dozen things over the past two years but by far this is it's BEST reincarnation. I just cut a hole into the top and VOILA! Ballot-Style QUESTION BOX with a slot just big enough to let slips of paper drop inside for future review! If you don't happen to have a box laying around, they have them on AMAZON super cheap and it can arrive in 2 days! You don't even have to leave the house for this!
STEP 2: DECORATE SAID BOX
Now THIS is the step where the kids got to come in. I pulled out my MASSIVE collection of SHARPIE MARKERS (my happy place is in a sharpie store, I'm sure of it) and and Washi Tape and let my kids GO TO TOWN. Honestly, this takes SOME self-restraint. It's not the most pretty end design, but FOCUS ON THE GOAL MAMA's. You WANT the kid to ENJOY this process so they ENJOY using the box so don't stifle their creative need to draw radioactive symbols or scribble unendingly and waste and roll of washi tape making STRIPES. Let them have fun.....and LOOK - TEAM WORK!
STEP 3: FIND THE BOX A KID-FRIENDLY HOME
Give the box it's spot of honor in your home. A shelf in the school room, a window sill in the kitchen, anywhere that your kids can go to it WITHOUT your intervention. Make sure there is a notepad nearby so they have an abundance of small paper (less you trade 20 questions with 20 instances of "mom where's some paper?") and then watch as the ideas fill up over time! THAT'S IS! 3 Simple Steps and BOOM. You have a fun, creative, self-sufficient way for your child(ren) to ask ANY AND ALL questions that pop into their tiny inquisitive brains. Once the habit begins you'll be amazed at the fun they have FILLING the box. Plus, and this is the best SIDE PERK of all!
On days when you just 'can't-even' with the lesson plan of the day, GO TO THE BOX.
Find a topic, sit at the computer with your kids, RESEARCH that topic TOGETHER. Make an impromptu Library run, read up on the AMAZING topics they will inevitably want to know about. and WHO CARES if it doesn't fit in your curriculum lesson plan. Maybe you aren't studying Greece yet but your kid is dying to know about Greek Gods after a viewing of Hercules....GREAT. GO FORTH and LEARN! Maybe your kiddo was playing at the park and saw an ant trail and wanted to know more. BOOM - BUG LESSON! Find videos, books, even go on amazon and buy a cheap ant farm. THAT BOX will become the great joy of your homeschool life just by giving you all an outlet to veer off the every day path into wonderful adventures. And hey, if you come across one you already answered, toss it and choose another!
It's not a BINDING box, it's a FREEDOM BOX. Don't let this stress you out, let it set you FREE!
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