School Life
Education Blog

Weekly Update from the Director - August 25, 2023

Dear GISC Community,

The beginning of a new school year is a wonderful opportunity to make a regular practice of meeting with your children to talk about school. I always hear from parents that when they ask their kids about their school day, the response, especially from pre-teens and teenagers, is the monosyllabic ”Fine” or “Okay.” End of conversation.

Before discussing a few strategies how to talk about school, it is even more important to take note why communicating with your child about school is highly correlated to your child’s success:

  • Research shows that your interest in your child’s experience at school boosts your child’s mental health, well-being, and happiness.
  • Talking about school positively impacts your child's behavior and achievement at school.
  • It lets your child know that you value school and education which encourages them to achieve academic success.
  • Talking about school helps you understand what is expected of your child and how they handle these expectations.
  • School conversations also help you better understand your child’s feelings about school, which may help in identifying problems before they get too big.
  • Lastly, talking about school is a great opportunity for you as a family to talk about the values that matter to you – teamwork, respect for oneself and others, friendships, relationships, and problem-solving are frequent items that come up in school conversations.

So how do we get these conversations going – a few tips:

  • Ask questions that invite more than a “Yes,” “No,” “Okay,” or “I don’t know” answer. Use simple, positive, and specific questions such as “What’s the news from school today;” “What was fun;” “What did you like best at school today;” “What does your classroom look like at the moment;” “What did you do in class after recess;” “Who did you hang out with today?”
  • Immediately after school may not be the best time to talk about school. Children are fatigued or they require time to decompress – not that different after a day of long work.
  • Make time to talk. This happens best when you’re doing something with your child (cooking, shopping, playing Lego, walking the dog).
  • Take what your child tells you seriously. For example, you can say things like, “That’s really interesting. Then what happened?” or “And how do you feel about that?”

In an effort to facilitate these conversations, we highly recommend attending our upcoming Parent Evening on Tuesday, August 29, at 6:30 pm.

Thank you,

German International School Chicago is a preschool through 8th grade school that prepares students to become well-rounded, creative, and responsible global citizens. We provide students with a rigorous German-English bilingual education in a supportive and individualized learning environment.

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