Talking to your child about school

When your child comes home from school there is a lot you will want to discuss with them.

These are some things to keep in mind when you’re talking to them about their day.

  • The way you ask the questions matters. If you give your child the opportunity to answer with one word (yes, no, a name), then you’re likely to get a one-word response. Ask open-ended questions to keep the conversation going.
  • Children are not often specific so you may need to ask for specific information where necessary.
  • Starting with factual questions is a great way to start a conversation.
  • Don't be judgmental about what your child says or does, just ask what might happen next or what they learned. This encourages children to share things with you and work out solutions themselves
  • Avoiding emotional words (fun, happy, sad, mean) will allow the conversation to go on longer.
  • Ask positive questions to give your child a chance to express any concerns. Negative questions will often stop a conversation.

After-school conversation starters

Avoid these questions

Try these instead

How was school?

What’s the biggest difference between this year and last year?

Did you have fun at school?

What was the best thing you did at school today?

Who did you sit with?

Tell me the names of the four children who sat closest to you.

Was your teacher nice?

What was the most interesting thing you learned today?

What class rules did your teacher say are important?

Did your teacher go over the daily routine with the class?

What was the best part about your daily routine?

Did you have everything you needed for school?

Was there anything you wish you'd had at school that you didn’t have today?

Were the children in your class nice?

Who did you enjoy talking with the most? Why?

Did anyone have anything fun or interesting to talk about?

Did you get your timetable?

Which days look best on your timetable? Why?

Are your friends in your classes?

Tell me two children you remember from each class.

Was the work hard?

What was the best thing your teacher asked you to do in ____ today?