Elementary Schoolers
Bullies & Cyber Bullying
Behavior Problems
Classroom-Student Behavior
Extracurricular Activities
Internet & Technology
Kids Health & Safety
Parenting Styles & Skills
Peer Pressure
Positive Discipline
Sibling Rivalry
Sleepovers & Bedtime

What You Need to Know About Grades

Concerned about your child's grades? You are not alone! Millions of parents worry about their children's grades, if their child is doing as well as he should be doing (with grades, homework and behavior in school), and what can be done to improve students’ study habits. It's normal to focus just on grades, but you also don't want to make grades the only factor that you consider, for many reasons. By focusing on daily study and homework habits, and giving your student tools to help him work efficiently, improvements in grades are sure to follow. Common behavior tools that parents use to teach their children good study habits are homework planners and behavior contracts. The first is, of course, to help students track and plan out homework; and the second is a contract between the parent and child regarding specific behavior, actions, and goals. Student behavior contracts can also be made between teachers and students, or even between a parent, a teacher, and the student.

Student Ability and Feedback from Teachers

Many elementary schools have turned away from the traditional letter grading system and opt for marks that indicate effort, need to improve, etc. Because of this, it is important that parents take the time to attend parent-teacher conferences and ask questions. Don't be afraid to speak with your child's teacher to get more information on how your child is progressing and if there is anything you can do to help. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to your child's grades, and how to use behavior tools to help kids succeed in school.

How to View Grades, and Using Behavior Tools to Improve Them

  • When you look at your child's grades, you should not take it personally. When children need to improve school behavior or study habits, a parent often feels embarrassed.
  • Use behavior charts or a behavior contract to motivate your child to improve. Student behavior contracts are especially helpful for those kids who could be getting better grades but are not putting forth the effort.
  • Encourage the use of a homework planner. Just like the name implies, homework planners make planning and managing homework easier. A planner helps your child see what needs to be done, helps him learn to set short term goals, and helps him manage his school work time more efficiently. You can find printable homework planners online for free along with other behavior tools, and they’re easy to use.
  • Give your child an award or certificate for his consistent study behavior. When you are positive about what is going on, your child will be more likely to try even harder. This method also aids in showing your child results in the short term, so he doesn't have as much trouble focusing on farther-off goals.
  • Find out if there is a specific subject troubling your child. If you are not sure how to go about doing this, ask for recommendations from the teacher or school counselor.
  • Determine how your child learns best, and then try to find ways to teach him the material he is studying in that style. Everyone has a learning style, such as auditory, visual, etc. For example, if your child learns best by listening, have him read what he is studying out loud. Encourage your child to use this approach with homework each night. By reinforcing studying behaviors and styles that work best for your child, you’re teaching him effective study habits that will help him for years to come.

Patience and Consistence: Guiding Students in a Supportive Manner

To get the best grades out of your child, you have to give some thought to what he is personally capable of doing. Help mold your child's skills and positive traits into true assets with behavior tools. Elementary school is the time to focus on nipping bad studying habits in the bud, so your child doesn't keep them throughout the rest of his academic career. Provide your child with the support he needs and be patient. In time, your child should be earning the best grades he can!