Getting your child to talk about their day can be a difficult task. In most cases, asking them “how was your day” will only get you a 1-word response of “good” or “fine.” Talking with your child about their school day allows you to build connections, get involved in their learning, and ensure they are in a school that is meeting their needs and interests. But how do you encourage your child to share more details about their life at school? Here are 15 questions you can ask your children instead of “how was your day at school?” 

For Younger Students

Asking your elementary schooler these questions are great ways to start an open dialog about their day, what they are learning, and their friendships. These questions provide insight into what they excel at, what they struggle with, and how they connect with their school community. 

1. What is one thing you learned today that you didn’t know yesterday?

This question starts a conversation about their learning and also helps them retain the info they learned. It also helps reinforce that learning is not solely academic and can happen in areas beyond the classroom. 

2. What is one thing you struggled with at school today?

This question starts a conversation about their learning and also helps them retain the info they learned. It also helps reinforce that learning is not solely academic and can happen in areas beyond the classroom. 

3. What is one thing you are excited to learn more about?

This question provides great insight into your child’s interests! It can initiate some conversation about what is piquing their interest in school and how you can help them learn more about this topic. 

4. What is one way you helped someone else today or someone helped you?

It is so important to teach your children to serve one another. Even if your child did not help anyone that day, asking this question reminds them to always be looking for ways to support members of their school community! 

5. Who did you sit with at lunch today?

This question allows you to learn more about your kids’ friends and who they are making connections with at their school. Building friendships is a crucial part of elementary school so it’s vital to encourage new relationships!

6. What is one instance where you felt proud of yourself today?

Give your kid a confidence boost! This question reminds students to take pride in their schoolwork and give their best effort. 

7. What made you laugh today?

A day without laughter is a day wasted. Ask your kids about funny moments at school; it’s guaranteed to get a laugh out of both of you. 

8. What are you looking forward to this week?

If it’s been a tough week for your student, this is a great question. It encourages them to keep an optimistic attitude and gives them something to smile about even if they had a tough day. 

9. What subject are you enjoying the most?

The more you know about your child’s learning, the better you can help them succeed. Ask them what they like about this subject and if you can help them find extracurricular activities in this area.  

10. What is your favorite thing about your teacher?

Does your student feel safe, seen, and supported by your teacher, or do they struggle to connect? Your child’s teacher has a huge impact on their overall learning experience, so make sure it’s a good fit. 

For Older Students

Oftentimes, it can be even more challenging to break through to your older children and have them share about their day. When talking to older students, make sure you ask questions that are relevant and won’t make them feel like they are being treated like a child. Try out these questions to initiate an engaging conversation about your teenager’s school life! 

11. What skills do you think you have improved on this week?

Students should constantly look for opportunities to improve. If your teen has specific goals for themselves in goals they want to master, make sure to also inquire about their progress in these areas. 

12. What opportunities did you have to use your talents today?

What does your teen think they thrive at? Are they given the opportunity at school to pursue this in creative ways? Asking this question can get them rambling about their passion projects and give you a sneak peek into how they are developing their skills every day. 

13. Are you learning anything in school that you might be interested in pursuing further in college or as a career path?

This question teaches teens to be future-thinking without creating too much pressure. Students should be encouraged to pursue career paths that align with their passions. Knowing what is piquing their interest in school can help you support them as they start to figure out what they should study in college, trade school, or practice as a career.

14. What events are coming up that you are looking forward to?

Is there a school dance, sports event, or club meeting soon? Especially in middle and high school, your teen needs to engage with their school community to develop strong friendships with their peers. If they seem uninterested in attending school events, try to uncover why and see if you can offer encouragement. Taking a break from school to socialize is very healthy! 

15. What has been difficult for you this week? 

Just as with younger kids, it’s vital to understand what your student struggles with at school. Asking this question shows them how much you care about them and your willingness to help them find a solution.

Besides connecting with your kids, these questions provide valuable insight into whether or not your child is in the best fit school for them. If these questions continue to yield negative attitudes, it may be time to start searching for a new school. The wrong school affects far more than just your child’s academics. Schola is here to ensure your child is in the learning environment that allows them to thrive and be their best selves. When your child is in the right school, it creates positive outcomes for everyone involved!