Monday, October 24, 2011

Report Card Time

Last week was a first in our house. The first time one of the kids brought home a bad grade on their report card. All three of our kids are very smart and school comes very easily for them. Usually I am struggling to make sure they are being challenged in school not worrying about their grades.

I haven't seen the third child's report card yet but according to online grades it will be all A's and one B. That child was hoping for straight A's but one B isn't bad. The second child got a report card of mainly B+ but I expect to see improvement over the year as the child gets accustomed to the new school and new curriculum. Also, not a bad report card overall.

Then there is the child at hand. This child brought home A's in every subject area expect Science in which the child received a D. You read that right, all A's and one D. No C, not average grade, straight from excelling to unsatisfactory. According to their teacher it was mainly based upon a quarter long assignment that culminated in a two overnight field trip and outdoor learning experience. The opportunity was a great one and I know the child learned a lot but when it came time to do the assignment that was required during the fun the child was simply lazy and put little effort into the assignment. Whole sections were incomplete and the sections that were turned in were not correct or lacked detailed. The teacher also explained that it was explained to the children over and over again that this assignment would be the main component of their grade. Despite warnings my child couldn't take a break from having fun to be responsible, sigh!

On a positive note, the teacher said not to expect any similar grades moving forward since child is a good student. I think receiving such a low mark on the report card and knowing there would be consequences shocked and embarrassed the child. You could argue the teacher is being a little harsh leaving the entire quarter grade to one assignment but I think this child is old enough to understand the consequences for their actions and in defense of the teacher, that is really what they worked on all quarter long.

So what are the consequences we doled out. For this child, time with friends is most important so they are grounded and unable to play with their friends through at least this past weekend, longer if they aren't helpful or have an attitude. No electronics through at least next weekend. The grounding from friends will continue for a few additional days because this child didn't understand the "I am grounded and now it is time to kiss up to mom and dad and be on my best behavior in order to get ungrounded sooner" act. One of our other children has this down and immediately starts cleaning, tidying up, and generally being extremely helpful once they are in trouble in order to get out of trouble as soon as possible.

The other issue with having three kids 2 years 8 months apart in age and the oldest two only 6 months apart in age is fairness. Another one of the children was recently grounded for two separate behavioral issues (talking during class) in the same class in the same week. This punishment lasted until the teacher could report the child was behaving better in class, which amounted to almost two full weeks of grounding. While the child in question's grade was mainly based on one assignment I think a D on a report card from an A student warrants similar punishment to behavioral infractions in school. It really isn't fair if the punishment is less for the D student, than for the child with the behavior issue.

I don't expect we'll have any further disappointments this year in the report card area but isn't parenting lovely?



Gina said...

Harsh? Maybe a little, but what a great life lesson and honestly, I'd call that fair. I bet it won't happen again. :)

Kate said...

I'm definitely with you on the "time off for good behavior" like most prisoners get lol We kept our oldest home from the FIRST!EVER! middle school dance as he was asked to leave band 2 days prior for disruptive chatter, and there I was...getting my own lecture on how we're the BAD parents. pfffffft. "Good" parenting doesn't leave ya feeling very good, huh :( Stay strong, Mama! :)