Grades - Simpsonville,SC

Updated on October 27, 2012
A.H. asks from Simpsonville, SC
23 answers

This may sound unrealistic but I really thought my 7 year old daughter would get all A's on her first report card. She will most likely have all A's and 1 B. I have very high expectations for my daughter and although I do not pressure her ( only encourage) I worry that she will continue to trend towards medicore performance. What are your expectations for your child and how do you encourage your child to do their best? I do not want to come across as a over the top mom who will not allow anything less than an A but I want her strive for the top. After all the world is not getting any less competitive.

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So What Happened?

Well thank you all for your input. Even though some of you think I am horrible mom I really only want what is best for my children. I think it is my job to direct my children to achieve their best. I happen to be a worrier. It makes my life more troublesome and I can't seem to shake the fear I have about the future. And now I have 2 daughters to worry about too. Rationally I know that worry is not going to change a thing but by worrying I feel like I am "working" on the problem. We do not have a real plan for how my children will go to college so I want them to understand that they have to work very hard to make it. Believe or not I have not said much to my daughter about her grades. I asked her what grades does she want to make and she said A's and I asked her how can we get A's. I help her with homework each night, I encourage her to do the work herself and not have me give her the answers, I have communicated and begged her teacher to give me insight and solutions on how to help her. And I have considered getting tutor. Please don't judge me for wanting the best for my children. Her report card will be issued on Monday and yes she will have a B in reading and I will not lie I am dissappointed but she will not know that I am dissappointed. I have read all of your comments and realize that perfection is not always possible but I cannot change that I am sad she did not get all A's. Sorry that is just me!!

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answers from Appleton on

My former FIL was a partner at a large accounting firm. This firm would not hire recent graduates with a 4.0 grade point average. he said those with a straight 4.0 often thought they were perfect and thus could not be taught anything.

Just something to think about...

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Wichita Falls on

Expect each of my children to do the best that they are capable of doing. My eldest is a straight A student and I expect it of her. When her grades slip, it means I need to step in, find out where she is having trouble, and help. But her brother is dyslexic, and while that doesn't mean he can let it slide, I do expect lower grades in spelling and reading from him then his sister. It's not the grade, it is more about can they do it and what can I do to help.

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answers from Washington DC on

Please sit down, take a deep breath and try to re-read your own post as if you're reading a stranger's post.

"I do not pressure her..."

Yet she might "continue to trend toward mediocrity...."

How is a single B on a report card mediocre?

How is this in any way a "trend"? This is her first report card. One report card does not make a trend or even start one.

You don't see it but you are pressuring her, or you will be soon. She likely has already picked up on your focus on grades even if you have not said a single word to her about them. do you know what the grades are "likely" to be? The card has not come home yet? Why are you concerned with this before you even see the report card itself? Why not praise her for all As and one B rather than preparing your speech to her about why she must do better?

You do "come across as an over the top mom who will not allow anything less than an A" -- as you yourself put it. Please, please ramp back the grade expectations. Put the expectations instead on whether she is learning anything; whether she is enjoying the learning process; whether she retains what's important and makes good connections between what she learns and her everyday life.

I am writing this as a mom with very high academic expectations for my daughter (11, in 6th grade) and please, take it from my experience, your expectations won't matter when you eventually hit the art teacher who gives your child only B's because she is just not as good at visual art, or the music teacher who reveals to you that your child is not as musical as you thought, or the math teacher who gives a C on a few tests because your child got the wrong idea about how to do certain types of problems, and yes, your child will get a wrong idea eventually....This is learning. Yes, hold your child to a solid standard and expect good grades but not perfect ones, or school becomes a stress and a chore.

Especially at her age, look more at her marks for effort and her behavior marks than at her academic grades. If she gets all As but gets comments that she does not cooperate well with others, for instance, you should be concerned, not focused on just the wonderful As.

Our system just this fall dropped letter grades for a number system with much more descriptive report cards that indicate whether a child grasped all the concepts taught that quarter, etc. We'll see how it goes; it's an adjustment for us both; and she will be right back to letter grades next year in middle school. But it does force us to rethink things and focus on what she's learning and not on the grades.

