Without Asking Them 'So How Was School Today?'
Or at least get a full sentence. So the other night, I sat down and made a list of more engaging questions to ask about school. They aren't perfect, but I do at least get complete sentences, and some have led to some interesting conversations... and hilarious answers... and some insights into how my kids think and feel about school.
1. What was the best thing that happened at school today? (What was the worst thing that happened at school today?)
3. If you could choose, who would you like to sit by in class? (Who would you NOT want to sit by in class? Why?)
span style="font-size:20px;">6. If I called your teacher tonight, what would she tell me about you?
12. If an alien spaceship came to your class and beamed someone up, who would you want them to take?
So far, my favorite answers have come from questions 12, 15 and 21. Questions like the "alien" one give kids a non-threatening way to say who they would rather not have in their class, and open the door for you to have a discussion to ask why, potentially uncovering issues you didn't know about before.
And the answers we get are sometimes really surprising. When I asked question 3, I discovered that one of my children didn't want to sit by a best friend in class anymore -- not out of a desire to be mean or bully, but in the hope they'd get the chance to work with other people.