How to Tackle Report Card Blues ?
A Familiar Scene
Your child comes home with a poor Report - Card from school. His Score - Anywhere BELOW your wildest imagination !
RESULT - PUNISHMENT . GLOOM . DESPAIR
Now, just stop and think for a moment. There may be a very good reason for his poor performance.
Perhaps he has poor vision or a hearing disability.
More mundane reasons also cannot be ruled out - poor study habits, poor learning methods or too much of pampering.
The Strategy you can follow -
Help your child so that he doesn't feel as bad
about himself as he feels about his marks. Do everything you can to help him develop a love for learning.
You can start by being encouraging. Children do have a natural tendency to connect their identity to their poor performance.
Scoring poor marks does not mean that a child is stupid. Therefore, do not be critical. Don't discourage him by suggesting that he is not very good in academics. Instead, help him to regain his natural love of learning.
Let's be more practicle -
- Show an interest in WHAT he is learning and not HIS MARKS.Maybe you could try finding answers to all the 'why' questions - together ! Why is the sky blue? Why are leaves green? Why do some flowers smell so sweet?
- Make learning FUN. Go outdoors and explore. Nature has a lot to teach.Teach him concepts using everyday, practical examples. You could try baking a cake together and using the experiment to teach him conversions and measurement !
- Make sure your child is not involved in too many extra-curricular activities. Its good to play games and learn music but not at the cost of school work. Make a workable time - table to balance academics with other activities.
- Do not hesitate to engage a tutor if the need arises. It will allow your child to catch up on what he has not understood in class. Individual attention does go a long way in simplifying the learning process.
- If you have high expectations and no patience, refrain from helping your child with his home work. Frustration and anger will result in more damage than good.
- Have an honest talk with his teacher to see what can be done to improve his performance. Make sure your child is involved in the discussion. Come up with a plan for more practice in the subjects he is weak at. Get him to agree to the plan before implementing it
- Do refrain from comparing him with his brothers / sisters / cousins / friends. The damage will be permanent.
- Be optimistic. Don't show your child how deeply worried you are.
- Check with a doctor to make sure your child has no vision or hearing disability.
- Emphasize on the effort and not on the results.
Your child scores 4 out of 10 in a math's test. Your reaction is -
A. You point out the 4 he got right, showing him that he can learn.
B. You reprimand him for being careless and stupid.