25 Ways To Ask Your Kids “So how was school today?” Without Asking them “So how was school today?”

NOTE:  This Post is now an APP that is available for purchase for 99 cents.  Every weekday all year round it will provide you with a different question to ask your kids…and none of the questions are “So how was school today?”  :)  You can find the APP HERE

This year Simon is in 4th grade and Grace is in 1st grade and I find myself asking them every day after school, “So how was school today?”.

And everyday I get an answer like “fine” or “good” which doesn’t tell me a whole lot.


Or at get at least a full sentence.  So the other night I sat down and made a list of more engaging questions to ask about school.  They aren’t perfect…but I do get at least complete sentences…and some have lead to interesting conversations…and hilarious answers…and a few insights into how my kids think and feel about their time at school.

25 Ways to ask your kids how was school

#1.  What was the best thing that happened at school today?  (What was the worst thing that happened at school today?)

#2.  Tell me something that made you laugh today.

#3.  If you could choose who would you like to sit by in class?  (Who would you NOT want to sit by in class?  Why?)

#4.  Where is the coolest place at the school?

#5.  Tell me a weird word that you heard today.  (Or something weird that someone said.)

#6.  If I called your teacher tonight what would she tell me about you?

#7.  How did you help somebody today?

#8.  How did somebody help you today?

#9.  Tell me one thing that you learned today.

#10.  When were you the happiest today?

#11.  When were you bored today?

#12.  If an alien spaceship came to your class and beamed up someone who would you want them to take?

#13.  Who would you like to play with at recess that you’ve never played with before?

#14.  Tell me something good that happened today.

#15.  What word did your teacher say most today?

#16.  What do you think you should do/learn more of at school?

#17.  What do you think you should do/learn less of at school?

#18.  Who in your class do you think you could be nicer to?

#19.  Where do you play the most at recess?

#20.  Who is the funniest person in your class?  Why is he/she so funny?

#21.  What was your favorite part of lunch?

#22.  If you got to be the teacher tomorrow what would you do?

#23.  Is there anyone in your class that needs a time out?

#24.  If you could switch seats with anyone in the class who would you trade with?  Why?

#25.  Tell me about three different times you used your pencil today at school.


So far…my favorite answers have come from questions #12. #15, and #21.

I actually love questions like the “alien” one (#12).  They give kids a non-threatening way to say who they would rather not have in their class, and open the door for you to have a discussion to ask why, potentially uncovering issues you didn’t know about before.

And the answers we get are sometimes really surprising. When I asked question #3, I discovered that one of my children didn’t want to sit by a best friend in class anymore — not out of a desire to be mean or bully, but in the hope they’d get the chance to work with other people.

Sometimes we just need to figure out the right kinds of questions to ask our children….some questions may work better for some kids than others.  That’s how it is with my own children.  But I want to know what is going on in their lives and how I can help them.  So….I will continue to ask…and ask…and ask…

And, as my kids get older I know that I am going to have to work harder and harder to stay engaged with them…but I know its going to be worth the work…


NOTE:  Because these questions were geared for elementary school aged children I have also made another list for teen age children that you can find here:  25 Ways to Ask Your Teen “How Was School Today?” without asking them “How Was School Today?”

****Also, to get a printable version of this list just click here:  25 Ways To Ask Your Kids So How Was School Today Printable

NOTE:  There is also a companion post for this post that you can find here:  17 Tips for Communicating with Kids

This article originally appeared on Simple Simon and Company

Upgrade your Nexus 5 using factory images without wiping your data

This is a tutorial how you can upgrade with Google’s Nexus factory images without wiping your apps or sdcard, based in a post I found in reddit.

This guide can be easily adapted to other Nexus devices.

NOTE: You must have your bootloader unlocked. If you’ve never unlocked your bootloader, I don’t know there’s any way to do this without wiping your data.

WARNING: If you’re moving between ROMs, you generally should do a complete reset, including wiping data. Many users have reported problems going from Kitkat to Lollipop without wiping data and recommend a factory reset anyway. If you’re okay with wiping everything, you can simply use Google’s included flash-all scripts, or flash the userdata.img file yourself.

