Holiday break is behind us and it’s a brand new year—which also means those mid-year report cards are just around the corner. “Many students and parents dread report cards, but they shouldn’t,” says Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center. “A child’s report card contains lots of useful information about his or her skill proficiency, academic development, and strengths and weaknesses. Using that knowledge, parents can help their child overcome school problems and be the best student possible.” Huntington offers parents a few tips to address different report card scenarios:
If your child struggles to get focused at homework time (or during class), is overly disorganized or has trouble prioritizing and managing his or her time, talk with him or her about what might help. Try a planner or notebook to record and check off homework assignments and other obligations. Make organization a part of the homework routine—setting up, keeping the desk neat and filing away graded homework. Ask your child what study strategies seem to work for him or her best—a quiet room? Taking an after-school break before diving into homework?
If your child spends a lot of time on homework but his or her grades are still suffering, there may be other issues at play. He or she may be missing basic skills or may not understand the concepts covered in class (and struggles to tackle them at home). Visit with your child’s teacher to get an approximate idea of how much time should be spent on homework each evening and how you can best support your child.
It is common for children to do better in certain subjects than others, but a failing grade in any subject is a red flag that your child may not be comprehending class material, completing assignments or putting forth the effort required. Schedule a meeting with the teacher to discuss the reasons behind the low mark and get ideas to help your child bring up the grade by the end of the year.
Your child may care more than you think. Many children who struggle in school have low self-esteem and assume their parents are disappointed in them. They stop trying because they would rather get a low grade than experience continued frustration. Resist the urge to punish your child for failing and instead let him or her know that you want to help. Communicate openly about what your child thinks will help him or her improve. Involve your child in the plan of action to encourage him or her to take ownership and responsibility.
There’s a lot to be learned from your child’s report card, but Huntington reminds parents to keep it in perspective. “Report cards and the grades they contain certainly do not measure how smart your child is or the likelihood of his or her success in life, so don’t panic if your child’s report card indicates that he or she needs help,” says Huntington. “Investigate these issues with your child’s teacher and together, you can help your child raise his or her self-esteem, do better in school and be a happier person overall.”
Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams. Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed and meet the needs of Common Core State Standards. Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible. Learn how Huntington can help at www.huntingtonhelps.com. For franchise opportunities please visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com.