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Poor Grades Can Demoralize and Zap Students Confidence

How to handle it, when grades drop
Photo by Tony Crider
If you live in New Jersey, you should have received your son's report card by now. With all hopes that these grades haven't affected the Christmas gifts your dearest one have to receive, chances are you had to deal with low grades.

How do you handle low grades without giving rise to a battle?

First of all, remember that a report card is neither a measure of your child's worth nor of your parent ability. So, you have to walk a fine line between not dwelling excessively on her grades while not dismissing them as unimportant.

Schoolwork is easily followed with what some schools in NJ started just using, the PowerSchool. You can keep track of your son's information on the web. Student data, including attendance, schedules and grades are a click away. You can also set your student account to send you reports periodically to your own personal e-mail.

Still you may be confronted with low grades. Don't fall pray of angry rants and harsh criticism, in place, try to adopt a low-key , calm but serious approach to show your son what are your concerns. Bear in mind that you are the adult here and that poor grades will demoralize a child and even worse zap her confidence. Some children feel half-hearted to school work and results may also reflect this, so you will have to help him reorder his priorities.

Now is when we introduce the second step to handle low grades improvement. There must be something to praise your child's report card, then talk to your kid about the subjects he's struggling with and ask questions to identify the source of the problem.

We like to read Dr. Kenneth Shore's articles. In his When Grades Drop (njfamily.com, 12/08) he suggest the questions we should strenthen up:

"Is the work too hard? Conversely, is the work so easy that your child is bored and thus not putting forth effort? Is he handing in homework consistently? Is he having trouble following directions? Is he having difficulties preforming on tests? Is he having a problem focusing on class?"

Now we arrive to what we would like to call third step. Work along with your son a plan of action. You will need to get involved with the teacher to determine what your young boy needs to do differently and whether extra help is needed. Is it that you need to monitor homework more closely? or is it that he needs help studying for test?

Please, do not always follow teachers recommendations on learning disabilities, you are the person who knows better, help him organizing better for school and try a tutor before accepting classification of kid with learning disabilities.

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