Questions to Ask Your Child After School
How often do you sit with your kids at the end of a long day and ask them school questions? How many times are you met with a deflating ”fine” or “ok” in response? To learn more about what’s going on with your child, start by asking the right questions!
Vague responses are an everyday struggle as parents and end the hope of getting any insight into how kids are doing academically and socially. It’s important to remember that the child might not be keeping things private on purpose—they could be overwhelmed by their busy day and don’t know where to start.
You might struggle at first to get an answer from them, but don’t force it! All they need to know is that you’re available to discuss the day when they’re ready. A great place to start is always leading by example! Dr. Jennifer Katzenstein, Ph.D. of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, suggests that parents share stories and moments from their day to help the child warm up to the conversation.
Set Up a Time of Day to Speak With Your Kids About School
Kids need routines, which include establishing a time every evening away from distractions to have a discussion. Routines help maintain consistency and ensure each of you has the other’s full attention. Recap what they learned and how they felt throughout the day.
Stick to Open-Ended School Questions
One thing to remember is to let your kids do the talking. You are there to prompt them and listen; don’t be too specific with your questions. An open-ended question will often promote a longer answer. But, don’t force conversation if they don’t respond to the question right away. You can always repeat the question at the end of it’s essential to discuss.
Wait For a Response
Patience is key! Kids will often think about their responses or take time to answer questions. Don’t be too quick to jump to the next question if they don’t respond right away. When scheduling into your routine, ensure you’ve allocated enough time to avoid rushing the conversation.
Specific School Questions to Ask About The School Day
If you’re wondering about the exact questions you should be asking, we have suggestions to get started.
Ask About Moments
These questions assist you with learning about what is happening each day. If used correctly, the prompts below will give you insight into how your child feels emotionally.
- Tell me about a moment when you felt excited about what you were learning.
- Share a moment in class when you felt confused or overwhelmed.
- Did you feel worried or scared about anything today?
- Was there a point throughout the day where you felt proud of something?
Ask About Classmates
Social interaction is a crucial part of cognitive development and can carry a lot of weight.
- Did you feel like one of your classmates demonstrated care for you?
- Tell me about a conversation you had with a classmate or friend that you enjoyed.
- Was there a time today where you felt disrespected by any of your classmates?
Ask About Themselves
Emotional intelligence is valuable for every aspect of life—building the skill now will go a long way. These self-awareness prompts require your child to check in with themselves to verbalize how they’re feeling, what they are struggling with and what types of things they are looking forward to in the future.
- How are you feeling so far with the new school year?
- What are you grateful for?
- Did you learn anything new about yourself today?
- Are you stressed about anything?
- What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
Ask About What They Learned
These prompts will get the students to reflect on what was taught that day and gives you a good sense of what was retained and classes they may dislike or struggle with.
- Did you learn something new today?
- Is there a subject or topic you’d like to know more about?
- What’s a question you have that came from your learning today?
- Is there anything that you’d like to talk about that I might be able to help you figure out?
Talking about school is one indicator of school motivation. If your child seems less than enthused during your discussions, GradePower Learning can help! Our elementary and high school programs help students of all ages tap into their motivation to learn. Best of all, a customized learning program at GradePower Learning can help your child get excited about school again!