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How to deal with a disappointing report card

Updated: Dec 19, 2020

Every student from time to time will bring home a report card that is less than acceptable.

When your child brings home a bad report card, your first instinct might be to yell and punish, but a bad report card really isn't the end of the world. Knowing how to deal with a bad report card can take some finesse and may require you to take a step back and look at things from a different perspective. You as a parent can either turn it into a good experience or bad experience. The way your react after a bad report card will be a memory your child has for the rest of their life. That does not mean you should just sit back and accept the bad report card. There are a few things you can do to turn this bad report card into a positive learning experience for your child. In this article, we provide you with some tips on how to handle this situation.

1 Talk to your child

Talk with your child about each grade listed on the report card. Make sure you stay calm. Some good discussion questions would be: Do you know why you received that grade? Can you explain to me why you earned that grade? What do you think should be done to improve this grade.

2. Ask how the grades are weighted.

Some teachers give more weight (or emphasis) to tests than to homework. If your child has exceptional grades on his homework, but has a hard time taking tests, his grades may reflect this and not his true understanding of the subject

3.Listen to your child

It may be that he has a million excuses why he has a bad report card, none of which are valid or lay the responsibility at his feet, but he may have some insights, too. Maybe he's distracted or embarrassed to ask for help. Maybe he can't see the board or is tired because he's participating in too many extracurricular activities. You won't know until you ask.

4. Praise the positives

Somewhere on that report card, there is something to be proud of, even if it's just a good attendance record. Make sure your child knows you're looking at everything and not just the negatives.

5. Come up with a game plan so the next report card won't be so bad.

This means setting realistic goals for the next quarter and helping your child brainstorm ways to meet these goals. Realistic is the key word here. A child who has all C's and D's on his report card cannot realistically be expected to have all A's next time around, but it's probably not too much to ask to see those grades increase to B's and C's.

6. Provide the support.

Your job isn't done until you've helped your child access the supports he needs to improve his report card. If you have to contact the teacher, don't put if off. If you need to help him outline his time, sit down and do it. If you need professional support such as private tuition, do so. Your child is counting on you to help him out, which is not the same as bailing him out.

How can we help? At Grade A Tutoring and Learning Centre we provide one-on-one tutoring online or in-home to students from pre-school to secondary. We can provide you with a tutor who will develop a learning plan and work with your child to improve their grades. Click here to book a FREE Consultation with our Operations Manager.

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