'How was your day?' #RISEtipoftheweek

September 13, 2018

We have all been there.  We finally reunite with our children after a long day apart.  They have spent the day at school- learning, growing, playing.  You have spent the day at home, work, running errands, etc.  

 

You see them, scoop them up, give them a giant hug, and ask the age-old question, 'How was your day?'.  

 

If you're lucky, this might be met with a 'good!' or maybe even a smile.  BUT more often than not, we are met with a shrug, blank stare, grumpy face, or exhausted yawn.  This could be because they are tired after a long day.  Or they may be unable to verbalize their recollection of the day.  Or they may be overwhelmed by the process of recalling that information in itself.  As parents, this can be tough because we want to connect, catch up, and ultimately get a glimpse into our children's world.  But how??  

 

Keep reading for a handful of ideas from our team!

 

General tips:

  • Phrase a question with choices and try to avoid language like 'good' or 'bad' day

    • for example:  ‘Did you play in the longhorn lab or on the trike path today?’  

    • If your child is pre or non-verbal, try creating some simple visuals to keep at home for your child to choose from (block center, playground, music, baby dolls, etc).  

 

  • Ask open-ended questions 

    • "Tell me about your story time today."

    • "What was your favorite part of the day?"

 

  • Use their artwork or take-home papers to start conversations

    • "I see that you chose purple and green paint!"  

    • "Tell me about this shape over here."  

    • "Tap the part of the picture that is your favorite."

    • "What art tools did you use to make this part?"

 

  • Use humor and give misinformation so that your child can correct you

    • parent- ‘I heard that you went to the zoo today and ate 10000 meatballs!’ 

    • child- ‘WHAT?!  No I didn’t!  I played with blocks with my friend Sally and had a sandwich for lunch!  Silly mom!"

 

  • Be aware of the school schedule so that you can discuss specific parts of your child’s day

    • "I saw that you had Sportball at school today.  That sounds so fun.  Did you kick a soccer ball, or push a hockey stick?"

    • "I saw that you are learning about farm animals in music class today.  My favorite farm animal is a cow.  Can you tell me what sound a cow makes?"

 

  • Model sharing about your OWN day

    • "Today I had a meeting at work and then met my friend for lunch.  We ate pizza and talked about the Texas Longhorn game.  Who did you eat lunch with today?"

 

  • Maintain ongoing communication with your child’s teacher so that you are aware of your child’s learning, day-to-day experiences, routines, friendships, and challenges.

 

  • Allow some time after school for your child to rest and recharge (Allow your child not to talk right after school.)

    • Going to school all day as a little one can be exhausting!  Asking right away how their day was (and expecting specifics) could feel overwhelming in the moment.  Give them the space and time they need after they get home to rest, get their wiggles out, play independently, unwind… whatever they need to get back on track!  Once their minds and bodies are recharged, you will most likely find that they are most willing (and excited!) to share and connect about all the fun things they did at school that day. 

Are you a Rise parent? See tips for how you can utilize our home-school communication tools to talk to your child about their day.

 

  • Review weekly classroom photos with your child

    • Each week, the classroom lead teacher sends home a link to all the photos taken throughout the week.  Sit down with your child and explore these together.  Not only will does this give great insight to what your child is up to during the week, it might trigger some memories or stories that your child wants to share with you!

      • Try this: use ‘noticing language’ to elaborate on the pictures 

        • talk about the people in the photo ‘I see that you read a book with Ms. Moni this week’

        • the location ‘I see that you played outside on the tire swing today!’

        • the items they are playing with ‘I see that you and Timmy pushed the cars around the block center this week!  How fun!"

  • Review weekly lesson plans

    • Take note of the classroom lesson plans and begin the conversation by bringing up a specific activity or song that you know they did today

    • For example:  ‘I heard that you were going to sing ‘Old McDonald’ with your friends at school today!  Would you like to sing it together with me?’

 

  • Talk about the artwork displayed in the halls with your child during drop-off or pick-up

    • Take note of the explanation of the activity posted on the wall from the classroom teachers.  Use this as a starting point to discuss the materials, tools, subject matter, and colors featured in the art work.

 

We hope these tips are helpful and lead to quality time together before or after school.  Do you have more tips that work within your family?  We would love to hear!  Please share them with awinslow@riseschoolaustin.org to be included in this post.  Thank you!

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