Make the Most out of Your Report Card Chat.
Top 10 Tips To Make the Most out of Your Report Card Chat.
The first report card of the school year is here — whether you are pleasantly surprised or very disappointed with it, you'll want to have a discussion about the results, both with your child and with the teacher. The report card talk is part of a larger support strategy that makes you an active participant in your child's education. Here are some tips to ensure that the discussion goes as smoothly as possible.
- Sit down together — don't talk about the report card in the garage while you child is lacing up his rollerblades.
- Remove distractions — focus on each other — TV off, no Game Boy or iPod!
- Make a statement of intent — tell your child up front that you need to have a talk about the report card.
- Leave emotion behind — if you're upset or angry then hold off on the discussion until you can talk calmly and rationally.
- Start by saying something positive — you can get off on the right foot by highlighting something positive about the report card, no matter how trivial.
- Review learning strengths — say something like, "You are still doing great in math, which is awesome."
- Recognize the struggle — listen to your child, and include his or her thoughts, comments, and worries in the discussion, and be sure to say" I know this grade is tough." Or, "I see that you're still having trouble with spelling."
- Listen to the complaints — children who have the most issues are usually the most vocal.
- Hit a high note — make an optimistic comment like: "There's still plenty of time for improvement, and we'll work together to make the necessary changes."
- End with a plan — identify the following before you leave the table: your role in helping with school, your child's role, and what the next steps are.
You've got your report card discussion plan of action identified: Now do it!