Grades. You can’t live with ‘em, and you can’t live without ‘em.
Summer’s here and your kids are ready to play! But let’s be honest: for many parents, your child’s report card can be a big determiner in what he or she gets to do for the summer. If they come home with all A’s, the season is theirs for enjoying — if not, it might be off to studying, standardized test prep, or summer school classes.
Of course, we all know it’s important to do your best to keep your child focused. You need to give them that extra push to get to classes on time, finish up that homework, and practice times tables before their big math test. That’s because grades tell the school (and their future schools) a lot about how well your child is absorbing what’s being taught. And marks that don’t, uh, meet the mark could mean your child is held back a year or needs to enroll in extra classes to make up any lost ground.
But if we’re being honest with ourselves, do report cards always matter?
Truthfully, they do and they don’t. It’s kind of a tricky situation. Children need to prove they understand the concepts in their current classes before they advance to more demanding methods or practices. And the way most school districts do that is by checking out their grades.
If your child is having trouble keeping their head above water in 3rd grade, schools fear they’ll sink in 4th. So they give him or her a little life boat to keep them in 3rd grade, hoping they have enough time to absorb the information before proceeding. In this aspect, grades are really quite important indicators of whether a child is ready to move on.
But there’s a flaw to this system, we’ll admit. For example, it doesn’t always take into account the students who understand the material so well that they’re distracted in class or too bored to complete mundane assignments. Meanwhile, your child is ready to move on to more challenging subject matter. That’s why it’s important to figure out the true cause behind a poor report card — and to understand what you can do to motivate your child to excel.
What really drives a child toward success?
A child might be teased at school and you’ll see his or her grades drop. Or they might struggle with finding their identity as they strike puberty, making it harder to focus on their math and English classes. If we’re being honest, a lot of things can affect grades — and not just things at school. Home life or other stresses can contribute more to lower marks than you might expect.
As a parent, it’s your job to provide support, cheering your kids toward victory. And victory doesn’t have to come in the form of all A’s. It can be disguised in many different ways. You should always motivate your child to find his or her own personal form of success — like on the soccer field or at band practice. Maybe science isn’t Sam’s strong point, but theater is. Your child doesn’t have to have perfection across the board as long as they try their hardest in each class.
Besides, you might have a little Beethoven or Venus Williams on your hands if you give your little guy or gal the opportunity to focus a good chunk of attention on what they do best, pushing them to excel and shine in their own unique way.
Rewarding a job well done
No one is asking for perfection here — we just want to see our little ones do their own personal best. So if you see your child spending extra time to boost that C to a B or if their teacher calls to share that they’ve been behaving better than ever before in an attempt to raise a participation grade, it doesn’t hurt to celebrate their effort!
Why not promise your kids a little something special to promote their school habits and make them learn to be more reliable workers? Or, if they come home with a top-notch report card, it could be fun to treat them with something special they’ve been dreaming of — like a brand new, gigantic trampoline.
Check out our selection of backyard trampolines. With so many options to choose from, your little Brainiac will feel smarter picking the right one out and even happier using it — and they’ll know they’ve got pretty smart parents on their hands, too.