Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Do you let your kids read their report cards?

I am a thinker... no doubt about it. I think, I over think, I read, I analyse...

And I end up with some weird habits. Like this and this... and this. Well, you might call them weird. I call them exceptionally well-planned projects.

The biggest one I've been called out on recently is the fact my children have never seen their report cards. With Mr Z in his fourth year of formal schooling and Miss Piggy in her third, we've received 12 report cards in total.

Each time we receive one, I don't rush to open it in front of the kids. As a former over-achiever that takes some willpower, let me tell you! When everyone is busy and settled I open them and take a peek. Then usually over dinner, I tell each of the kids what their teacher said about them (general comments only). This has always been enough for them.

The reason I don't feel the need to share their 'levels of achievement' with them are simple. Kids know what they're good at/not good at. They don't need a report to tell them that. Our kids sit in on parent-teacher interviews (school policy) so they've already been given a chance to identify areas for improvement and reasons to celebrate (we alternate reports with interviews, term and term about).

We regularly check in with our kids about what's 'tricky' at school and what they think they do well. When we get time we talk about homework tasks, offer help if it's needed. We encourage tenacity and working towards their goals.

And... the big one. I don't want them to think I care mostly about grades. Because I don't. I want my kids to be hard working and happy. I want them to be resilient. That's it. Anything else is a bonus. 

What about you? Do your kids care about their report cards? Do you?


  1. My little ones are still a few years away from school and I haven't really given this any thought before. When I was younger, I can remember pouring over my school report, analysing every comment/mark etc. I think you've raised some good points, I will have to keep this in mind when the time comes.

  2. Yep. Absolutely for me it's about keeping the lines of communication open. It's not to judge them or how well they are doing, but to discuss what they like and don't like about school and what they enjoy. From there we encourage what they love to do.

  3. I'm with you - they don't need figures, I just usually tell them that all their effort has been noticed! I was way too hung up as a child and it did me no good!

  4. My kids look at their report card and we discuss it generally. Not in terns of achievement but rather teaches comments and effort. If they are getting high effort scores and reasonably decent grades that is great. If their effort is reported as low we would talk about that and if it was high but with a low grade we would discuss what may be issues. Mostly just about communication and satisfaction at having worked hard for the semester.

  5. I have no idea what I would do. My girls are a bit off having reports yet, but you've raised some good points that I hadn't thought about before, definitely something that I will ponder when the time comes though.
    (Visiting for #teamIBOT today)

  6. We are all keen to get school reports home and have a hierarchy of who gets to read them in what order. I always go first because I go and get them from the office. Dh reads them next and then each child reads their own. Our school give a result for effort and achievement and lengthy written comments, which are all great for an accurate perspective.

    Our kids ask to see their reports. Given it is a report about THEM I am more than happy for my kids to read theirs. I think it helps them take responsibility for their learning. They need to know what areas require extra attention and they want to bask in the glow of affirmation in the areas they excel at, and so they should. We talk about their outcomes. We discuss areas that need some work. We celebrate successes.

  7. We have only received one so far as our little miss has just started kindy and she wasn't interested in it at all. Not sure if this will change as she gets older.

  8. Report cards are a lot different now than when I was at school because the comments are taken from a phrase bank so it tends to be pretty generic. I used to read my report cards because we'd get handed them in the last class of the day of the end of term. It was only in my last couple years of high school that they started mailing them out. For me that was more anxiety inducing because I didn't know what it said.


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