"All children start their school careers with sparkling imaginations, fertile minds, and a willingness to take risks with what they think."
- Ken Robinson
So, How WAS School Today?
How was school today? has got to be one of the most repeatedly asked questions by parents in the modern history of parenting. That, and "Did you brush your teeth? With toothpaste?"
The school day is pretty interesting and PNA kids are pretty talkative and yet, more of our students than you would expect answer with one word as they walk out with their moms and dads: Good.
Good? Well, it's a word. (and it is a lot better than "bad".) And it's almost immediately followed by I'm hungry, where are we going now, do I have a lesson, I have homework. Kids are busy (and the younger they are the more they live in the moment) and the reality is their day was full and pretty complex; where would they even begin to explain it to you? So they say "Good" and sometimes "I don't remember" and promptly wait to see if you are going to produce a Cliff Bar or piece of fruit to squelch their sudden-onset extreme hunger.
But we actually do want to know how school was. Sometimes because we saw pictures of vibrant portraits on the school's Instagram account and we want to know if our kid drew one. Or we know that today was Friday and we want to hear about their ride during their mountain bike elective. So how do we get the conversation we want? The secret is how we ask. Asking about particulars makes it easier for kids to answer. Next time you are wondering how their day was, try one of these:
1. What was the best (weirdest, funniest, you get the idea) thing that happened at school today?
2. Tell me something that made you laugh today.
3. Who did you sit with at lunch today?
4. Where is the coolest place at the school?
5. Tell me a weird word that you heard today. (Or something weird that someone said.)
6. If I called your teacher tonight, what would she tell me about you?
7. How did you help somebody today?
8. How did somebody help you today?
9. Tell me one thing that you learned today.
10. When were you the happiest today?
11. When were you bored today?
12. If an alien spaceship came to your class and beamed someone up, who would you want them to take?
13. Who would you like to play with at recess that you’ve never played with before?
14. Tell me something good that happened today.
15. What word did your teacher say most today?
16. What do you think you should do/learn more of at school?
17. What do you think you should do/learn less of at school?
18. Who in your class do you think you could be nicer to?
19. Where do you play the most at recess?