Report cards are coming! This can be a time some look forward to, while some not so much. Checking on kids’ academic performance is essential for parents to know if their young learners are on the right track during the school year. But what do you do if you receive a report card that’s missing the mark?
This scenario can be stressful for families, but there are ways to get over the hurdle. A bad report card is not the end of the world. As you know, every child is different, and most parents may need some enlightenment on this perspective. Let’s explore different approaches.
Academic vs Functional Issues
Hoot Reading teacher, Ms. Kat, suggests to first identify whether the poor report card is a result of an academic or functional issue. If a learning difficulty is detected, then perhaps tutoring could help. But if it’s a habitual matter for the child, such as not turning in work, being late, or not putting names on the paper, then there may be a different approach to it.
“Tutoring won’t help if the student actually needs support with executive functioning skills! The older the student is, the less supports are built into their environment and routine. The point is, there ARE specific things that can be done to help them IF you know it’s an issue,” says Ms. Kat.
Once you identify these issues with your child, you may look at previous papers, quizzes, and other submissions to have a grasp on your child’s performance and habits. Take some notes and list down certain areas of concern that you have observed with your little one.
Reach out to Your Child’s Teacher
Now that you have a master list of key points you want to discuss about your child, it’s time to set a meeting with your educator. You can check with your school’s policies about scheduling parent-teacher conferences.
Before meeting with your teacher, remind yourself that both of you are working towards the same goal – to do what is best for your child. Have a realistic plan on how you can provide extra time at home to address such concerns. On top of that, do your best to listen well to the teacher. Set aside any judgment or complaints and remain focused on supporting your child.
Have a Good Talk with Your Child
After a thorough discussion with the teacher, you will now be equipped with more information about your child’s areas of concern. Sit down with your little one and ask about subjects in school that they are excited about, as well as courses they’re not so keen on taking. Is there any activity that the child truly loves doing? Will they be more interested in joining clubs to sharpen skills on topics they enjoy?
If the learner has expressed some level of boredom with school subjects, don’t worry! You can divert their attention to other learning-centered pursuits outside of the classroom. You can take advantage of the plethora of learning resources at hand: online educational videos, museums, parks, and your local library. Visit a new place every other week, and observe how these new settings can peak their interest to learn.
The Power of “Yet”
While the journey to being a well-rounded student does not happen overnight, the efforts your child takes will resonate more loudly. Ms. Kat strongly emphasizes the power of the word, “yet”. If your child is unable to accomplish a task, encourage them to use this word.
For example, “I don’t know how to find the main idea…yet.” or “I can’t write a five-sentence paragraph…yet.” Ms. Kat further states, “Never underestimate the power of baby steps! Break the end goal down into small goals that can be celebrated along the way.”
Report card season may bring forward some trepidation in parents and kids, but the impact can be cushioned through encouragement and management. Don’t hesitate to seek help as needed, have an open mind and heart, and soon your child can confidently reach beyond their potential.