Avoid the ‘report card surprise’

By Morgan Griffith, Director, Federal Way Sylvan Learning Center

Report cards are part of every child’s academic experience, and they don’t need to be a surprise to parents.

If you are surprised by your child’s report card, it often means that you haven’t been communicating effectively with your child or your child’s teacher throughout the year.

Maintaining open and continuous lines of communication with children and teachers throughout the school year will help you stay informed about your child’s progress and help you avoid the report card surprise.

The following tips offer specific advice for parents on how to maintain clear communications with your child and their teacher throughout the remainder of the school year.

Talking To children

• Talk about school every day; talk openly with your child about their concerns as well as their achievements.

• Teach your child that education is important to your family.

• If your child is having trouble in school, talk about a method to help organize their schedule and activities.

• Set improvement goals for your child. This will help the child work toward an attainable grade for each class.

• Set aside specific time for studying, projects and activities each evening and make sure that they have a properly equipped and well-lit area to work.

Talking to teachers

• Communicate with your child’s teacher at least once a month. Your child’s teacher can benefit from background information about your child — talk about activities they like, special needs, close friends, motivation and things going on at home.

• Talk to the teacher about any major programs or activities. Is there an annual science fair? A field trip schedule? Major papers? Tests?

Morgan Griffith is the center director at the Federal Way Sylvan Learning Center, 32717 1st Ave. S.: (253) 838-0507.

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