Opinion

Tips to evaluate the mid-year report card | Column

It’s a brand new year - and a great time for parents and their children to reflect on the school year thus far, what subjects are going well and what areas might need improvement.

“With the school year half over, parents can use the mid-year report card as an opportunity to talk about how their student is faring,” said Erica Hwang, executive director of the Bothell Huntington Learning Center.

As they evaluate their student’s school performance this year, Hwang encourages parents to ask themselves these questions:

What are the warning signs?

If most of your child’s grades are fine with the exception of one very low grade, it’s logical to assume your child is having difficulty in that particular subject. Maybe he or she is having trouble understanding the material or keeping up with the class. Similarly, if you notice low grades across the board, your child may have reached a level of high frustration and low motivation - and it’s now time for you to intervene.

How do the grades compare to your child’s efforts?

If you know your student is putting in significant effort on homework but his or her grades don’t reflect it, there may be a deeper issue. It’s possible that your child has never mastered a basic skill, or that he or she doesn’t understand the material. Or, there could be a different sort of problem at play. Perhaps your child can’t see the board and needs glasses or has trouble staying focused during class time. On the other hand, if your child completes his or her work in record time - yet still receives failing grades - study skills or time management may be to blame. Talk with the teacher to try to pinpoint what might be going on.

What is your child’s attitude about the grades?

If your student seems unhappy or angry or doesn’t seem to care at all, it’s very possible that school struggles are hurting his or her self-esteem. Pay attention to drastic changes in your child’s demeanor about school. If you’re concerned, develop an action plan that includes meeting with the teacher, getting tutoring help or making more time for studying and school.

How is your child’s attitude overall?

If your child’s grades are acceptable, but he or she is very negative about school or appears to be highly unmotivated, you should investigate. Alternately, if your child seems apathetic about school and life, dig deeper with the help of the teacher or principal.

Hwang reminds parents that no matter what the report card looks like, it’s important to stay positive and be supportive. Such encouragement and optimism can be a first step toward solving any problems and helping your child get on the road to academic success.

For more information about the Huntington Learning Center of Bothell, contact Erica Hwang at 425-368-2300 or bothellwa@hlcmail.com.

About Huntington

Founded in 1977, Huntington is a pioneer and leader in the tutoring industry. For over 35 years, Huntington has provided quality instruction to hundreds of thousands of students. Huntington prides itself on being “Your Tutoring Solution” for students in all grades and subjects.  They tutor in academic skills, such as reading, phonics, math and study skills; and in advanced math and science subjects ranging from algebra through calculus and general science through physics. They also prepare students for state and standardized entrance exams, such as high school entrance exams and the SAT and ACT.

 

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