TALKing about Your Day

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“How was school?”

“Good.”

“Well, what did you do today?”

“Nothing.” 

Does this conversation seem familiar to you? You're not alone! After school everyday, parents face the same challenge of pulling even a modicum of information from their children about their days at school. This can be compounded even further if your child has any language disorder or learning disability, making it harder for him or her to create a concise or detailed narrative. Not to worry though, we've recruited ideas from every member of our highly qualified team to combat the dreaded follow-up to Tell me about your day. 

Try these tips for asking your child about their day at school:

 Be proactive

  • Get a copy of your child’s schedule from their teacher so you know details about the school day.

  • Ask questions you already know the answer to so you can breakdown and scaffold the answers if help is needed.

  • Ask your speech therapist for visual supports to use while eliciting information.

Share about your own day

  • Children learn from adult models. Share about your own day using appropriate story elements, transitions, and sentence structure.

  • Provide the desired amount of details and specifics within your narrative to demonstrate an appropriate relay of information.

  • After your child relays any information from their own day, retell what you heard as a coherent narrative with appropriate grammar, syntax, and vocabulary.  

Get more information

  • Often children are vague with their responses, so make sure to ask your child more directed and specific questions.

  • Avoid asking questions that elicit one-word responses (e.g., yes/no, names)

  • Have your child draw a picture of something that happened at school and then ask them to describe their picture.

  • Ask concrete questions (who, what, where) and provide multiple answer options (e.g., Where did you eat lunch today? On the blacktop or the cafeteria?)

Alternative questions to “How was your day?”

  • Who did you enjoy playing with the most today?

  • What was the funniest thing that happened today?

  • If you had the chance to be the teacher tomorrow, what would you teach your class?

  • Did anyone push your buttons?

  • When did you feel most proud of yourself?

We hope these tips and tricks help facilitate new stories from your kids! if you have any further concerns about their language development, feel free to contact us here.

Alyssa Winn