With roughly 180 days in a school year, how could all of them be ‘good’? Yet on any given day, if you were to ask any one of my four kids: “How was school today?” They would answer: “Good.” So, if you want to really know what’s going on in school, you have to dig deeper by asking more questions. But, what types of questions should you ask? How can you get to the bottom of what’s really happening between the opening and closing school bells?
We’ve compiled a list of 15 questions that you can ask your kids that will hopefully give you a better feel of what’s happening in their world.
1. How was school?
You already know the answer is going to be good, so this is your opportunity to dig deeper.
2. Why was it _______?
This really forces them to think about the day and explain to you why it was good. And if it really was not good, they will tell you … well it wasn’t really good, but it was …
3. Did anything exciting happen today?
I love to hear about the things that excite them about school. Whether it was a delicious treat, an interesting visitor to the class, or a funny joke.
4. What did you learn about today?
Find out which topics they are learning in each subject: What’s going on in Math? What about English? What are you doing in P.E.?
5. Do you have any homework?
Not every kid is the same. Some of them will do their homework whether the parent asks about it or not. Then there are others that subscribe to the “don’t ask don’t tell” philosophy of homework. Out of my four kids, I had one that subscribed to this philosophy … so it is possible that your child may not do their homework if they are not supervised.
6. Do you have any tests coming up?
In my house, our motto is practice makes perfect. We study for tests … all of them. If you don’t study, then I expect an A. I am teaching them how to study when they are young, because it will be required when they are older. They will have to study in high school and college when the courses get harder. They will also have to know how to prepare for projects and assignments in their careers too.
7. What did you eat for lunch?
I discovered that my daughters like peas (and other foods) by asking them what they ate for lunch.
8. Did you like it?
It is hilarious to hear them describe the school lunch sometimes. Sometimes they say certain things are so delicious … and there are others times when they say it’s disgusting. But the way they explain it and the expressions on their faces are hilarious. Also, I take this opportunity to ask them if they still have money on their lunch accounts.
9. Who are your best buddies in class?
It’s important to know whether or not your kids are getting along with their classmates.
10. Who do you play with on the playground?
I also ask questions about the playground. Who are you playing with? What games do you play? This is also when I learn about bullying and any problems that the kids may be having with their friends. This is my opportunity to support my child, to talk over how they should respond, or to get involved as needed.
11. Who is your best friend?
Do you know your kid’s best friend’s name?
12. What is your favorite subject?
My daughter absolutely loves to read, and she is a straight-A student. But, her favorite subject is P.E. She told me she does not like math, and she giggles about it because she knows that was my favorite subject in school. Then, I jokingly tell her that she cannot be my daughter if she doesn’t like math.
13. Can I see your agenda?
Our schools give every student an agenda book where they are supposed to write their daily assignments, and the teachers will leave you notes about their behavior or upcoming activities.
14. Do you have any papers for me?
Sometimes the kids “forget” to give you papers from the teachers. This question will jog their memory. However, a better question is: Can you please go get your book bag?
15. What happened?
If your child comes home with a note from the teacher or with a story about a concerning event, you need to understand your child’s perspective on the event.
Our kids need to know that we are invested in them and in their academic success. Take some time to talk to your kids each day about what is going on in school and help them with whatever they need, whether it’s help with homework or help with a social issue with their friends or teachers.
What questions do you ask your kids when they arrive home from school? Do your kids have “good” days everyday too?