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It’s been a running joke between my kids and me that when I ask them about their school day, they respond, “I ate a snack and came home,” with a sly grin. They think this is hysterical. I do not. Ok, I find it a little funny, but mostly I’m frustrated by these conversations because I genuinely want to hear what they enjoyed or struggled with throughout their day.

Scrolling around on Facebook a few months ago, I saw this At-Home Faith Formation Tip on the Faith Formation Ministries Facebook page:

Asking “How was your day?” might get you a one-word answer or a grunt from your kids. Instead, ask, “What were the best and worst parts of your day?” You’ll be surprised by what you learn if you ask this question regularly, and the answers will give you things to pray about together.

That’s when I realized that for the past four years, I’d been asking my kids the wrong questions. No wonder they were giving me simple answers. Asking, “How was your day?” or “What did you do today?” is too open-ended and overwhelming, which is probably why my kids focused on the simple, easy-to-remember things in their responses.

So I decided to try it out. My three-year-old had been at zoo camp that day, and when she got home I asked what had been her favorite part. For the next 15 minutes, she described her entire day in detail—all the animals she saw, how she used two fingers to pet them, how it made her feel, and what parts made her a little nervous. If I had asked, “How was your day?” she probably would have said, “Fine.” By simply asking the right question, I got to hear a full account of her experience.

This is just one of 52 FREE At-Home Faith Formation Tips—one for each week of the year. Many of the tips reflect the season, encouraging conversations about thankfulness as you approach Thanksgiving, reminding you of Grandparents Day or the start of Advent, and providing resources for special church days, such as World Communion Sunday.

You can view the full list organized by calendar week (including copyright free images you can use) or you can check the Faith Formation Ministries Facebook Page where each week’s tip is posted on Wednesday and Sunday. 

Again and again, studies show that faith formation happens at home. Make use of these wonderful tips to encourage faith formation as you engage in meaningful conversations with your children.

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