How to Handle the Final Report Card

By Kim Vij

Timely topics

Before we rush out to our summer adventures it’s time for a little academic housekeeping – report card time. Your child may have brought his or her final report card home on the last day of school, the mailman may have delivered it or perhaps you had to pick it up from school. No matter how you get your child’s final report card for the year, you always pause for a moment and wish for the best as you review it. What happens when what you review is not what you were hoping to see?


Here are a few steps to take to ensure that your child is ready for the next school year:


  • Know how your child is being assessed.

Review your child’s report card to see how he or she performed this school year.

If you’re unclear of the expectations for his or her grade level, take a moment to review your child’s Common Core Standards for their grade level or talk to your child’s counselor.


  • Celebrate his or her strengths and stay positive.

Staying positive about your child’s academic performance can be a vital step to take to encourage his or her success. If your child feels early on that he or she can’t accomplish tasks, then he or she is more likely to withdraw his or her efforts.


  • Identify the areas for improvement.

As you review the report card, figure out the areas that your child needs to focus on the most in order to show improvement. Consult with your child’s teacher if there are concerns and work together to assess next steps, which could include summer school, tutoring or some basic extra help. Most teachers are still available a few days after school ends. If the teacher is not available, a guidance counselor or principal are available for support.


  • Set goals together for ways to improve.

Use the targeted areas of concern as a basis to discuss goals for improvement during the summer break.


  • Create a schedule for focus areas.

Create a learning schedule for your child during the summer to focus on the skills that need improvement. Be consistent with this routine and how often your child works on it.


  • Make it FUN!

Hands-on learning can be one of the best ways for a student to master a skill and have fun with it this summer. Provide engaging ways to work on skills that are not typical classroom experiences, as this can make the biggest impact.


  • Think outside the box.

Ideas for activities might include reading in a unique location, displaying high frequency words in a fun way, incorporating math into everyday life challenges or even writing about a summer activity.


  • Celebrate benchmarks achieved.

Set small goals for your child to reach his or her benchmarks so he or she can see and feel the growth in skills. Keep a portfolio of his or her summer work to reflect on.


  • Stay focused on education.

There are a variety of sources during the summer to support your child’s academic success. One of most important things is to keep education a focus during the summer. Each week, make sure to have opportunities to incorporate reading, writing, math, science and PLAY. With your support and encouragement, you’ll be able to identify your child’s area for improvement and help him or her soar to success.


CHALLENGE: Don’t forget to peek at the Common Core Standards for the next grade level to see where your child is heading next!