What Does Your Child Want to Learn?

photo by Thejaswi

New homeschoolers often ask me what they should teach their child. Getting started is hard because parents sometimes worry 10 years ahead instead of planning for today.

I encourage parents to ask their child what they would like to learn. Some children are so accustomed to schools telling them what to do that it takes time to begin thinking for themselves, but eventually they will have an answer.

Recently, a new homeschooling mom asked for curriculum ideas for her six-year-old. I suggested that she first ask her daughter what she wanted to learn.

She decided to ask her daughter to list five things that she would be interested in learning. I’m sure she was thinking that coming up with five things would take a long time, and we were both amazed that her daughter immediately came up with a very long list! This little girl was brimming with questions!

Here’s the initial list that the mom sent me the very next day. They were clearly off to a great homeschooling start!

  • How is slime on a worm created?
  • Why are worms always pink?
  • Do worms have bones?
  • How can you create electricity in a bottle?
  • Where does the Easter Bunny live?
  • How deep can the earth go?
  • What is inside a battery?
  • What makes a sound of a drum?
  • Why can’t we live without air?
  • How can people build things in the ocean?
  • How can you make concrete?
  • Do leaves always have water in them?
  • How can you make lead for pencils?
  • What makes a fish a fish?
  • How high is Heaven?
  • What’s inside a flower’s petal?
  • How do you make fabric?
  • What makes wood brown?
  • Why is the sky blue?
  • Why does water evaporate into the clouds?
  • What makes silkweed poisonous?
  • What makes dust under things?
  • How come vacuums are so loud?
  • What does the inside of a plant look like?
  • Why can’t you press buttons to steer a boat?
  • What makes a boat float?
  • Who created the first word?
  • What does God look like?
  • How can weeds grow without seeds (no one plants them)?
  • Space

The best curriculum plan is one based on what your child needs to know today. Because of the high interest, a child will learn it quickly and remember!

What does your child want to learn? You may not know unless you ask.


Karen Taylor’s always homeschooled son attended a local community college after graduating from homeschooling. He transferred to UC Berkeley as a junior, and received a PhD in neuroscience from UCSF.  She shares homeschooling comments and links on Facebook, Pinterest, and this blog.