How to get your children to (really!) talk about their school day

by Chantal Bufe



I used to say that I miss my kids while they are in school (and I meant it). Now, after almost a year of homeschooling, not so much.


But the time will come when school will resume and when I will want to know how they are doing.


I used to love pick-up time, eager to see my little one's faces and to hear all about their day, even trying to make my answers so that a yes or no reply is impossible:


- what was the funniest thing that happened today?

- what was the most helpful thing you did for someone else?

- who made you smile today?

- what challenged you today?

- what would you rate your day on a scale of 1 to 10? And why?

- if you had the chance to be the teacher tomorrow, what would you teach the class?

- if the school were a ride at the fair, which ride would you be? Why?

- tell me something you learned about a friend today.

- when did you feel most proud of yourself today?

- what is one thing you hope to know before the school year is over?


I tried these questions with my children, but didn't get anywhere. My children's answers remained just as short, were not informative or helpful in any way.


So, I tried it with a game: you ask your kids to share four facts about their day, but one out of the four of these questions has to be a lie. And the parent has to guess which one.


It really works like a charm and (pre-Covid) my children shared more information about their school day than ever before. I found out what they do, who they hang out with, which classes they like and dislike, who their favourite teacher is. And yes, I finally also know what each of my children had for lunch.


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