Report card stress is reduced with open communication
(NC) It won't be long before parents start to think—and worry—about the arrival of the first report card. While this event can be stressful for parents and students alike, Dr. Nick Whitehead, the CEO of Oxford Learning Centres, says a key to eliminating such stress is open communication with your child's school and teachers.
“Parents and teachers may not have time for weekly sit-down meetings, or even lengthy telephone calls, but in the age of e-mail, there's no reason for parents to be out-of-the-loop on what their child is up to at school,” he explains. “Waiting for the first report card can be risky. Why wait to discover if your child is struggling? Instead, regular e-mail communication with the teacher can lessen stress and make parents aware of problem areas before issues get out of control.”
It's not uncommon for parents to be confused by their child's report card. Changing schedules, complicated terminology, and formal language add to the stress.
“Many parents,” says Dr. Whitehead, “bring their child's report card to us at our Oxford centres, to help them make sense of what it is really telling them.” There is plenty that parents can do daily to stay on top of their child's academic progress. Here, for example, Oxford Learning gives us a few more helpful tips:
• Communicate with the teacher every week. It takes five minutes to ask how your child is doing.
• Review past report cards. Issues from last year are likely to re-appear, so review previous reports, and watch out for reoccurring trouble.
• Follow up when a test is returned to your child. How did it go? Were the results what you were expecting?
• Go online. The Internet is a wonderful tool to keep informed. If your child's class has a web page, log on and get involved.
• Don't wait. If there are any issues, seek help as soon as you learn of them, rather than waiting to discuss them after report cards come home.
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