Note: This post was originally created in 2021, as students returned to in-person school after remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many of these resilience-building questions are excellent tools for parents to use in connecting with kids around the back-to-school transition at any time. We especially recommend utilizing the lists on the graphics at the bottom of the post to help assess how kids are doing during the first weeks of any new school year.
Parents always want to know how school went, but this fall, they might be even more interested than ever before. As kids across the country go back to their classrooms, some for the first time in over a year, the standard “How was school?” doesn’t seem like enough to start the conversations adults want to have. This year, parents want to know how safe kids felt; how classroom settings are working for their kids; and how children are really feeling about this new transition time. To help parents start the conversation, we teamed up with our friends at The Resilience Project and created this ultimate list of resilience building back-to-school questions.
- What was your favorite thing you did today?
- What was the hardest thing you did today?
- What’s something you did today that you’re proud of?
- What happened today to make you laugh?
- What’s one thing you learned today that you think I might not know?
- Who are you most excited to see at school? Least excited? Why?
- If you could change one thing about school, what would it be?
- Think of a project or assignment from this week that you really enjoyed. Why did you enjoy it?
- If you could make the rules at school, what would your top 3 rules be?
- Tell me about what lunch (or recess) was like today.
- If you could take a class in anything, what would it be?
- Who is the best teacher you have this year (or have ever had)? What makes them a great teacher?
- What makes you feel good about yourself when you’re at school?
- What’s something you liked about distance learning? What’s something you like about being in school?
- How do you feel about going back this year? Do you think it will feel like a normal school year? What do you think will be the same? What do you think will be different?
- What are you most nervous about this school year? What are you most looking forward to?
- What are you most excited to do or not do this year? Why?
- What were your most favorite and least favorite memories from last year?
- Do you think I’ve changed or our family has changed because of COVID? What’s new or different about me/us?
- If there were one thing you could continue from COVID life, what would it be and why?
- What are your top three wishes for this school year?
- Is there anything you think I could do to help you have a great school year?
- What things did you learn about yourself and/or our family this last year? Fill in the blanks! I am/We are really good at [BLANK]. I am/We are really bad at [BLANK].
- What things from this last year would you hope to keep or hold on to? For yourself? For me? For our family?
For more great tips from The Resilience Project about navigating this back-t0-school season, check out How to Talk To Your Kids This Summer.