The school year has reached the halfway mark, which means it is report card time. Co-Founder and CEO Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center says that while some parents and children dread this time of year, report cards present an opportunity to make adjustments if needed and get children back on track. “The midyear report card is a great chance for parents to assess their children’s strengths, weaknesses, progress and study skills,” she says. “Parents should open the lines of communication with their children and children’s teachers and guidance counselors and formulate a plan for the rest of the year to address any parent concerns.”
Huntington offers parents these tips when reviewing the report card:
It’s important to focus on progress. Too often, parents jump to the letter grades and don’t spend time looking at much else. What you should look for is your child’s progress toward mastery of grade-level standards. How is your child growing this school year? Pay attention to progress indicators and benchmarks.
Effort matters most. Parents who are involved in the homework routine at home should have a good sense of how their children are doing on school work, but the report card will shed additional light. Look for marks and comments on the report card that highlight your child’s effort—and whether that effort is reflected in his or her grades, as it should be.
Look for common warning signs. Low grades are one problem, but keep an eye out for other common red flags, including any indicators that your child has poor study skills, lacks focus, struggles to keep up or has difficulty with essential skills like organization and time management. If you’ve noticed a change in your child’s demeanor and these kinds of issues are showing up on the report card, a discussion with the teacher is a good idea before the crisis period worsens.
Content knowledge is just one measure. Yes, it is important to review your child’s grades on content knowledge in the core subjects, but in today’s education landscape, there are many other measures of students’ performance. Review the report card for comments and marks on your child’s higher-level thinking, problem solving, comprehension and other similar abilities.
Attitude is everything. Children’s attitudes about school are very telling—and a child who seems indifferent or angry about school is likely dealing with low confidence and feelings of hopelessness. Pay attention to any comments from the teacher (and probe further during the parent-teacher conference) on your child’s motivation and overall attitude about learning and his or her grades.
Report cards are a valuable tool for parents to gain a detailed understanding of how their child is performing in school. And no matter what the midyear report card looks like, Huntington encourages parents to keep in mind that no problem is insurmountable. “If your child’s midyear report card highlighted areas of concern, call Huntington,” she says. “There is plenty of time to address and correct issues before the end of the year, and help your child re-build his or her self-esteem and finish the year strong.”
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 your child. For franchise opportunities please visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com.
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