Dos and Don’ts of Communication When Report Cards Come Home

The purpose of a report card is to provide a communication framework for parents/guardians, teachers, and students about the student’s academic progress. This communication should encourage a student’s academic growth and character development, provide a tool for individual goal-setting and achieving, and describe a student’s progress towards mastery on grade level standards.

 

It’s important to remember that how you react to your child’s report card can impact his/her:

    • motivation
    • self-esteem
    • sense of control over learning

 

At home, parents should use report cards to encourage, support, and guide their child.  Here are six recommended strategies and the “Do’s and “Don’ts” of communication to help coach your child and promote a positive learning experience when a report card comes home:

 

 

1.    Be enthusiastic about what’s good.
“Awesome! Looks like the strategies you’re using to study really paid off.” “I knew if you tried harder you could do better!”
2.    Use low grades to set goals for next quarter.
“You can’t change your report card, but you can change your approach to school.  You aren’t going to use your phone until your homework is done and checked each day.” “I knew this was going to happen! I’m taking your phone until you fix it!”
“What strategies are working for you?  How can we use those in these areas to improve?” “What happened?! What’s going on with you? You’re failing everything!”
3. Direct a disappointed child to reflect on the success as well, not just the bad.
“I understand that you’re disappointed, but there are a lot of things to be proud of here.  For example, I see your hard work paying off.”
“I don’t understand why you’re upset – this report card looks pretty good.”
4. Figure out what motivates your child, hold them accountable, and provide incentives.
“Here are the expectations for your next report card.  Let’s come up with a plan to make it happen.”
“You’re grounded until you fix your grades and your attitude.”
5. Use varying grades to recognize strengths and challenges.
“Your math and science grades look great! But the others look a little low.  What’s different in those classes?”
“What happened with the rest of your classes?”
“Math and science must come easy to you.  Some people just aren’t good at History.”
6. Ask for help.
“Let’s work as a team with your teacher to help you next quarter.  I’ll schedule a meeting with him/her.”
There’s nothing we can think of here!
Checking in with the teacher to learn about teaching styles, rules, ways you can help your child, and access extra help.  The more you learn and communicate, the greater the chances of your child’s success!

 

In summary, use each report card to reflect on the past quarter and set goals for the next.  It is important to value your child’s progress and attitude more than the grade itself. Reach out to your teacher(s) for help in coaching your child – they are the experts in the class grading system and are eager to partner with you to help your child to reach their goals!



Dos and Don’ts of Communication When Report Cards Come Home

The purpose of a report card is to provide a communication framework for parents/guardians, teachers, and students about the student’s academic progress. This communication should encourage a student’s academic growth and character development, provide a tool for individual goal-setting and achieving, and describe a student’s progress towards mastery on grade level standards.

 

It’s important to remember that how you react to your child’s report card can impact his/her:

    • motivation
    • self-esteem
    • sense of control over learning

 

At home, parents should use report cards to encourage, support, and guide their child.  Here are six recommended strategies and the “Do’s and “Don’ts” of communication to help coach your child and promote a positive learning experience when a report card comes home:

 

 

1.    Be enthusiastic about what’s good.
“Awesome! Looks like the strategies you’re using to study really paid off.” “I knew if you tried harder you could do better!”
2.    Use low grades to set goals for next quarter.
“You can’t change your report card, but you can change your approach to school.  You aren’t going to use your phone until your homework is done and checked each day.” “I knew this was going to happen! I’m taking your phone until you fix it!”
“What strategies are working for you?  How can we use those in these areas to improve?” “What happened?! What’s going on with you? You’re failing everything!”
3. Direct a disappointed child to reflect on the success as well, not just the bad.
“I understand that you’re disappointed, but there are a lot of things to be proud of here.  For example, I see your hard work paying off.”
“I don’t understand why you’re upset – this report card looks pretty good.”
4. Figure out what motivates your child, hold them accountable, and provide incentives.
“Here are the expectations for your next report card.  Let’s come up with a plan to make it happen.”
“You’re grounded until you fix your grades and your attitude.”
5. Use varying grades to recognize strengths and challenges.
“Your math and science grades look great! But the others look a little low.  What’s different in those classes?”
“What happened with the rest of your classes?”
“Math and science must come easy to you.  Some people just aren’t good at History.”
6. Ask for help.
“Let’s work as a team with your teacher to help you next quarter.  I’ll schedule a meeting with him/her.”
There’s nothing we can think of here!
Checking in with the teacher to learn about teaching styles, rules, ways you can help your child, and access extra help.  The more you learn and communicate, the greater the chances of your child’s success!

 

In summary, use each report card to reflect on the past quarter and set goals for the next.  It is important to value your child’s progress and attitude more than the grade itself. Reach out to your teacher(s) for help in coaching your child – they are the experts in the class grading system and are eager to partner with you to help your child to reach their goals!