How To Talk To Your Kids About Their Report Card

BY KYLEEN GRAY

This week, most elementary students received their first term report cards. For some, this time of year is a celebration; for others, it holds disappointment and frustration. Regardless of the outcome of your child’s report card, you should take time to discuss it with them, and make a game plan for the next term. Here are some tips for talking to your child about their report card.

  • Allow your child to read their report card; if they can’t read yet, read it for them (paraphrasing to support understanding as required).
  • Start the conversation on a positive note by asking them to point out something on the report card that they are proud of.
  • Then, tell them something on the report card that you are proud of.
  • Next, ask them to identify 1-3 skills or behaviours that they would like to improve on; they may need help refining specific skills/behaviours.
  • Talk about how you both will know that they are improving their chosen skills or behaviours as the term progresses; you could even come up with a tracking system to gauge improvement.

You may also want to have a meeting with your child’s teacher about the report card, especially if you don’t feel like it reflects your child’s capabilities or work submissions. Here are some tips for parent-teacher conversations about mid-term report cards.

  • Schedule a meeting with the teacher.
  • Before the meeting, make notes or highlight parts of the report card that you’d like to discuss. Try to focus on 1-3 key items.
  • If you are curious about grading, you can ask to see the teacher’s grade book, as well as grading tools (rubrics, checklists, etc) and examples of your child’s graded work.
  • Create an action plan with the teacher to address the concerns you’ve discussed with them. Ensure that you have established good communication methods to carry out this action plan.

Report card time should be an opportunity for growth. Encourage your child to view it from this perspective, by focusing on goals for improvement. A positive parent-teacher relationship should also support your child in setting and tracking realistic, achievable gains as the term progresses. Positive conversations about report cards are key to supporting your child in their educational journey.

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