You might be able to get away with asking, “how was your day at school” right at the beginning of the school year, but no long after. After all, there are new teachers and friends to talk about, new projects, new classrooms, and new backpacks to talk about. But in a month? Your question about their day is going to result in a one-word answer: “good.” That doesn’t give you much information.
Here are some questions to ask your children
What made you smile today?
Can you tell me an example of kindness you saw/showed?
Was there an example of unkindness? How did you respond?
Does everyone have a friend at recess?
What was the book about that your teacher read?
What’s the word of the week?
Did anyone do anything silly to make you laugh?
Did anyone cry?
What did you do that was creative?
What is the most popular game at recess?
What was the best thing that happened today?
Did you help anyone today?
Did you tell anyone “thank you?”
Who did you sit with at lunch?
What made you laugh?
Did you learn something you didn’t understand?
Who inspired you today?
What was the peak and the pit?
What was your least favorite part of the day?
Was anyone in your class gone today?
Did you ever feel unsafe?
What is something you heard that surprised you?
What is something you saw that made you think?
Who did you play with today?
Tell me something you know today that you didn’t know yesterday.
What is something that challenged you?
How did someone fill your bucket today? Whose bucket did you fill?
Did you like your lunch?
Rate your day on a scale from 1-10.
Did anyone get in trouble today?
How were you brave today?
What questions did you ask at school today?
Tell us your top two things from the day (before you can be excused from the dinner table!).
What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
What are you reading?
What was the hardest rule to follow today?
Teach me something I don’t know.
If you could change one thing about your day, what would it be?
(For older kids): Do you feel prepared for your history test?” or, “Is there anything on your mind that you’d like to talk about?” (In my opinion, the key is not only the way a question is phrased, but responding in a supportive way.)
Who did you share your snacks with at lunch?
What made your teacher smile? What made her frown?
What kind of person were you today?
What made you feel happy?
What made you feel proud?
What made you feel loved?
Did you learn any new words today?
What do you hope to do before school is out for the year?
If you could switch seats with anyone in class, who would it be? And why?
What is your least favorite part of the school building? And favorite?
If you switched places with your teacher tomorrow, what would you teach the class?