Between you and your child!
Journaling is one way to keep the communication lines open between you and your child. Don’t give up on dinner conversations and sometimes the best time to have a conversation about your child’s day is before they go to bed. I know some families over dinner share the best part of my day… and one part of my day that I would want to change was… Some families talk about how they helped someone, or the funniest part of their day. Other conversation starters could be remembering the last family vacation or a favorite holiday. Share stories about when you were young or about the day your child was born. My motto is if you share, they will share.
If you are looking for information about school, ask specific questions about their day. Most likely your child’s teacher will send home a monthly newsletter or an email mentioning what your child is learning in class. Use this as your starting point to lead in to asking the right questions. Avoid asking yes or no questions. A good question might be, I read that you are learning about… tell me what you know?
Between you and your child’s teacher!
Depending on what kind of student you have, will determine how often you will want to check in with your child’s teacher. If your child has known behavior issues you might want to check in with the teacher every week, until the issues slowly subside. (I liked to give weekly updates about behavior to my more challenging students) Behavior issues tend to go away once the child knows that their teacher and their parents are sharing information.
If your child doesn’t have any real behavior problems, I would check in monthly. I would ask questions like, is my child following your expectations? Is there anything my child could/should be working on at home? Is there anything I can do to help you this month? Give your child’s teacher time to respond to you. If you establish this routine, when problems do arise there will be less hesitation to get in contact with each other.
*Parents and teachers can be the strongest allies when dealing with behavior and academic goals.