Have you ever been caught off guard by problems at school? You’re not alone. Even the most well-meaning among us can make the mistake of thinking things are fine in school when in reality, there’s trouble brewing. Later, we ask ourselves how we could have been so blind. If you’re determined to stay on top of things this school year, consider these four important reminders for evaluating your child’s success in school.
Look at the Big Picture
“Making the grade” is a common mantra amongst parents and teachers alike, and we’re all guilty of using the report card alone as an indicator of our child’s performance and success in school. If he’s making all A’s, we think to ourselves, then what could be wrong? Unfortunately, a lot of things. Grades are just one part of the equation. Be sure to look at the big picture when evaluating your child’s school success including his temperament, wellbeing, motivation, and interests.
Challenge is a Good Thing
Contrary to popular belief, straight A’s across the board could actually be a warning sign. We all want our kids to excel, but if she’s making 100s on every assignment and test, then she could be missing out on one of the most important aspects of school—challenge. The truth is, if your child is never challenged, then she’s never learning. Period. According to the Examiner, when students are accustomed to mastering subjects easily, they become fearful of challenges.
School Is Social Hour
Or is it? One of the major benefits of public school is the opportunity for your child to interact with their same-age peers. As incomprehensible as it may be to you now, these are the people your child will be dealing with in the “real world” one day, on both a personal and professional level. As you well know, no matter how smart or educated someone is, if they’re unable to get along and communicate with others, then they will be severely limited in terms of what they’ll be able to accomplish within their communities and personal lives. So, what can you do to ensure that your child is excelling in the social arena? Talk to your child’s teacher, and ask her to paint a picture of your child amidst the social landscape of the classroom. She’s the next best thing to a fly on the wall.
When Your Kid Talks, Listen
You’ve heard it before—kids should be seen and not heard, right? Wrong! If your child has a complaint about school, listen! Children are amazingly intuitive, and they know when something’s not quite right. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring their cries. Whether it be an abusive teacher or a bully in the classroom, there are threats within the public school system, and it’s much better to err on the side of caution rather than miss a warning sign and have your child suffer as a result.
School success goes well beyond the letters on a report card. Achievement can also be measured by your child’s personality, athleticism, talents, and most importantly—his happiness. How do you measure your child’s school success?