However, a report card can be technical to read, and oftentimes downright confusing.
But in order to address any concerns with your child’s report card, you need to be able to make sense of what you’re reading.
1. Read The Teacher’s Comments, Not Just The Grade
The comments written by the teacher are oftentimes more helpful than the actual position or grade.
These recommendations give you a better idea of the specific subjects your child is struggling with/excelling in, as well as your child’s overall performance.
2. Put It In Context
Depending on what class your child is in, different skills and areas of performance will be the focus of the assessment.
In elementary school, your child’s report card will mostly focus on reading progression, behavioural and social skills.
Performance in basic skills such as reading and writing is important to make sure your child is building the fundamental skills he or she will need in the future.
As they progress in school, more challenging materials and concepts will be introduced.
At this stage, it’s important you pay attention to the subject(s) your child may be struggling with or starting to trail behind in.
3. Highlight Areas Of Focus
As determined by your child’s grades and your discussion together, you are to identify areas or subjects that need the most attention for improvement.
4. Schedule A Chat With The Teacher
If not-so-great grades have you worried, it might help to book a meeting to talk with your child’s teacher.
Another article that may be of interest to you is: How To Help Your Child Prepare For An Exam
The teacher gets to spend several hours most days of the week, observing and working with your child in the classroom.
This puts him or her in a better position to tell why your child may be struggling as well as suggest ways to focus on improvement.
5. Plan, And Have The Report Card Conversation
Whether you are elated or disappointed with your child’s report card, you ought to schedule and have a discussion together about the results.
This discussion is super important as it is the part that involves helping your child succeed by knowing his or her strengths and weaknesses.
It will also help your child recognise you as an active participant in his or her education who is there to provide support, not just funds.
It might help to plan the discussion ahead of time.
This means before you sit down with your child, write what you want to discuss.
This will give you the chance to reflect on or better still, write down the key points that you want to talk about with your child, to ensure a positive and more productive chat.
6. Remove Distractions
Whenever you decide to talk about it, make sure you and your child are in a setting where both of you are able to focus on the conversation.
For this, you may want to put off the TV and put away any device that could distract you or your child from your discussion.
The last thing you want to do is bring up the report card discussion on your way to church, while your child is lacing up his or her shoes and every other person, is scurrying around, getting ready.
This is an important conversation that should be had with proper thought and planning, and in a setting that portrays it as such.
7. Start On A Positive Note
Irrespective of the ‘redness’ of the report card, it will help to get off on the right foot by highlighting something positive about the report card, no matter how small.
This helps your child relax and set the tone for a productive conversation.
Have your read: How To Partner With Your Child’s Teacher For Success
Dismissing 5 good grades and focusing on the lowest one is a sure-fire way to kill your child’s esteem.
Always start with the best thing about the report card, even if your child is the one who goes straight to the negative.
You can say something like, “I see that, but let’s start with this B in Computer Science.”
The exercise shouldn’t just be about the negatives; it is also a chance to identify where your child is excelling and encourage that.
Highlight your child’s strengths by saying something like: “You are doing great in math, keep it up”!
This will encourage him/her to recognise their strengths, which will in turn build motivation to keep improving other areas.
Also, give room for your child to share his or her thoughts, comments, and worries; what they like about that class or teacher, and what strategies they have used to be successful in one area or another.
Giving them the opportunity to talk about their academic performance and why they may be struggling can give you valuable insight on the best way to help.
After they air their thoughts, lend them optimism and reassurance that there is room for improvement and you are here to help create a plan for success.
8. Plan For Success On The Next Report Card
Having a plan and setting goals is key when looking to help your child succeed academically.
Planning ahead for the next term gives you and your child specific goals to aim for so the next report card discussion is a much happier one.
Find other resources on parenting here.