School is starting and naturally there will be those Kindergarten students who have their first day of school. With this can bring joy, exuberance, fun, fear, anxiety, and stress among other emotions. These emotions do not just belong to the children but also the parents. If a child went to preschool the child and parent may be in a better position to know what to expect because there will be similarities. However, if a child did not attend preschool they will be just fine. Your child will be getting their first report card and this should be considered a time for communication and growth, not as a negative thing. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has some ideas on how to help families with the benchmarks of the report cards.
- Talk – ask your child about their day at school, what they learned, who they played with and what went on in detail. Your student will love telling you about their day typically and if they don’t love talking about it you may want to ask the teacher if something is not okay. While all children are not prone to conversation, most love to talk about themselves, this is just normal behavior. Use it to your advantage, it is part of being involved in the child’s education.
- Talk more – but this time talk to the teacher. Ask if they are available by phone, email or if they have a class website to keep parents and the class connected. Whatever you do, make this a positive relationship if you possibly can. The parent/teacher relationship should be one of mutual respect with a goal of what is good for the child.
- Be open with your child. Tell them what you discuss with the teacher. Tell them their strengths and bring up the things they are beginning to master. Be sure to keep positive wording in the conversation so the child feels like they can really conquer the subjects and tasks they are working on in school.
- Besides staying positive, be sure to give much praise. Make a big deal out of work well done and skills that get mastered. This will build your child’s self esteem and help them throughout their whole lives.
It is important to talk to your child about report card time. Let them know that this is just a generalized report of how things are going overall in the eyes of their teacher. Be sure to let them know that if there are things that need to be worked on that you will be there to assist them and that they CAN master the skills necessary to have a positive report card.
Other things that can make all the difference on how your child views report cards and will also result in better grades or remarks are: stay involved in your child’s education (not just during the school year but all year), get to know the teachers, know the classroom and volunteer as much as you possibly can, read to your child everyday, set the example that education is important and that learning is a lifelong and enjoyable journey, be aware of the school calendar, help with field trips and be sure to know what is going on in the class from day to day, attend all parent teacher conferences and open houses that are held, oversee homework, help the child be prepared each day, look over their work that they are handing in, know what criteria the teacher is basing the grades on, limit video game and television time, and finally establishing routine is key to a child’s development. Kids do well when they know what the expectations are and what the consequences are as well as knowing the family schedule.
When you get involved in your child’s education everybody wins. You will be there first hand to watch your child blossom right before your eyes. There is not greater reward!