A To D-

on Sep 25, 2015 @ 07:22 pm

How do you react when your child comes home with a really bad report card? I can remember my dad helping me with math and when Ibrought home a test that was just pathetic his response was " that's ok dear, you'll do better next time" That stood out for me and I strived to do better for him and myself. Yelling is not the way to go. Offer to help and reassure him/her that they can and will do better probably next time

3 Replies

A TO D- on Sep 26, 2015 @ 06:49 pm

Your dad sounds like a very smart man.I agree I see many parents that expect too much from their children.Your right yelling is not the answer.

Report cards on Sep 26, 2015 @ 07:44 pm

My advice as a teacher is to get your child to have an honest discussion with you about their learning. Ask your them how they thought they performed during the term and why. Give the child the opportunity to really think about what they liked to learn about and what they struggled with. All you need to do at this point is listen to them. Do not pass judgement or tell them that you are upset with their results.

Once you start the discussion, focus on the positive aspects first. Let them know in which areas they've really shown improvement or are excelling in. This will show the child that they are capable of doing well and will ease their nerves, as well as boost their self esteem. Do this for both subject areas and classroom behaviour as well.

Continue by discussing the areas in which they need to improve on (again focusing on both subjects and behaviour). Let them know that this is a work in progress and that with a plan, they can achieve better results. Whatever you do, don't berate them, compare them to their siblings or other friends, or punish them for bad grades. We all fail at some point in our lives. The important thing is that we follow through with a plan to boost ourselves back up.

What I mean by a plan is that you need to sit down with your child and preferably their teacher and see what can be done both at home and at school to ensure better results next time. Keep in mind that learning doesn't only happen at school, so it's important to take a look at the habits that are being formed at home as well. Any changes to the family dynamics such as a divorce or a new sibling, could also play a role in your child's learning.

This is why I encourage both parents and students to attend parent/teacher interviews. What I usually do when a child needs improvement is to establish a three-way contract or plan which states what the parent, teacher and child will do in order to help the child succeed. If you can't attend a parent/teacher interview, make sure to work out a plan with your child at home, to the best of your abilities. For instance, if they need to improve their reading skills, would they need extra tutoring, would they need to increase the time spent reading at home, do they need to review vocabulary words or spend more time studying for tests? Write down all suggestions and choose the ones that you both think will work best. You can always send a note to the teacher to keep them up to date on your plan and he/she can give you advice. What's important is that you periodically check up and review the plan with your child during the next term to see whether they've been improving along the way.

Along with your plan, you and your child should also come up with consequences if they do not follow through. For instance, if they watch tv during their reading time, what will the consequence be? Establish it together with your child so that they are actively in agreement with their plan and if it comes time to implementing the consequence, they will understand why they are being told that they can't have a certain privilege for the time being.

It's important to note that if you feel that your child's learning is affected by something deeper, like a special need, please set up a meeting with your child's teacher and school psychologist. The earlier you do this, the better. It will help you all to come up with the right strategies to help your child learn and also give the teacher a clearer perspective as to how to better serve the needs of your child.


.. on Sep 27, 2015 @ 11:51 am

I agree totally

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