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OK, so I know this is more for parents, but picture this: As a teacher, you spend the day trying to create memorable learning opportunities for children. Parents collect their child from school, eager to hear about the fun of the day. The standard question “How was your day?” elicits a bored “nothing” or “good” from the sweet little cherubs. They try again: “What did you do today?” and again you hear the same bored: “Nothing”. What next? How can parents entice their child to volunteer more detail about their day at school? We know they’ve played with their friends, and they’ve had various learning opportunities. They’ve even eaten lunch!
I often have parents asking me what we do each day, and this always troubled me. Not because I didn’t want to divulge the information, but because the students were not sharing anything with their parents. Was I not providing exciting lessons? Why were my students going home and telling their parents that they were learning nothing?
Ask the Right Questions
Then I realized, it wasn’t that my students were bored or felt like they were learning nothing. It was that the questions being asked were too broad. Children like to be seen and noticed, and the best way to to this is by actively engaging in their world. Rather than the generic and repetitive ‘how was your day’, be more specific. If your child had something special at school that day, ask about it. Ask about their friends (and use their names!). Let your child know that you are interested in hearing about their day, that is the most important thing in the world for you to hear about, and that the entire time they’ve been at school, you’ve been anticipating their return just so that they could tell you all about their day.
So, What are the Right Questions?
I’ve put together a handy list of 25 Questions to Ask Your Child About Their Day at School. And, because I’m totally awesome and know how busy you already are, I’ve also turned this list into a FREE printable handout for you to pass on to parents. I include this in my Back to School handouts pack, but really, it can be sent home anytime. Download the printable list from my Resource Library now.
25 Questions to Ask a Child About Their Day at School
- What made you happy today?
- Who made you laugh today?
- What did you do that was creative?
- Where’s the best place to play in the playground?
- What did you do that made you feel proud?
- Who did you help today?
- Who helped you today?
- What was the best thing you ate today?
- What book did your teacher read today?
- What new word did you learn?
- Was it anyone’s birthday today?
- Who did you play with outside?
- What made you feel confused today?
- What did your teacher do that was funny?
- What did you do that was kind?
- What was difficult about today?
- What was easy about today?
- What superpower did you wish you had today?
- Who did you sit next to while you ate lunch?
- What didn’t you like about school today?
- What did your teacher do that was nice?
- What was something interesting you learned today?
- What was the hardest thing you learned today?
- What book did you read today?
- What part of today would you like to do again tomorrow?
It’s a great idea to give children some time after school before asking too much about their day. Children are usually tired after a busy day of learning, and they need time to relax. For my children, we sit down together with a snack and talk about our day. This conversation usually continues while I’m preparing dinner, and often while we eat dinner. It’s important that you find a time that works for your family where you can focus purely on your child/children to let them know just how interested you are in their life.
Do you have some more great questions to ask your child that will guarantee a response? Drop a comment below to let me know!