What Happened at School Today? Nothing

OnWaytoSchoolMy almost-five-year-old’s transition to a new school–her “big-girl school”–has gone as well as we could have hoped for. She says she likes it, the teacher keeps telling us that Adira is “doing great,” and she doesn’t seem overly exhausted in the evenings, despite a considerably longer school day.

However–not surprising, but still frustrating for us–she utterly refuses to ever tell us anything about what happened during the day, what she did or learned, or who she played with. I know it’s normal, and I try not to push her too hard to spill the beans, and I respect that she wants or needs this space for herself. Occasionally, we get lucky and she volunteers a tidbit about something she learned or relates a story from school.

I thought this impulse was fairly universal. But while dropping her off this morning, I heard a couple of the other parents chatting with the teacher, mentioning all the wonderful things their kids had told them about the school day. It was nice to know they, you know, do stuff during the day, a fact I presumed but had been starting to doubt. Still, annoying to have to hear it third hand. Apprently, some kids do talk about their days to their parents.

One funny thing Adira did tell us about school: There are a lot of children from other countries in her class, and after Day 2, she reported, “I was playing with some kids in the playground, and they were talking, but I didn’t know what they was saying.” We explained to her about foreign languages, and assured her that everyone would get to know each other and learn how to understand each other. She seemed unconvinced and a bit disturbed that they wouldn’t just talk English. As for me, I was just glad to hear something about the school day.

Does anyone have any recommendations on how to get our kids to tell us more about what happens, good or bad, during the day?

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  1. by Daniela

    On September 21, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    We found rephrasing the question a little helped. Asking instead, “what was the best part of your day?”" what was the most fun part of your day?” “what was the silliest part of your day?” For some reason the open ended “what did you too today?” was overwhelming.

  2. by adrienne

    On September 21, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Jim went to lunch at our son’s school last week and got to meet his classmates and friends.

    Not only did he get to play at recess, Jim showed the kids how to spin a hula hoop so it rolls back toward the thrower.

    Now we hear a lot more about school, and we can start with questions about other kids from the class. Did you sit with Isaac at lunch? Was Parker on the playground? Our son talks a lot more readily about school now. That lunch was well worth the effort.