In November of 2014 I wrote about this very question after I had experienced my first carpool pick up with our (then) 4½ year old grandson. I laughed at myself when the first question out of my mouth was just that, and his response was one word, “OK.” And then he told me he couldn’t remember anything.
I knew better.
Here I am again four years later and needing a refresher. I found this social media post by Leslie Means with her website at https://herviewfromhome.com. While she outlined 50 questions, for brevity I have picked some favorites. She makes a point that the best phrasing of a question is open-ended to bring out more than a one word answer. A supportive follow up question is even more important to keep the conversation going.
If the words slip out of your mouth before you know it, try again later. Remember that often a little space in between school and the question (aka quizzing) will bring a better response. Maybe begin the later conversation by sharing what your day was like, or be patient and wait until dinner or bedtime.
This issue might stump parents of non-cooperative families since MH parents are so clued into what goes on in the classroom, but I am certain it will help you as your children matriculate through the grades.
- Can you tell me an example of kindness you saw/showed?
- Was there an example of unkindness? How did you respond?
- Does everyone have a friend at recess?
- Did anyone do anything silly to make you laugh?
- Did anyone cry?
- What did you do that was creative?
- What is the most popular game at recess?
- What was the best thing that happened today?
- Did you help anyone today?
- Did you learn something you didn’t understand?
- What was your least favorite part of the day?
- What is something you heard that surprised you?
- Tell me something you know today that you didn’t know yesterday.
- What is something that challenged you?
- How did someone fill your bucket today? Whose bucket did you fill?
- What questions did you ask at school today?
- Tell us your top two things from the day (before you can be excused from the dinner table!).
- What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
- What was the hardest rule to follow today?
- If you could change one thing about your day, what would it be?
- What made your teacher smile? What made her frown?
- What made you feel happy?
- What made you feel proud?
- If you could switch seats with anyone in class, who would it be? And why?
- If you switched places with your teacher tomorrow, what would you teach the class?
I wish you many rich and rewarding conversations with your kids.
Best in parenting,
Ginny Hacker, director
P.S. On another note, Mindy Hutchinson, long-time educator and founder of our Kinderbird class shared an alert about a coordinated effort to create online preschool as a cost effective way to fund early childhood education.
Two organizations fighting this effort are:
For specific information and the way you can help, click here: https://www.deyproject.org/online-preschool.html Parents have every reason to be shocked about this misguided effort to commercialize the learning that should transpire in the preschool years.
I encourage you to read the information and contact your Indiana State lawmaker. When I put in my address, I was automatically directed to a message for my Senator John Ruckelshaus. I indicated I was the director of our school by way of personalizing my message in the pre-loaded email. You can edit as you see fit.
Please add your voice to pushing back against this travesty!