Here are some questions for you to try with your child today:
- Ask an open question to encourage a conversation. Open questions start with WHY, WHAT, WHERE, HOW, all of which are very difficult to just give a yes or no answer to!
- A good opener to try is “Tell me about…”. For example, "Tell me two good things and one not so good thing about your day?" Make sure you pay more attention to the positive than the negative response!
- What made you smile/laugh today?
- Who did you catch being kind today at school?
- If you could change one thing about your day, what would it have been?
- What made your teacher smile/laugh/frown today?
- What kind of person were you today?
- What are you looking forward to tomorrow at school?
- Tell me something you learned about a friend today.
- What is one thing you did today that was helpful and why?
- When did you feel most proud of yourself today?
Try to avoid asking these kinds of questions which generally only give you a one word answer:
- Closed - Usually a succession of questions beginning with “Did you…?” or “Have you…?” These generally have a yes, no or one word answer.
- Leading - Questions which encourage your child to agree with you, eg. Was Sarah nice to you today or was she mean again like yesterday, she is always mean?
- Multiple - Asking several questions at once, or questions with multiple alternatives.
- Multiple choice – Did you prefer Maths or Science today?
Here are some more suggestions for after school conversation starters – taken from “Understood”:
|Avoid These Questions
||Try These Instead
|How was school?
||What's the biggest difference between this year and last year?
|Did you have fun at school?
||What was the best thing you did at school?
|Who did you sit with?
||Tell me the names of the four kids who sat closest to you.
|Was your teacher nice?
- What was the most interesting thing your teacher said today?
- What class rules did your teacher say are important?
- What did your teacher say she likes to do?
|Did your teacher go over the daily schedule with the class?
||What's the best thing about your daily schedule?
|Did you have everything you needed for school?
||Was there anything you wish you had at school that you didn't have today?
|Were the kids in your class nice?
- Who did you enjoy talking with the most?
- Did anyone have anything fun or interesting to talk about?
|Did you get your schedule?
||Which days look best on your schedule?
|Are your friends in your classes?
||Tell me two kids you remember from each class.
|Was the work hard?
||What was the best thing your teacher asked you to do in ____ today?
You can read more about this subject here:
Ms Sarah Osborne-James