5 Tips for School Report Cards

Report cards …

A time for high-fives or a time to set new goals? Either way, it's a time to pause, reflect and perhaps re-set.

It's important to note that the move to virtual, or some form of hybrid schooling, for most schools this past year created significant changes to classroom management. So, you can also expect to see some changes in how your child was scored.

Although times are a bit tumultuous and there's likely been a lot of change in what your child's education has looked like this year, we need to continue to put forth positive thoughts around learning for kids. Your child has worked so hard to reach this point of the school year, so let him or her know that continued learning is necessary to help keep up the momentum of the school year.

It can be overwhelming to try and figure out how to approach this and to create a game plan to move forward, so, we talked with our education experts and compiled the top tips for taking this all in stride!

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Here's How to Handle Good (And Bad) Report Cards

1. Breathe and keep perspective.

It's important to keep the perspective that report cards this year may not give you the full picture of how your child would have performed in normal circumstances, and more importantly, of your child's full potential. This is a time to allow for grace and understanding.

2. But ... Set expectations and goals.

It's important to balance understanding with also being firm with your expectations. Make sure your child knows there will be a real conversation about school every evening — not just a half-hearted attempt at discussion and one-word answers.

Setting both short-term for the next quarter and long-term goals for the end of the school year will help those conversations. "How are you tracking to your goal?” Helping your child stay focused on goals can help to motivate and encourage him or her, but remember to praise your child in other areas that are going well. Positive motivation from parents is a great way to build your child's self-esteem and can lead to successful grades down the road!

Need a little help with study tips? For 5 easy-to-use time management and organization tools, download our popular "Eliminate the Sunday Night Homework Panic" guide.

3. Stay in touch with your child's teachers and school counselor. 

Keep an open line of communication with your child's teacher(s). Explore other resources offered by the school, such as tutors, homework centers, classes outside the normal school day or online subject support.

The link between home and school is vital. Your school's counselor can request periodic progress reports between grading periods, and set up conferences with teachers, parents and students when necessary.

4. Evaluate home and school routines.

What's working and what's not? Creating set routines for homework, study time, bedtime, family time and curfews are a great way to keep everyone in check, but it's OK to monitor and adjust if you realize a child needs more time for something and less for something else. And, we could all use more sleep, so maybe earlier bedtimes would help with focus and mood. Don't forget reasonable rewards and consequences. They work!

5. Get help immediately if you see a problem.

Don't fall prey to your child's promise to do better. Kids may not be able to correct certain issues without help from the adults in their life.

Sylvan is a great resource for families when a student needs a little extra help.

Our experts are available for Report Card Consultations. Yes, that means you can come in with your child’s report card and get REAL advice with SOLUTIONS!

Of course, every grade and year of school is different. That's why we sat down with our education experts and got specific report card tips for each age group!

More Report Card Tips!
Each year of school brings new challenges. Get the tips for your: