Are you finding yourself frustrated when every day, you ask your child how school is going and keep getting the same old, empty, 'fine'? Step up your question game with these five options that will help you to get your child talking about his or her school life.
Sometimes, being a parent feels a little bit like being a detective - especially if you have a teenager. Once your children reach school age, you spend much of the day away from each other. Of course, you want to know what they've been getting up to, but they aren't always eager to sit down and give you a blow by blow of their school life. (And if they are, please know how lucky you are.) Check out the questions below for some ideas for creative ways to find out how your child is feeling about school, because sometimes 'How was school today?' just doesn't cut it.
1. What Do You Want to Learn More About?
There's no better question for getting a sense of what your child is remembering from school and which topics/subjects they find interesting than 'what do you want to learn more about?' Children are naturally curious and it's likely that there are some lessons that stand out to them more than others as things they want to dig into further. This question is good not only because it gives you valuable information that may or may not have an impact on your child's future, but also because it gives you a call to action. Your child wants to learn more about archeological digs? Help him or her learn more about archeological digs! Whether it's checking out books from the library, finding documentaries to watch together, or using the myriad of online educational resources available to you, you can do your part in enriching your kid's education. Go, you.
2. How is Your Teacher/Who is Your Favorite Teacher?
This question depends on your child's grade and whether or not they have multiple teachers, but the idea is to get to know how he or she feels about his or her teacher(s). Finding out whether they like their teachers or not, and what they do or don't like about them, will give you a great idea of what your child's experience is like in the classroom. Hopefully, you'll hear nothing but positivity, but if you do happen to find out that there's something amiss, check out this blog post for some ideas on how to handle the situation.
3. Do You Need Help With Your Homework?
As a parent, a big part of your role is to help your child. Asking them if they need any extra assistance with their homework helps you become more familiar with what your kid is learning in school, as well as allows you to provide the help that is appropriate. Dedicating a little bit of time every day to go over your child's homework with them can even be a nice bonding experience, if done right. You can establish a non-judgmental, open space for learning that shows your child you'll always be there to help him or her. Who knows, maybe you've got a little Einstein who's got it all figured out by himself… But you might as well ask to find out.
4. Tell Me About Your Friends
School is much more than just a pure academic experience. For your kid, it's probably a large fraction of their social life. It's important to know who your child's friends are and what they get up to in school. Sit down with your son or daughter and let them talk to you about what they do with their friends at school, what their mutual interests are, and so on. You'll get an understanding of what your child is like in a social setting and establish a precedent for talking openly about personal lives to hopefully avoid that pesky secrecy that is probably looming around the corner.
5. What Are You Excited About for Next Year?
When you get toward the end of the school year, it's time to start thinking about what's coming next. Ask your child what they're looking forward to for next year. You'll find out how they're developing and whether they're falling behind or proving to be a little academically advanced. It's very possible that you'll end up finding out that your kid has some nerves about something, especially if they're making the big jump to middle or high school. This is your opportunity to be there for your child, to support them as necessary, and to continue to be available as a resource for all things involving school (and, well, everything). Because that's the super parent we know you are.
Looking for some online learning resources to supplement your child's education? Check out Study.com's library of over 70,000 lessons in every subject.