Before, during and after report card time, the most important thing for parents to do is to keep the lines of communication open with your elementary school children and teachers to create a plan to further your children’s academic success.
When report cards come home, it can be a stressful time for kids and parents. Especially after the last few years, with many students still playing a bit of catch up, this could be the first time some parents even have to worry about less than stellar grades.
No matter what your child’s progress or report card is looking like this year, here are some ways to approach report card day so it’s as stress-free as possible!
1. Make it a game of high-low!
Ask your kids what they feel is the “high” of their report cards, and let them know you are proud of their hard work. Secondly, ask what they feel is the “low” of their report card and have a discussion about how that grade was earned. Then discuss ways to improve on the “low.”
2. Talk to your kids about their work habits, goals and challenging subjects.
Ask your kids to be honest about their work habits and the challenges they had and how they faced them. From there, try setting short-term goals for the next quarter and long-term goals for the end of the school year. (Psst … Check out these tips for how to help your child set S.M.A.R.T. goals!)
3. Stay positive!
Be careful not to overreact to low grades or grades you deem unacceptable. It can be damaging to children’s confidence and have adverse effects of improvement. This is a time for everyone to have understanding and grace. Find something to praise, whether it’s attendance, participation or any small improvement in a certain area.
4. Have an open dialogue with your children and let them tell you how they think they did.
This gives them an opportunity to be transparent and sets the tone for parents. By talking openly, you can identify the issues and determine the best steps to create solutions.
Remember that report cards are only a snapshot of how students are performing in school and they do not speak to all of kids’ potential. Progress is key, and if you keep that in mind, you will be able to offer the support your child needs to be successful in all their academic endeavors!
Here Are More Elementary School Tips to Keep Progress Going Throughout the Whole Year:
5. Practice math facts to strengthen your child’s memory when you’re with your child, from car rides, to the dinner table or even during TV commercials!
Your child should be able to automatically add single-digit numbers with sums up to 20 and multiply single-digit numbers by memory.
6. Make it fun.
Look for “math fact” game apps for your smart phone, use flash cards or play board games that involve adding dice.
7. Encourage your child to read every day.
If you have been reading to your child, change roles and have your child read to you. Then, switch who gets to read each night, or trade off chapters! Elementary school kids benefit from practicing reading out loud.
8. Encourage your child to keep a daily journal.
It can be as short and simple as answering: “What’s the best thing that happened to me today?” Journaling with words and pictures is a great way for kids to build confidence with writing.
Need some help getting started? Try this FREE 7-day journal writing journal from our friends at HatchBrighter that incorporates journaling, connecting with nature, gratitude, self-love and breathing in an easy, fun way for kids.
Aim to set a good example and model the behaviors you want from your child. For example, turn off your electronic devices during dinner or family time, or whenever you’re trying to connect. Read a book or write a note or journal entry.
9. Make sure your child’s skills are on track.
Don’t wait for parent-teacher conferences or report cards to discover your child has some skill gaps. It’s much easier to stay on pace with class, rather than chasing after the class to catch up. Request an assessment from your school, or get Sylvan’s Insight Assessment. You’ll learn exactly how your child’s skills compare to national norms and where to focus your energy.
10. Explore supplemental resources to strengthen skills.
Your options range from online skill-building games, to tutoring. Sylvan offers a variety of in-person and online tutoring options for math, reading and writing, which all help children dramatically improve their skills and confidence. We love helping kids go from, “I hate writing,” to, “Maybe I’ll be a writer some day!” Reach out to your local Sylvan center here.