For many families, school has either just started or is about to get underway soon.
Which means back to the hustle and bustle of getting up early, getting back into a scheduled routine, and living another round of the school year life with your family.
In the 365 days of the year, approximately 180 of those days for your kids will be spent in a classroom with authorities and friends other than you, their parents. That’s a lot of time and a lot of influence that other people are having in your children’s everyday life.
For the parent who wants to be intentional and stay engaged in their child’s day to day school life, it’s important that the conversation that follows each day of school is more than just “How was school today?”, and a robotic response of “Eh, it was okay.”
Yet, unfortunately, that’s often the extent of the conversation in many families. Little is said. Very little if anything in really known by the parent about what’s going on in their child’s daily life at school. And the gap of disengagement throughout the school year widens as often-times kids naturally develop stronger loyalties at school with their friends than they do at home with their families.
So here’s 15 probing and random questions to ask your kids at the end of a school day throughout the year. They’ll help you keep your kids in check, keep yourself in check, and hopefully help you to get more of a response than, “Eh, it was okay.” 🙂
1. Who did you spend the most time with at school today, and how did you two become good friends?
2. What subject do you feel you are doing the best in, and which subject are you struggling in the most?
3. Are the other kids in your class showing respect for the teacher and their rules? What about you?
4. How do you decide who you’ll sit with during lunch? Who did you sit with at lunch today? Have you ever tried looking for someone else who might need a friend at lunchtime?
5. What were one or two favorite parts of your day today? Tell me specifically what you liked about them.
6. Is there anyone in your class that’s being treated unfairly? Have you been treating anyone unfairly?
7. Do you have any homework? If so, how much and in what subjects? Is it anything I can help you with?
8. What’s one way that you helped someone out, or showed kindness or respect for someone else in your school today?
9. Can you think of anything you did today that would make your teacher proud to have you in their class, or that would have made us proud of you?
10. If I were to ask your classmates to give me a description of you and how you treat others in the class, how do you think they would describe you?
11. What is one thing your teacher said today that you remember most?
12. Was there anything that happened today that made you laugh?
13. What are some of the names of new kids you’ve met this year? What can you tell me about them and their families?
14. Can you tell me something out of the ordinary that happened to you today, and I’ll tell you something out of the ordinary that happened to me?
15. If you could change one thing about your class, what would it be?
These are just a sample of the many questions that you could ask. And you could come up with many more probing questions with just a little bit of intentional thought. Just make sure that your questions are specific and open-ended, and you’ll be on the road to having better and deeper conversations.
So the next time your on your way to pick up your kids from school, put the phone on vibrate, turn off the radio, and take a few moments of silence to think about how you’re going to engage with your child as soon as they’re in your presence.
Your initial response everyday when first seeing your kids after school will inadvertently speak your value of them or lack thereof. In a matter of moments, they’ll be able to tell how much you care.
So, be intentional by being prepared. Be on the lookout for your child’s arrival… Smile and look them in the eyes when you see them… And show them that you really do care about the details of their daily life.