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How to Handle a "Poor" Report Card

Jan 26, 2016
7 Tips To Turn Things Around

Some students dread report card time. As a parent with a child who is struggling, you probably do too. Don't panic! It is not too late for a comeback. If your child’s grades are not reflecting his or her academic potential, you can help turn things around. 

Children often feel frustrated and upset when their report cards do not reflect their potential or their parents’ expectations. Understanding your child’s personal abilities and determining if your expectations are too high is the first step in setting appropriate goals for academic improvement. Focusing on goal setting will also help establish an environment in which your child is not worried about sharing his or her report card with you.

Sylvan Learning provides tutoring to students of all ages, grades and skill levels. We offer the following tips for parents dealing with “poor” report card grades:

  1. Set expectations. Not every child will earn all A’s, but that doesn’t mean your child should strive for less. Communicate and let them know that you won’t be upset if his or her report card is anything but all A’s. Enforce concepts like asking for help and trying or working hard to earn good grades.
  2. Communicate with your child. Don’t wait until report cards are issued to talk with your child about school and grades. Engage in open communication about their academic standing and take genuine interest in their concerns. Talk with your child every night and every week about homework. Ask how he or she is doing in school and what subjects are most challenging. 
  3. Discuss your child’s performance with his/her teacher and/or guidance counselor. Your child’s teacher and/or guidance counselor are the best sources for information about your child’s scholastic performance. Teachers can recommend ways to help your child or point out problem areas. Guidance counselors can provide progress reports between reports cards or help set up additional parent-teacher conferences when necessary. 
  4. Set realistic goals for improvement with your child. If your child is currently a C student, then striving for all A’s may not be reasonable. Instead, organizing an improvement goal for each subject will help him or her work toward an attainable level for each class. 
  5. Establish a personalized study plan with your child. Your child should keep a schedule of all classes, assignments and key dates. As part of that schedule, work on including a specific time for studying, for projects and for extracurricular activities. The more comprehensive the schedule, the more efficient your child will be in completing school work and balancing work and play.
  6. Seek outside help. Some children may need additional aid that can’t be provided in school. Speak with your child’s educators about tutoring or supplemental education providers to help your child work toward better grades in school.
  7. Praise your child’s successes. Praise your child for what he or she is doing well, whether it’s a specific academic subject or an extracurricular activity. Through positive affirmation, your child will feel encouraged to try harder or to embrace failures and successes as outcomes of hard work. If your child is not doing well in English, but loves to read, demonstrate the connection between the two. 

Get started today with Sylvan Learning on your child's comeback and enjoy a $100 off tutoring coupon!