When you are engaged in your children’s education, your children are more likely to attend school and to perform better. Parent engagement is simply the attitudes, values and behaviors that positively influence your children’s education outcomes. While it’s important to stay informed and to be involved in school activities where possible, your engagement is mostly about what you can do at home.
It is very difficult to get a complete answer when you ask your child “How was school today?”. The most common answers are simply “fine” or “good”. This type of answer does not give you much information about your child’s day at school or insight into the education your child is receiving or experiencing. Here are a few questions and ways to get a better insight into how your child thinks and feels about school.
- Tell me the best thing (worst thing) that happened to you today in school?
- Did something happen in school today that made you laugh?
- Is there any individual person in your class that you would like (would not like to) to sit next to in class?
- What was the most interesting thing you learnt today in school?
- What new word did you learn today in class?
- Did you help or assist one of your class mates today?
- Did one of your class mates help you today in school?
- What was the most interesting class you had today?
- If you had the choice, what do you think you should learn more (or less) in school?
- Who did you play with during recess and what did you do?
- If you could be the teacher for one day, what would do and teach your class?
- Are there any naughty children in class that deserve a timeout?
- Is there anyone in your class that you would like to (would not like) arrange a play date with, and why?
- Did someone do something in school today that made you laugh?
- Who is the coolest teacher in the school?
- If you could switch seats with anyone in your class, who would it be? And why?
- Tell me the weirdest word you heard today or that someone said today?
- What is you most favorite place in school?
- Were you at any time bored in school today?
- Tell me something good or positive that happened to you today in school?
- Was there anyone in school that was horrible to you today?
- Is there anyone in school that you could be nicer to in school?
- If your teacher was standing here, what he/she tell me about you?
In order to get a full sentence out of your children, it is best to ask a non-threatening questions that would invoke a deeper answer and allow you to uncover potential issues you did not know about. Through different questions you will be able to discover if there are, for example, bullies at school or if your child is being threatened or harassed at school. As time goes by, every parent needs to stay engaged and involved your child’s education in order to discover any problems and be able to deal with them immediately before they develop into major problems and hinder your child’s education.
Conversations are critical to ensuring your child feels safe at school. You can have a positive influence on your child’s social, emotional and academic development by talking with them and being engaged in their education. Parents can play an active role in encouraging and fostering positive behaviors that lead to respectful relationships free from bullying and harassment.