10 alternatives to “how was school?”

10 alternatives to “how was school?”


I wrote this post with my 10 year old son so I could get his approval!

It’s felt like a long day of concentrating, sitting on a plastic chair and table that wobbles every time I write on it. Some of my closest friends are arguing with some of my other friends, I really don’t want to get involved but it makes me sad when they argue. Lunchtime was fun sitting in the fresh air, I was able to run around too. But then the bell went and it felt like only 5 minutes had passed. The boy who got moved next to me always makes silly noises and I try to ignore it, but when I’m trying to figure out a difficult maths question I sometimes snap at him, then I’m told off by the teacher. My belly hurts a little because I couldn’t use the toilet, some of the bigger kids throw things over the cubicles. I hope you know I’ve tried my best today. Finally, it’s home time! I race out of the gates and I see your smile, my safe place. I feel my shoulders relax a little and my mind begins to rest. 

We’re waiting for our children to come out of the school gates and are greeted by their light. We missed them and are keen to know about their day and we ask “ how was school?!” they reply “it was fine”. Children aren’t trying to be so vague, they’re just processing a lot of information and emotions from their busy world away from us. We are their calm. Fortunately, there are creative ways where we can get a glimpse into their own independent lives.

10 questions to try as an alternative to “how was school?”

  1. What was your favourite moment of today?
  2. What was your least favourite part of today?
  3. Tell me about something funny that happened today? 
  4. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your day? 
  5. If you could compare your day to an animal (or something else) what would it be? why?
  6. Did anything make you feel particularly happy/sad today?
  7. Do you feel like chatting right now or listening to your choice of music?
  8. Tell them about your day to connect and open up a discussion 
  9. Ask if they’d like to play a game on the way home, often this is how children communicate 
  10. Ask what they’d like to do that evening in order to wind down from school- children are often more likely to talk about things in their own time 

I would love to hear any of your ideas mamas and papas


References: After School Tantrums: Why Kids Fall Apart… | PBS KIDS for Parents

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