In most local school districts, students are receiving first nine weeks grades about now. Did your student bring home a report card that was less than exciting or not quite what you were expecting? Here are some suggestions on what to do now:
1. Meet with your Student’s Teacher/s
Most school districts offer conference nights following report cards for this specific reason. Schedule a time to meet with each of your student’s teachers. While you are there, find out if they are completing all assignments and turning them in, trying their best in class and always participating, and what the teacher thinks may be contributing to their low grade. You can also call the school to set-up an appointment if you missed your conference night or discuss a plan with the teachers over the phone.
2. Consider Setting a Homework Time
Many children struggle with time-management. A good way to teach children how to study is to set a specific minimum amount of study time each day. Explain that just like you would practice every day for a sport or dance recital, school takes daily practice for good results. Younger students should have a short time like 30 minutes whereas older students may have between one and two hours per day. During this time, kids are not allowed to use their phone or watch television and must complete homework assignments. If they do not have specific homework assignments that day, then they can review notes from class, start on something that is due in the future, read their textbook chapter, or read a book appropriate for their grade or reading level.
3. Check on Your Student’s Organization
Do they have a separate place to keep notes and papers for each class? Is there a place to put homework, and assignments to be turned in? Are there loose papers in their backpack or crumbled papers in their room? Do they have a consistent and quiet place to complete homework?
4. Check Grades Frequently
Many local school systems offer a way for parents to check grades online. Parents should check grades at least every few weeks to address issues that their student may be having. They can also call or email teachers with questions or to ask for suggestions to improve grades before the end of the nine weeks.
5. Seek out Help
If your student does not understand the content well enough to complete assignments or homework, they are unable to stay organized, or could use some assistance with study habits sometimes it can be easier to seek out the help of a tutor. Having a teacher who specializes in that subject area help your child can eliminate a lot of frustration and stress from the nightly routine.
-Nina Parrish, M.Ed.