The issuing of the first report card of the school year is a time of celebrating children’s achievements in many households. However, the first report card of the year may also produce anxiety in some parents. Perhaps your child is not progressing academically like you had hoped; or maybe your child’s teacher has expressed a concern about your little one. What can parents do to help a child who has received a troubling report card? Red Apple Reading has 10 suggestions for concerned parents.
- Don’t Panic – Even if you feel panicked or overwhelmed, take a deep breath and compose yourself. The last thing your kid needs is an overly emotional response from you.
- Schedule a Meeting – The first order of business for the parent whose child has just received a not-so-stellar report card is to schedule a meeting with the child’s teacher. Resist the urge to put this off. Hoping your little one will catch up is an ineffective strategy and probably will not produce the desired results. For guidance on preparing for a teacher conference, read, Make the Most of Your Teacher Conference at Scholastic.com.
- Make a Plan – When you meet with your child’s teacher ask specifically what you can do to help your kiddo. Remember, most teachers have your child’s best interest in mind, so be open to their suggestions.
- Schedule a Second Meeting – Yes, a second meeting! Once you and the teacher come up with a game plan, suggest meeting again in two or three weeks to evaluate the effectiveness of the arrangement.
- Talk to Your Child – Calmly speak with your child about the plan you and the teacher have come up with and ask for his input and suggestions. It is important that your kiddo feels a sense of responsibility and involvement in his academic career.
- Implement Plan – A meeting with the teacher will only prove effective if you actually make the discussed changes or adjustments. It is easy to fall back into old habits; but remember the old methods of approaching school work were not helpful to your child.
- Make Necessary Adjustments – Most initial plans will need tweaking. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate success. Remember the aim of your second meeting with the teacher is to evaluate the effectiveness of the changes and make the necessary adjustments.
- Seek Additional Help – If you are still not satisfied with your child’s progress after implementing the above steps, seek additional help. Perhaps you need to speak with the school principal about supplementary resources that may be available for your kid. Don’t be afraid to advocate for your child. You are their biggest supporter!
- Don’t Give up – If your child is struggling in school, don’t expect a quick fix. It often takes a lot of time and hard work on both your and your kiddo’s part before you see consistent progress. Hang in there – you are in this for the long haul!
- Be encouraging – Your child needs to know you are on their side. It can be very tempting to nag your kid when they are not doing well academically. Instead of fussing, “catch them doing good” and praise them when you see them working hard. This kind of consistent encouragement is ultimately more effective than negative speech.
A disappointing report card isn’t the end of the world. With you on their side, your child can progress academically and experience success in school!