STEP 1: Install fastboot and related software

Fastboot is Google’s utility for flashing factory images. You can also use it to flash custom recoveries like TWRP and CWM. The standard way to get is is through Google’s Android SDK, but that’s a bit heavy-duty, so you can also download just the most important tools (fastboot and adb) separately, packaged by users. Here are some links:

Official Google Android SDK (cross-platform): http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html#Other
Unofficial for Windows: http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html#Other
Unofficial Mac/Linux: http://code.google.com/p/adb-fastboot-install/
Windows users might also need to install drivers: http://developer.android.com/sdk/win-usb.html (can any Windows users confirm whether it’s necessary?)

To check if the adb is detecting the device, just plug the USB to the computer and write the command inside a terminal:

$adb devices -l

You must see your device listed

Custom recoveries are extremely useful for rooting your phone, installing system tweaks, creating backups, and troubleshooting problems. There are two main options: TWRP and CWM. These are the instructions for the one I use:

Root your phone: In case you would like to do that (you can find arguments here), download the latest SuperSU on your phone from: http://download.chainfire.eu/supersu

STEP 2: Prepare factory image

STEP 3: Flash the new image

  • Connect your phone to your computer via USB, and enter the bootloader. You can enter the bootloader in two ways:
    1. by holding down the power and volume-down buttons to boot. Once you see the bootloader, you can release the buttons.
    2. Running the command:
      $adb reboot bootloader
  • The following syntax might be slightly different on Windows than on Mac or Linux, but basically the same. Anything you see in <> you need to replace, e.g. with the actual path to your factory image folder. The rest you should be able to copy and paste. (Tip: you can easily enter a folder path into your terminal/command prompt by simply dragging the folder onto your terminal window. This works on Mac, Windows, and the vast majority of Linux GUIs.) Enter these commands:
cd </path/to/downloaded files>
$fastboot flash bootloader bootloader-hammerhead-*.img
$fastboot reboot-bootloader
$fastboot flash radio radio-hammerhead-*.img
$fastboot reboot-bootloader
$fastboot flash boot boot.img
$fastboot flash cache cache.img
$fastboot flash system system.img
  • If you DO NOT use a custom recovery (like TWRP or CWM), then also:
$fastboot flash recovery recovery.img

Don’t worry if you see messages like “target reported max download size of 1073741824 bytes”. Just wait and let it finish.

  • If you want to use a custom recovery, see STEP 4.
  • Reboot your phone and enjoy. It’s normal for the first boot to take a while, several minutes in case a a large update (from Kitkat to Lollipop up to 20 minutes).

BONUS STEP 4: Install custom recovery, root and custom kernel


  • Boot your phone into the bootloader (see below)
  • From the command line:
$fastboot flash recovery twrp-*-hammerhead.img
  • Boot into recovery (use the volume up/down buttons to select recovery from the bootloader, then the power button to select)
  • In TWRP, go to “mount”, then check “system”
  • Optional: go back to the main TWRP screen, then click through Advanced > File Manager > system > recovery-from-boot.p > Rename File. Rename it to something like recovery-from-boot.p.bak (this is necessary to ensure that Android doesn’t overwrite your custom recovery with the stock recovery on startup)


  • In TWRP, select “Install”, then navigate to wherever you saved the TWRP zip (probably in /sdcard/Download)
  • Swipe to confirm flash
  • In case you want to install a custom kernel (recommended), go to the next paragraph
  • Reboot your phone


WARNING: Installing a custom kernel can broke the system. If you get strange behaviours, like infinite boot looping, repeat the procedures from STEP 2, and try to not install the custom kernel (or try a different one).

  • Download a custom kernel on your phone. ElementalX and Franco Kernel are quite popular and can be downloaded from their websites. I am using ElementalX.
  • In TWRP, select “Install”, then navigate to wherever you saved the kernel zip (probably in /sdcard/Download)
  • Swipe to confirm flash.
  • System reboot. In case you choose ElementalX, don’t let twrp fix root when it prompts!