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Talk to Your Child About Their Day With These After-School Questions.


If you have ever asked your child after-school questions about their day and received “fine” or “ok” in response, you already know that it can be tough to get children to discuss school. To get more information from your children, start by asking the right questions!

One-word answers aren’t an attempt to shut parents out; often students are tired after a busy day and simply don’t know where to start. Questions that are more specific than “how was your day” go a long way to helping children start talking. Help your child open up by leading by example.

According to VeryWellFamily, children open up when we open up to them first. So talk to your kids about your day. Share moments you enjoyed, something you found frustrating, and what you are looking forward to tomorrow.

Schedule Time for After-School Questions

All kids thrive when they have routines, including older children. Making a time every day to talk about school should be a predictable part of the day, like eating dinner or brushing teeth before bed. Try to carve out a few minutes at the same time each day.

Wait for Answers

Don’t be too quick to jump to the next question if your kids don’t respond right away. Kids will often think about their responses or take time to answer questions, so patience is key! Don’t rush the conversation.

Use Open-Ended Questions

An open-ended question will often promote a longer answer and can help you avoid the back-and-forth volley of question and single-word answers. But what exact questions should you be asking? Check out these suggestions to get started.

  1. 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?
  2. Ask About Classmates. Social interaction is a crucial part of cognitive development and can carry a lot of weight. Try this social questions:
    > Did anyone at school show care for you today?
    >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?
  3. 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?
  4. Ask About Themselves. Emotional intelligence is valuable for every aspect of life—building the skill now will go a long way toward building good mental health and well-being at school. 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?
    > Are you stressed about anything?
    > What are you looking forward to tomorrow?

Keep the Conversation Going With Oxford Learning!

Talking about school is one indicator of school motivation. If your child seems less than enthused during your discussions, Oxford 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 Oxford Learning can help your child get excited about school again!

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