One of the benefits of sending our kids to school is the chance for them to experience life away from home. These experiences are social as well as educational, of course. Kids are discovering what it's like to integrate into the community of the school, make friends, establish bonds with teachers, and grow as individuals.
While we as parents want to let our children experience these things independently and in their own special ways, we also want to learn as much as we can about what goes on in their lives away from us. We want to know about their accomplishments, their discoveries, and any difficulties they may have encountered, especially any that their teachers might not be aware of.
How to Tell How My Child’s School Year Is Going
Whether we are talking about our youngest kids or our tweens and teens, our kids tend to be more reserved about their life and don't divulge as much information. So what is a parent supposed to do? How can we communicate with our children in a way that makes them feel comfortable opening up and sharing the positive (and negative) aspects of their school day?
We prefer to hear from our kids directly about how their day went at school. But what do parents usually discover in response to their kids' straightforward inquiries, such as "How was your day?" Crickets!
If you have a child that does not initiate discussion on their own, there are methods to pose questions that will promote open dialogue. There are also things you can do proactively to know how the school year is going.
1. Be Involved
The more involved you are in your child’s school life, the more you will understand how your child’s school year is going. Sit down with your child each evening and help them with their homework. Volunteer at their school activities if you are able. Get to know their peers, friend group, and teachers.
By being involved, you will know what questions to ask, and you will have conversation starters.
Start by demonstrating to your children your interest in their schoolwork. Talk about their learning and their likes and dislikes of the assignments. Give older children their own space, however. They may become resentful and less motivated if they feel like you are pressing them.
2. Communicate with the Teacher
Working with your child's teacher is another one of the most crucial things you can do to know how your child's school year is going. The teacher may be able to provide you with more suggestions on how to inspire your child or identify any problems your child may be having. Likewise, you are welcome to provide any tips or knowledge you may have.
Your child’s teacher is more likely to communicate progress and issues if you are keeping in touch with them on a regular basis. By staying in touch, it is letting the teacher know you are interested and vested in your child’s education and well-being at school. This will remind the teacher to send you updates on your child.
3. Ask Open-Ended Questions
Ask questions that can be answered with a yes or no if you want a brief chat with one-word responses. Asking precise, open-ended questions is necessary if you want your child to engage in discussion with you. Some examples of open-ended questions are provided below.
- What did you do at school today that you liked best?
- What games did you play during recess?
- Who did you eat lunch with today?
- What happened today that was the funniest?
- Who has been your favorite teacher so far this year?
This type of questioning encourages your child to engage in conversation. But don't count on getting a thorough, in-depth answer to every question. The goal is to have a lot of quick conversations over time. Seeking leisurely, unhurried times to talk, like over dinner or while driving, is beneficial.
4. Keep Your Questions Positive
If you feel that something isn't going well, your questions may come across negatively or use strong expressive words like sad or harsh. Asking your child in a way that is encouraging and helpful may make them feel more comfortable sharing their concerns and problems.
“I heard you hung around with new friends at recess today,” for instance. “What did you two talk about?”
5. Begin the Question with Something About Yourself
When someone shares information about themselves with you, it's only natural to want to reciprocate. By telling your child something about yourself or your time in school, you are opening up a conversation for them to tell something about themselves.
An illustration might be, "Oh my gosh! My friends and I used to enjoy playing hand-clapping games when we were in third grade. What activities do you and your friends enjoy doing when you are hanging out?
6. To Begin the Conversation, Discuss Your Day
If you show your child that you care for them, they will be more willing to open up to you. To start a light conversation with your child, tell them about your day. It will help if you are as specific as you can be. Little things like your favorite pen breaking or forgetting your coffee can be shared.
The more details you share in your conversations with your children, the more they will learn to talk about their days. You might not be aware that your kids are not born with that skill. They may need to learn how to talk to people.
7. Know When to Stop
Kids periodically lack the urge to interact, just like adults do. It's important to know when to pause and put things off until later. Nonetheless, you must ask straightforward, precise questions and insist on getting answers if there is an emergency or difficult situation.
So How Is My Child’s School Year Going?
Talking with your child about their day at school shows them that you are interested in what is going on in their life. This involvement enhances your child's well-being, happiness, and mental health. Also, it might have a really positive effect on how your child behaves and performs in school. It shows your children how highly you value education and learning, which encourages them to feel the same way.
By discussing school with your child, you can learn more about their learning preferences, problem-solving techniques, and expectations for behavior in the classroom. Understanding why your child is having problems or seems less interested in school may be helpful.
If you are aware of how your child feels about school, you will be more likely to spot problems early on. You can help your child overcome challenges by engaging them in this manner.
Haywood Christian Academy
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