As of this week, we now have a Senior and a Junior infant. Getting last years Junior infant to part with information about school was at worst, impossible, and at best, impossible.
A few months into the last school year I learned a simple ‘technique’ that ensured my daughter gave a lot more than a shoulder shrug or a one word answer. To be fair, despite going back a decade or 2-and-a-half, I can clearly remember my own response of ‘Boring’ to my parents ‘How was school?’ question. With me, despite the fact that school wasn’t really boring, it was a nice short answer that I felt was best to get my parents off my back.
But now as a parent myself I somewhat regret not giving my own parents more detailed answers. After all, they just wanted to be involved. They really just cared.
I started off with ‘What was the best thing that happened at school today?’. To my surprise I could immediately see my little girl’s mind working and she then came out with a multiple sentence answer. I was delighted and quickly followed up with ‘Did anything happen today that wasn’t nice?’ and ‘Tell me something that made you laugh’. I continued this for the remainder of the school year, adding an extra question or two every now and again.
Here’s a few ideas of the types of questions that may help to get the conversation flowing. They won’t necessarily always do the trick as there are just some days that your child doesn’t want to get into a discussion. But I find them to be a great way of getting them to open up.
1. What was the best thing that happened at school today?
2. What was the worst thing that happened?
3. Tell me something that made you laugh
4. What was your favourite part of the day?
5. Tell me the names of the children sitting at your table
6. Was the a piece of work that you found difficult?
7. Was there a piece of work that you found really easy?
8. Tell me something that you learned today
9. Did you help anyone today?
10. Tell me about a new word that you heard at school
11. What did you do/talk about at lunchtime?
12. What are you looking forward to most at school tomorrow?
If you have any other questions to add, please share below.