Learning Issues

Report Card Worries

The 100th day of School Tips for Parents

Since in New Jersey there are a total of 180 days of school each academic year, more than half of the school year has passed.  The second marking period is ending and soon you will be seeing your child’s report card.  Are you ready for this?  Are you worried about what you might see?  Will the teacher ask for a conference?  These and other questions may be going through your mind.  Below are some suggestions to make the next half of the school year go smoothly.

  • If your child is doing poorly in a particular subject, ask if he/she can do some extra credit to bring up their grade before the next report card.
  • Is your child not completing their homework? Daily contact with their teacher(s) either in person, via phone (even text if agreed upon) or in writing can prove helpful in these situations.  If you know your child has not completed something, you can hold them accountable.  If they simply do not understand something, then you can try to help.  If for some reason you cannot assist, find someone who can such as a high school student, other family members, or teachers (either your child’s or another one that tutors).  Keep in mind that some of these options may be free and others may charge a fee.
  • Does the teacher have any recommendations on how to help your child? For example, to learn multiplication facts there are CDs (probably available at your local library) with songs that make learning them a little bit easier and fun.
  • Are there behavioral concerns listed on the report card? Be mindful of words like: inattentive, does not listen, trouble focusing or concentrating.  These could indicate a problem and require further assessment by a counselor/therapist, neurologist, or psychiatrist.  The latter two of these could prescribe medication if deemed necessary.
  • If their grades are consistently low, could they have a learning disorder? In this case, it may be helpful to talk with the teacher(s) and the School’s Child Study Team to possibly assess their learning issues via an evaluation.  Keep in mind that when doing so, it really makes everything flow better when write a letter to request this.
  • Is your child absent too much? What is the maximum number of times they can be absent before they are required to repeat the grade?  Hopefully, you are not close to that magic number and if you are, you had better have a doctor’s note.  It may be important to explore if there are emotional issues or family changes that are contributing to their absenteeism.
  • No matter what number or letter your child received, stay positive when reviewing the report card with them and focus on what they are doing well. Remember that what they do well may be how they decide on their careers in the future.  Someone who is good in math could be an accountant, for example.
  • If you need help with any of the above, or to discuss other options to help your child you can reach me at (973) 202-6580