Report Cards and Rituals
You just received your child’s first report card. Was it good or bad? Either way, you’ll want to talk about it with your child and her teacher. Here are some tips to help you prepare for these chats.
What You Need to Know
You’ve eagerly anticipated this moment since you dropped your child off for her first day of kindergarten months ago. And it’s finally here! You can barely contain your excitement as she hands over that precious piece of paper—her first report card.
Getting your child’s first report card is a huge milestone—for both you and her. It can reveal a lot about:
- How she’s doing in school
- Her strengths and weaknesses
- What kind of progress she’s made
- What areas of improvement exist for her
- How you can support her learning
- Signs of learning disabilities
Whether the report card makes you beam from ear to ear or is a little disappointing, it’s a great reference tool that you can use to help your child improve in the years to come. Your child and her teacher have worked together for months to earn the grades you see in this card, so be sure you take the time to discuss it with both of them.
How You Can Help
Here are some tips to help you talk about the report card with your child:
- Prepare your child for the report card throughout the year. Make sure she understands why she’ll be getting one, when it’s coming, and how she can prepare. If you see that she doesn’t like to share, let her know that she’ll be graded on sharing in her report card and encourage her to improve in this area.
- Take the time to sit down with your child and focus on the report card. Don’t discuss it while she’s riding her bike around the driveway or playing a video game.
- Start off by discussing the positive things in her report card. Even if it’s mostly negative, point out how great she did in math or how her teacher thinks she shares well.
- Be supportive when discussing the negative parts of her card. For example, if she is doing poorly in math, say something like, “I know math is hard for you. What can I do to help?”
- Talk about a plan for improvement. Offer to read with her at night or ask an older child to tutor her in math.
Here are some tips for discussing the report card with your child’s teacher:
- Ask her how she grades her students throughout the year. Find out what’s most important—class participation, homework, projects, etc.
- Encourage the teacher to reach out to you if she senses that your child is falling behind in certain areas. This will give a heads-up so you can help your child improve before her grades suffer.
- If your child is doing poorly in one or more areas, solicit her teacher’s advice on how you can help her improve. She may have some great ideas you didn’t think of.
For more great info and advice on your child’s report card, check out our full article:
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