A Parent's Guide to Handling Good and Bad School Report Cards

Report cards are rarely a surprise for kids, so don’t let them be a surprise for you!

These tips from our education experts will make sure report cards aren't a sore subject with your family and help keep your kids on a path to academic success.

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How to Avoid Any Report Card Surprises

Stay committed.

You and your child made some education goals together at the beginning of the year. Be supportive if your child needs help reaching those goals, and help keep their motivation up.

Ask questions.

Keep an open line of communication with your child about their school day, assignments, progress toward special deadlines. Is he or she getting assignments done and turned in? Going to class? Taking good notes? Ask to see the notes from today, the first draft of the book report or the progress toward the social studies term paper.

Just as you're talking with your child every day, communicate occasionally with the school, with teachers, with guidance counselors and with administrators if necessary.

Expect good behavior.

Don't let bad behavior get in the way of success! Discuss any ongoing issues with your child's teachers, and make sure he or she is exhibiting good behaviors. Your child should listen to instructions, understand school rules, respect others and avoid goofing off in class.

Consider your behavior

Do you monitor TV, study, homework, computer and video-game time? Are you a good role model?

Stick to routines.

Keep up the routines for success in school – specific times for study, homework, recreation, meals, sleeping, church, sports, etc ... They're more important than we realize.

Talk about responsibility.

Especially at this time of year, talk with your child about potential rewards for showing he or she has been responsible about schoolwork. Consider rewarding with extra curfew time or a little extra spending money if your child gets good grades or tackles a particularly difficult project.

Hang in there.

Kids can be tempted to let their grades slide. Be sure to help them stay motivated and keep up a positive attitude toward school through the end of the year.

Let's Talk About Your Report Card ...
Not sure how to get the report card conversation going with your child? Download our FREE guide for some easy talking points to start a meaningful conversation.