Questions to Ask Your Child Other Than, "How Was School?"
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Questions to Ask Your Child Other Than, “How Was School?”

Asking your child how their day at school was typically results in a one-word answer. Here are some open-ended questions to ask your child.

Updated June 7, 2024

by Natalie Cook

Certified Reading Specialist and Early Childhood Educator

Does this sound familiar? You’re in the carpool line to pick your child up from school. Your child gets in the car, and you ask, “Hey! How are you? How was school?” You get these frustrating responses: “Fine. Good.” Probably not what you were hoping to hear from your child, right? Instead, they seem more interested in eating snacks and relaxing on the car ride home than sharing something about their long day.

Of course, you’re eager to hear how your child’s day at school went. You missed them, and having your little one be in someone else’s care can be an emotional challenge. You want to check in to ensure your child felt safe, was treated kindly, and did the same to others. If you want to dig deeper for details, try using these open-ended questions to ask your child instead.

Questions to Ask Your Child

1. What was your favorite part of the school day?

2. What was your least favorite part of the school day?

3. When did you feel excited about what you were learning?

4. When did you feel confused about what you were learning?

5. What made you feel happy today?

6. Who did you sit by at lunch?

7. Who did you play with at recess?

8. What do you like the most about this friend?

9. Was anyone sitting or playing by themselves today? Who?

10. If so, what can you do to help that person feel more included?

11. What made you feel sad today?

12. Did anything make you feel worried or frustrated today?

13. What did you do that made you feel proud today?

14. What’s one thing you learned today that you didn’t know yesterday?

15. What or who made you laugh today?

16. Did you help anyone today? If so, who and how did you help them?

17. Did anyone help you today? If so, who and how did they help you?

18. What was the happiest moment of your day?

19. What is something you had difficulty with today?

20. What do you need to learn or do for it not to feel difficult for you?

21. What’s something you did today that you didn’t enjoy?

22. How did a classmate or friend demonstrate care for you today?

23. How did you demonstrate care for a classmate or friend today?

24. What made your teacher smile today?

25. What did you do at recess today?

26. Would you change anything about today? If so, what? If you wouldn’t change anything about today, tell me why.

27. Who do you appreciate today?

28. Did you learn anything about yourself today?

29. Did you feel proud of anyone else today?

30. Are you worried about anything?

31. Is there anything you need my support with today?

32. What are you most interested in learning about?

33. What are you least interested in learning about?

34. What do you do when you have a question during class?

35. What does your teacher do that you appreciate?

36. What adults at school do you feel the safest with?

37. Do you feel comfortable participating in class?

38. How do you participate in class?

39. What classmates did you work with today?

40. Who are your best friends?

41. Who is your nicest friend?

42. Who is your funniest friend?

43. Do you like working on your own or working in a small group?

44. What qualities do you like your friends to have?

45. What did you do to make someone’s day better?

46. Does anyone in your class struggle with making friends?

47. What does your teacher do to help you feel safe and understood?

48. who would you sit next to in class if you could choose? Why?

49. What rules are you expected to follow in your classroom?

50. What rules are you expected to follow in the hallways?

51. What rules are you expected to follow in the cafeteria?

52. What happens if the rules are not followed?

53. Are there any rules that you think are unfair?

54. Have you ever felt unsafe at school? What happened?

55. Who is your favorite teacher, and what do you like about them?

56. What books did you read at school today?

57. Did your teacher read any books to your class today? Tell me about them.

58. What is one thing you want me to know about your school day?

59. Where is your favorite place in the classroom?

60. What is one mistake that you made today? What did you learn from that mistake?

61. Who did you see at school today that you usually don’t see?

62. How would school be different if I shadowed you one day?

63. What did you talk about with your friends today?

64. How is this year different than last year?

65. Do you think you learned something I don’t know today?

66. If you were a teacher, what would you do differently?

67. What did you create at school today?

68. What are you looking forward to tomorrow?

69. Is there anything you’re dreading about tomorrow?

70. Is there a question you wish I’d ask about your day?

Remembering 70 questions to ask your kiddo will be hard, so try starting with just two questions a day. Many of these questions will lead to a great discussion, allowing you to get to know your child. It’s important to remember not to interrupt while your child is speaking. Remember to pay close attention to what your child is showing excitement about and continue asking questions about that subject. These questions do not have to be asked in the car on the way home from school. Set aside a special time to talk, not before they are rushing off to do something.

You know your child best! Feel free to think about what interests your child and tailor your questions to fit them.

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Natalie Cook
Natalie Cook Certified Reading Specialist and Early Childhood Educator
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Natalie Cook graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education and a Master's in Reading Education. She is a certified Reading Specialist… Read more

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