30 Conversation-Starter Questions to Ask Kids About School
This situation plays out at dinner tables all over the world: You want to know you your kid’s day went, so you ask them, “How was school today?” But all you get is, “Fine,” or “Good.” So you try asking them what they did today.
Again, you get a one-word answer. “Nothing.” “Stuff.”
First, don’t worry. This is completely normal. These kids have gone through about six hours of school, and their day has been highly stimulating. Processing a day’s worth of experiences isn’t always easy for them.
Asking open-ended questions may help you learn more about your child’s daily life. We rounded up some conversation starters to help you break the ice.
Related: 60+ Get To Know You Questions to Ask Kids (& Free Printable)
Here is our list of questions to ask your child, broken down into getting to know you questions and questions about their day:
Fun Questions to Get to Know Kids:
- Who is your best friend and what makes them a good friend?
- What are you looking forward to at school tomorrow?
- What is your favorite thing about going to school?
- Do you prefer school lunch or bringing a lunchbox and why?
- What are you most grateful for?
- Would you rather be a bird or a fish and why?
- What games do you play with your friends?
- Which kids in your class are the funniest?
- Which kids in your class are the most well-behaved?
- What is your favorite book and why?
- If you could change one thing about your school, what would it be?
- What might you want to do when you grow up? What makes you choose this?
- If a new student joined your class, what would be the first advice you have for them?
- In what ways are you a leader? In what ways are you a follower? (because both roles are important!)
- Which character in a book or movie reminds you of yourself, and why?
Questions to Ask Kids About Their Day
- What was your favorite part of the day?
- What was your least favorite part of your day?
- What was the funniest thing that happened today?
- What was the hardest thing you had to do today?
- What was the best thing in your lunch today?
- Who did you play with today?
- What did you read about today?
- Which subject was most interesting today?
- Who did you sit next to at lunch?
- Who can you say thank you to today?
- What is something kind you did today?
- How would you rate your day on a scale of 1 to 10 and why?
- What was something interesting that you learned today, either in class or outside?
- What special activities were part of today? Explain what is different about those activities compared to your normal classes.
- What was something active that you did today? Do you wish you had more activity or was it too much (or just the right amount)?
How to Get More Involved in Kids' School Life
Kids with involved parents do better in school. Their grades tend to be higher, and they have fewer behavior problems. They show more confidence and stay in school longer.
When you participate in your child’s school life, you make school a family value. This ups kids’ level of interest and engagement. Your presence also keeps your child on their toes, because they know you will know how well they are doing.
There are many ways to give your presence to your kid’s school. If you work full-time or you just have a very busy schedule with multiple kids and family members to look after, it’s still possible to make a difference and be involved.
It might look a little different, but it will still benefit your child. The important thing is that you make it a priority.
Here are a few ideas for getting involved in your child’s education...
Be a Parent Volunteer in the Classroom
Teachers often need volunteers to help with hands-on classroom activities, reading to the students, or tasks like correcting papers. If you're a stay-at-home parent looking for a way to get more involved in your child’s life and make a little extra money, ask if there’s a need for a part-time teaching assistant, classroom aide, or field trip volunteer!
Not only will your child’s teacher be grateful for the extra set of hands, it will also help you build a strong relationship with her. Even if you can only come in a handful of times each school year as a classroom volunteer, this is an excellent way to get involved. The teacher will be grateful as well!
Coach a School Sport or Be Your Kid’s Biggest Cheerleader
If you’re the athletic type, jump on board and see if your kid’s school has any need for assistant coaches or parental advisors for after-school sports and clubs. Even if you don’t end up coaching full time, things like volunteering to bring team snacks, organize post-game dinners, or occasionally carpool your child and their teammates is a great way to make more time to get to know them and their interests.
Follow Your Child’s School Social Media
Schools are hopping onto social media platforms to share their special moments with families. You can follow these accounts to get updates on things like when school spirit days and special events are happening, school closures, and other special student achievements.
Safety tip: School social media accounts should be private and only parents or other safe and recognized accounts should be accepted to follow.
Work on Your Child’s Homework Together
If you’re mostly home in the evenings, you can stay involved in their education by helping them with their homework. For some kids that might mean sitting together and working through each assignment, while others just need their work checked once they’re done.
Helping with homework and checking your child’s assignments for accuracy and effort shows that you care. When you care about your child’s education, they will too.
Important Things to Know About Your Kids Day at School
There are some things that parents should know about their child’s daily life at school. It’s ideal to get this information directly from your kid, but you also want to maintain good contact with your child’s teachers and caregivers. This type of communication will help you fill in the gaps and get an accurate understanding of what is going on.
As a parent, you should know:
- Whether your child is eating a good lunch and any snacks
- If your child had any physical injuries and how they occurred
- How well your child is doing academically
- Whether there were any behavior concerns in a given day
- Who they play with and the types of interactions they are having with their friends and peers
- Any significantly negative interactions they have with other children
All in all, you need to have a general idea of what your child’s experience is at school and whether they are thriving. If there are any big issues, you should have more detailed knowledge of what is going on. Generally, the teacher should be in contact with you about major concerns.
That being said, it’s not necessary for parents to hear about every small infraction their child commits in a day. Teachers are capable of handling most behavioral or academic concerns on their own, and it may be preferable to leave it that way.
The same goes for their academic progress. Your kid’s teacher doesn’t need to email you if they don’t get every test question correct. But, you should expect to know if there are areas where they aren’t progressing as needed or if there are significant behavior issues that you need to help address with your child.
If your child is falling behind academically, getting bullied, or acting out in a significant way, the school should be reaching out to you. You should also be able to see your child’s school work and receive progress reports every few months.
You should also have a parent-teacher conference at least once a year and more often if there are goals that need to be revisited. When in doubt, don’t be afraid to shoot a quick email to your kid’s teacher with any questions.
For even more ways to spark more meaningful conversations with your kids, check out our downloadable printable of 60+ Get To Know You Questions to Ask Kids!
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Elisa is a well-known parenting writer. She is an expert on child behavior and certified in Positive Discipline.