Tips to Help Your Children: How to Handle a “Poor” Report Card


By Taleen Khatchadourian
Executive Director, Sylvan Learning Centers in Glendale and Studio City

Children get frustrated and upset when their report cards show they are not reaching their potential. Understanding your child’s personal ability and determining if your expectations are too high will allow both you and your child to set appropriate goals for each class before report cards are distributed again.

Sylvan Learning, the leading provider of tutoring to students of all ages, grades, and skill levels, offers the following tips for parents on how to deal with a “poor” report card:

– Set expectations.  Not every child will earn all A’s, but that doesn’t mean your child should strive for less.  Talk with your child before the school year starts and explain that you won’t be upset if he doesn’t bring home all A’s — but that you will be upset if he doesn’t try his hardest.

– Communicate with your child.  Don’t wait until report cards are issued to talk with your child about school and grades. Talk with her every night and every week about homework.

– Discuss your child’s performance with his teacher and/or guidance counselor. Your child’s teacher can recommend ways to help your child or point out difficulties he is having. His guidance counselor can provide progress reports between reports cards or help set up additional parent-teacher conferences when necessary.

– Set goals for improvement with your child. If your child is currently a C student — then setting a goal of getting all A’s may not be reasonable. However, creating an improvement goal for each subject will help her work toward an attainable level for each class.

– Establish a personalized study plan with your child. Your child should keep a schedule of all classes, assignments, and key dates (e.g., project deadlines, big exams, etc). As part of that schedule, he should include specific time for studying, projects, and extracurricular activities. The more comprehensive the schedule, the more efficient your child will be in completing his homework and the better he’ll do in school.

– Seek outside help. Some children may need additional attention that can’t be provided in school. Speak with your child’s teacher about tutoring or supplemental education.

– Praise your child’s successes. Praise your child for what she is doing well, whether it’s a specific academic subject or an extracurricular activity. If your child is not doing well in English, but loves to read the latest Twilight book, show her the connection between the two.

For more educational resources for children in grades pre-K through 12, please visit or callGlendale at (818) 240-7323 orStudioCity at (818) 906-1505.

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