Grades: a Guide for Parents

· March 6, 2019
Grades are synonymous with stress for many parents and children. Supporting and encouraging children to learn, ask questions and seek the answers, might be the formula for success.

As soon as children begin school, many begin to worry about their grades. When you receive their report card, there may be emotions of joy or frustrating disappointments.

Parents take their children’s grades very seriously as if it were an assessment of their own parenting. However, parents don’t realize that grades are just a score on the acquisition and memorization of certain academic content.

This is a measurement that responds to some circumstances. Therefore, it doesn’t necessarily indicate if the learning ability of their children has been successful or a failure.

Academic grades show parents several things, things that they can act on without worrying and judging or making their children suffer.

What Do Parents Need to Know about Grades?

Boy worried about his grades

Grades are a circumstantial score. A grade is obtained from the tests that all children take. However, these tests don’t consider their level of maturity, interests and the learning style of each child.

In addition, a grade doesn’t always demonstrate the effort a child puts into getting it. An A may be obtained without any effort, while a child may think that a lower grade is a job well done.

While it’s important not to take the grade itself too seriously, report cards can show parents their children’s interests. For some children, math or art class may be easier. Meanwhile, other children find English, a second language or sports to be their strengths.

No matter what, it’s important to know that passing doesn’t necessarily mean learning. The truth that the educational system hides is that they demand children to pass, but this doesn’t always guarantee that they have learned something.

Finally, a low or failing grade isn’t a child’s quality. It can’t be used to label the child or indicate their value as a person, especially to frighten or punish them.

Read this article, too: 8 Questions to Ask Your Children’s Teachers

How Can Parents Help their Children?

 1. Look beyond the grade.

Parents should instead evaluate the effort their child put into getting their grade. This is the best way to read a report card in order to motivate them to continue their efforts and reach their goals.

2. Motivate their daily efforts.

Parents don’t have to wait until they see a test result in order to congratulate their children. Recognize the effort they put into school on a day-to-day basis.

If a child isn’t doing well at school today, then their parents should review what they did before in order to determine what they can improve on. Motivate the child to complete their tasks correctly and on time.

3. Come up with a study schedule.

Oversee the beginning of their activities so that they can make corrections on time when they are doing it wrong. Help your child get all the material they need to study and do their homework.

Also, at the end of the day, check to see if they have completed all of their school work.

4. Leave them alone so they can study and do their homework.

Parents help their daughter study

In order for your children to get better grades, you should offer them a quiet environment. Make use of a quiet space for them to study and do their homework. Don’t allow any stimuli to distract them such as the television, toys or electronic devices.

If you’re not at home, make sure your child studies and does their homework in a good place. Also, make sure your child rests and sleeps well at the end of the day.

Check out this article, too: 5 Effects of Fighting at Home on Your Children

5. Contact the teacher on a regular basis.

Maintain constant communication with the teacher. Together, you should evaluate the content that your child should reinforce, study methods and how to improve them.

If your child needs academic reinforcement, find out if you can pay for tutoring.

6. Don’t threaten them or promise things.

Positive reinforcement doesn’t mean you have to give your child gifts as a reward whenever they get the results that are expected from them. Instead, you should give them words of encouragement and congratulations.

Also, don’t threaten your child or promise things that you’re not going to fulfill.

7. Avoid obligating them to get a certain grade.

Clearly explain to them what’s expected from them when it comes to their studies. Encourage your child to do their best in order to achieve the best results they can. However, never obligate them to get certain results.

Also, show them that not complying with the schedules and study methods has their consequences.

8. Help them keep their material organized.

By doing so, they will feel prepared because they will be meeting small and rational goals.

9. Work one-on-one with your child when going over topics.

Make a list of what needs to be corrected and decide on which topic the both of you will work, one at a time. This will help them accomplish goals without getting exhausted or frustrated.

Determine what is a priority and work on it. Then, move on to another aspect and, once you have finished it, move on to another.

What Should You Do if Your Child Fails?

Girl getting scold by her mom
  • Identify the cause. Contact the teacher so they give you their point of view and that way the both of you can come up with a study plan. If the cause of your child’s bad performance is due to a lack of effort, you have to follow-up on your child on a daily basis and try to increase their motivation toward their teachers.
  • Talk to your child calmly. Try to understand why they got this grade. You can try new learning methods that involve them being more active.
  • Avoid yelling and arguing with them. This won’t make your child improve their performance. On the contrary, you should pay attention to the reasons why they didn’t get better results.
  • Reinforce their sense of responsibility. Their grades are the product of their effort and dedication to their studies. Don’t allow your child to give you unrealistic excuses: It’s not their teacher’s fault nor it’s because their classmates won’t let them concentrate.
  • Avoid comparing your child with other classmates or their siblings. Each child is unique, and they have their own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Avoid making their studies a punishment. This creates a negative conditioning that associates learning with something bad or boring.

Final Recommendations

Schooling is a stage of formation for children and grades are part of the process. Encourage your child to overcome their difficulties. It’s the best lesson they can get when it comes to adjusting to new challenges in the educational system, as well as in life itself.

Finally, if after having strengthening your child’s study methods and their grades still don’t improve, you should look into finding out if they have a learning disability. To do this, you will need to consult with another type of specialist that’s not the teacher.

Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad et al. Informe sobre los deberes escolares. 2013. Available at: https://www.edu.xunta.gal/portal/sites/web/files/informe_deberes_castellano.pdf. Accessed 11/18, 2018.

O’Donnel LM. Disciplinar a su hijo. 2018. Available at: https://kidshealth.org/es/parents/discipline-esp.html. Accessed 11/18, 2018.

Wikipedia. Educación. 2018. Available at: https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Educaci%C3%B3n. Accessed 11/18, 2018.