How to Deal with Report Cards

Updated: Apr 25, 2020

I'm sure we've all heard a story similar to this from one of our friends at one time or another:

When I was in high school, if I got a 97% in math, my parents never seemed happy-- I specifically remember them saying 'what happened to the other 3%!

If you haven't already received it, it's coming soon--- the "dreaded" report card. Report card season is in full swing-- and it's probably one of the most nerve-racking times of the year for students, parents and teachers alike.

Every parent has the idea of excellence in mind for their child, but what happens when your child falls short and doesn't "make the grade"?

At Brightside Learning, we believe that number and letter grades come secondary to a variety of more important aspects of the learning process.

These include but are not limited to:

  • Level of effort exhibited on a regular basis

  • Motivation and dedication level to academic work

  • How school work is managed and organized

  • Actual level of understanding of topics presented (as compared to ability to complete a test or assignment)

  • Ability to think critically and analyze the world around you

  • Comments from teachers and other school facilitators

Recognize your child's successes

Take a deep breath and remember that any improvement is PROGRESS! Even if your child's grades are not yet where you think they should be, make sure to recognize the progress they have made! Make it a top priority to tell your child that you're proud of their hard work and dedication (not their grades per se) and use this as an opportunity to discuss what is working well and which strategies to implement next.

Leave your feelings out of it

Please do not say that you're disappointed in your child! You can say you're concerned about the grades you're looking at or that you're worried about the way your child approached homework last term, but not that you're disappointed in your child as a human being! Instead, leave your feelings out of it and decide to actively problem-solve to improve the situation!

Model how to get to the bottom of a problem

If your child is struggling, then instead of yelling "you're grounded until your grades go up", make sure to talk about what is going wrong and problem-solve with your child. Not only will this help your child become a critical thinker, but it will also help your child take responsibility for their own learning process!

Make it a family affair

Tell your child that you want to help them to succeed and that you will become more actively involved. This might mean getting in touch with the teachers, changing the location where homework takes place, checking homework more regularly, helping them set up a study plan, or seeking outside academic support. Whatever you choose, be sure to present it with a positive spin to ensure that your child understands that you are trying to help them, not hinder their privacy or space!

If your child is struggling academically and you're not sure how to help them succeed, please feel free to contact us to learn about how we can help.

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