My daughter just started Kindergarten this week. Each day my husband and I ask her what she did that day and about her classmates. And each day she says she doesn't know or remember what she did at school. (I know her memory isn't that bad because she still talks about a wedding she went to 3 years ago.) My husband and I have to play "Twenty Questions" just to get an idea of what she does each day or I have to wait until I look through the papers that her teacher sends home.

I know older kids can be stubborn or reluctant to talk about their school day, but is this normal for a 5 year old?

asked 21 Aug '10, 01:32

mkcoehoorn's gravatar image

mkcoehoorn
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I think it's pretty normal, I remember getting a letter home from kindergarten with both of my older kids saying that chances were if we asked "How was school today?" they'd answer "fine", and if we asked "What they had done there?" they'd say "Nothing". The letter said to ask lots of open-ended questions (I asked these for years!):

  • What was the best (worst) thing that happened today?
  • What games did you play at recess?
  • What made you mad today?
  • What made you feel like a super-hero?
  • Was your teacher in a good mood?
  • What was your favorite new thing today?
  • Who is the kindest (funniest, loudest, whateverest) person in your class?

I know that some kids just chatter endlessly without you even having to ask (my second oldest) but a lot of kids don't (my oldest) and if you want to have a clue what's going on, you just have to know how to ask.

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answered 22 Aug '10, 05:43

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Neen
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I agree that it is normal. My son (4) always says nothing when we ask what did you do at Kindergarten or anywhere he has been but he later he will start talking about things, normally at dinner time, bedtime or when we are doing something with him.

My advice would be to ask her how the day was but if she isn't keen on talking give her some space and opportunity to tell you in her own time.

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answered 24 Aug '10, 00:32

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K D
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If she has just started Kindergarten then in my opinion she could still be "processing the new environment she has just been newly exposed to", so yes I think it could be normal for her to be/seem reluctant to talk at this point.

At this stage I think I would probably ask for feedback from her teacher regarding her development and give her a little time to get used to her new routine.

My daughter had begun pre-school/kindergarten a little earlier (4 years) so by the time she was in the 5 year old class she was pretty talkative about her day as compared with some of the children who had just joined. Could this be the reason in your daughters case perhaps?

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answered 21 Aug '10, 08:36

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Emi
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edited 24 Aug '10, 09:46

It's possible that she is overwhelmed by everything.

(21 Aug '10, 13:54) mkcoehoorn
2

@mkcoehoorn, when we have bouts of silence, it's usually down to her being tired, and that still happens occasionally. I can forget that sometimes.

(22 Aug '10, 17:23) Emi
1

+1 Emi, I always knew if my second-oldest was getting sick or something had gone terribly awry at school, it was the only time I didn't get a play-by-play.

(23 Aug '10, 01:30) Neen

My son does this every day. I just let him be, and he eventually starts telling me all about what he did and who he played with. And some things will bubble up DAYS later. He came into the bathroom Saturday morning while I was taking a shower and sang a song he learned in school that week that he hadn't mentioned at all.

At this age, school is a LOT of stimulation and info-dumping. Kids need time to assimilate it all and make sense of it.

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answered 01 Sep '10, 01:34

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EASchechter
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I remember that my home and school life were very compartmentalised. Once I was home, I definitely didn't want to be thinking about school (which I admittedly didn't enjoy much).

Our daughter will sometimes volunteer any really exciting information, but the drudge stuff we have to dig for.

My only worry with this is that she won't tell us if things are going really badly. But I try not to read my negative experience into hers.

One (moderately sneaky#) way to get a feel for the atmosphere at school is to 'play' school. The parents pretend to be pupils, and talk to the child as though he/she were the teacher. You get some interesting insights like that!

# (It's not really that sneaky - if the child plays 'home' at school, the teacher will get the same insight!)

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answered 27 Aug '10, 09:09

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Benjol
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Asked: 21 Aug '10, 01:32

Seen: 2,141 times

Last updated: 01 Sep '10, 01:34