As moms, we are suppose to connect with our kids, hear their voice, ask questions but sometimes they push back as much as we try to press in. When I ask my oldest child the age old question "what did you do today" I get a 2 hour dissertation, when I ask my youngest it's like pulling teeth with her most general response being "I don't remember". Some teachers suggest we don't ask these general open ended questions, but be specific. For example, if they had P.E. that day ask what activities they did, ask what they ate at lunch or which ice cream did they choose to purchase or ask what experiment they did in science lab.
My daughter's 2nd grade teacher last year had the most fabulous recommendation that we are implementing this year. She suggested we buy a notebook for each child that is a "Diary of the Day Dialogue". In it, when the children get home each day (or once a week - however often you would like) they must write (or if they can not write then they draw) something about their day. For older children, you then write back to the children asking them more questions or commenting on their daily entry. It helps the children with their writing, and it also increases their descriptive vocabulary and use of words. Plus often times children may be willing to write something that is upsetting or bothering them than they are to tell you face to face. I discovered this last year. For younger children, their picture gives you something to discuss with your child about the day and you can even help them write a short caption to their picture which helps with their vocabulary. And often times younger children are much more willing to draw a picture than tell you what they did that day. Plus at the end of the year they have a journal keepsake!! Thanks Ms. D for the fabulous idea!