Understanding your child's grades

Report cards can be a source of pride or shame for a child/parent. Below are some tips in understanding what you are reading when you get your child's report card.

1. It should not be a surprise- a report card is a reflection of what your child knows so far. By looking over their work and observing their progress during the semester you should have a good idea what their grade will be. Teachers are not trying to trick you, they are giving a letter grade to show your child's progression.

2. Ask questions before grades are due- Ask what each grade really means, a C may mean different things. Sometimes a lower grade may mean the child has the potential to do well but chooses not to. Or they are taking a bit longer to reach grade level expectations. Both of which require a different approach at home.

3. Have an open discussion- Don't just look at the grades but have a talk with your child. Express whatever you feel is appropriate but do have some type of discussion. 

4. Ask what they think-  What were their expectations? Were they surprised by any grade? Letting them express how they feel can give insight into things to work or focus on at home.

5. Be honest with yourself- know before the year/semester starts what you want out of your child's school/education. For the beginning of daughter's kindergarten year I wanted her social skills to improve, grades were not the top priority or concern. Another semester writing and reading comprehension was my main focus. Both instances I knew going into the school year what my child needed from the school. Remember you are your child's best advocate!