The Do's and Don'ts of Helping Your Child Raise Their Grades
It’s almost the end of the first semester and your tween or teen’s grades have been...lackluster...to say the least. You’ve nagged, begged, bribed, and punished- all of which have yielded temporary changes at best. You want to see better outcomes on your child’s report card next semester without so much fighting and stress. Is that so much to ask? We at Hoffman Tutoring Group believe that students can improve their performance and confidence with the help of their parent, without constant battles. So, we’ve written down some of our biggest “do’s” and “don’ts” when it comes to helping your child raise their grades and improve their learning.
Expect changes overnight
When it comes to grades, slow and steady wins the race. When your child is working toward the goal of better scores, you likely won’t see a big change right away. Often, seeing improvements on report cards is mostly about changing habits, and this takes TIME. This is a great opportunity to teach your child about consistency and working in small increments to achieve a big goal.
Focus on everything at once
Tweens and teens are often the victims of overwhelm. As adults, we tend to forget things that come second nature to us are new and difficult for our children. Don’t expect your student to change all their grades, habits, or attitudes all at once. Expecting too much change at one time can cause anxiety and lead to avoidance, resistance, or outbursts from your child. Instead, choose one skill or habit to focus on at a time.
Use blame and shame
Noone likes being shamed. Try to talk honestly with your student about their grades and struggles without laying on the blame and shame if you want to see positive changes.
Compare your child to siblings or peers
Most students already struggle with comparing themselves to others and don’t respond well to adults doing the same. Focus on your child and what they’re doing and forget about everyone else- even if you’re wanting to make a positive comparison.
Use the grade portal in an unhealthy way
Online grade portals are a great way to check grades whenever and wherever you want. Use the portal to help your child check in on their goals, but don’t start unhealthy habits. If you’re checking the portal as often as social media, or jumping on your child as soon as you see a missing assignment, it might be time to take a step back.
Get your child to “buy-in”
You can lecture all you want, but until your child is motivated to make a change, you will likely be left spinning your wheels. Chat with your teen about what grades they want to raise, why grades are valued by your family, and how higher scores can help them achieve their future goals (career, hobbies, aspirations).
Help your child set a challenging but realistic goal
Needing or wanting to improve grades is a great opportunity to help your student practice setting SMART goals. Make sure the goal will push your child without being unrealistic. This will likely be an improvement of 5-15 grade points (don’t expect your child to go from a D to an A). Need more guidance for the goal-setting process? Check out our goal setting worksheet and parent guide.
Check in with your child regularly
Accountability and frequent reflection is a huge part of successfully working toward goals. Help your child make progress by checking in with them regularly to talk about how it’s going, what support they need, and what steps they plan to take moving forward. This is where healthy usage of the grade portal can be handy!
Utilize the help of teachers, tutors, and other mentors
If your student is struggling academically, they will likely need the help of an adult, that’s not their parent, to boost their learning and understanding before any grades can change. Make a list of all the adults in your child’s life that could help them reach their goal and choose who to reach out to.
Acknowledge your child’s efforts
Praise goes a long way for everyone! Make sure to point out when you see your student working hard and find small ways to reward their improvements.
Sometimes you need more people on your team to help your student build up their confidence and reach academic goals. A highly qualified tutor can help your child get where they need to go by preparing personalized online tutoring sessions that fill learning gaps and help them grasp what’s being covered in class. We would love to be on your student’s education team! Click here to schedule your free consultation call today. We can’t wait to chat with you!