By the way: "After all, the world is not getting any less competitive" -- Sounds like parents in our area who, from preschool on, are angling for the path to get their kids to the right elementary school so they can be in the right middle school so they can take a ton of tutoring classes so they can pass tests to go to the intense math/science specialist high school -- whether the kids want it or not. Please, think about whether you are already on the path to pressuring your child to be perfect and competitive. I see so many stressed kids of all ages here. I expect a great deal of my kid, who is in the gifted program, does Science Olympiad, etc., but the emphasis is on participating and learning something -- not winning, winning, winning. You may be thinking it's just about a B now, but if a B now bothers you this much -- you will be on the road to lining her up for Ivy League entry by the time she's finishing elementary school. Seriously, I see it here. Please don't make that mistake, however well-meaning it is.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Yeah, I can't wait for the responses either.

I mean sorry but all As and one B is trending toward mediocrity? You are either unreasonable or dramatic.

Sure the world is competitive but you are born with your intelligence potential asking more than that potential can produce is only going to set them up for failure. Although failure helps us identify success, which is a good thing, always failing to live up to unreasonable expectations creates an environment that fosters learned helplessness. If you can never succeed you accept you are a failure.

So what I do is take the first few years when they still enjoy school to create a baseline, this is their potential, and that is what I expect.
I just want to add my mom was like how you come off here. I didn't remember my grades only that I was a bad student so I thought like Cs. I looked at my old report cards when I was in high school and I mostly got straight As! Don't do that to your child!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on


First...calm down. She's 7.

Here's something that hasn't really been brought up...but it should. It's a message to every parent who thinks their little Jane or Johnny is a genius because they said their first word earlier than anyone on the block, or knew how to count to ten at age 2.:

What if your child IS a mediocre, middle of the road, average A, B, and sometimes a C student? Not everyone is destined for perfection. Most ARE average. Your child probably (statistically) will be average too.

Does that mean that you'll love her, appreciate her, respect or accept her any less? Are you going to disown her? Make her feel bad for it so she tries harder? Give her a complex?

Being of average academic ability and intelligence is not a bad thing.

What's important to teach, which will help her with everything in life, is a good work ethic. You can't change her IQ...she's got what you and her dad gave her. But you can make sure she knows that working harder will get her grades as high as she can get them. That whatever grade she does get...she really earned. When you really earn can be proud of it. That's a lesson she can use for her entire life.

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answers from San Francisco on

If you are worrying about your 7 year old getting imperfect grades I am afraid you have many years of disappointment ahead of you, and that is very sad. I hope you can find a way to focus on the positive, and see other ways that children find success and happiness, such as the content of their character, their work ethic and the way they treat others.
And your daughter WILL pick up on your disappointment, keep that in mind.
Instead of focusing on her grades, give her educationally rich experiences. Take her to museums, sign her up for science camps and classes, expose her to chess and music lessons.

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answers from New York on

When my children were in elementary school I was certain they would be A students all through school. I knew my son would have trouble with language based classes (english, social studies) but would excel in math. Then the reality of life happened.

The reality is that some kids are excellent students - they like classroom & book learning, they test well and they get fabulous grades that make you, as mom, feel succesful. Afterall its a precise measurement. "My kid gets A's - I must be doing a good job".

But some kids are not classroom / book learners. They do better in a hands-on environment. They may excel in things that require exceptional spatial skills - like engineering or building - and they can build an intricate lego creation with little effort (while the A student may be completely befuddled with it). This child might only get C's in english or math. It does not mean that this child is any less intelligence than the A student. But his mind is wired for a different kind of intelligence.

Some kids are atheletes, artists, musicians - some are writers. Some can explain things to others really well but can't carry a tune with a paper bag. We all have different skills & gifts. School primarily teaches & measures math & language skills. It does not garde your child on the ability to read other people, or to design & build a bridge or to create & carry out perfect strategies in wartime. But we need all of those kids to use their God-given talents when they grow up.

In addition to every child being differetly skilled, life then happens. Grandparents die, family members get in accidents or become seriously ill. Parents divorce, or lose their job. Stress enters our lives and invades the emotional well being of our children. And yes, it impacts their grades.

While my children were in elementary & middle school the following things happened in our family: my mom who lived with us has a serious heart surgery then was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, had muliple surgeries & chemo treatments requiring lots of my care & attention and eventually ended up in a nurseing home. my FIL was diagnosed with a rare disease & passed away 6 months later. My MIL became ill and ended up in a nursing home. I lost my job, then found a new one, lost that one and now have been in this one for 6+ yrs. My husband was in serious auto accident requiring intense spinal surgery and was disabled for 6+ months. Our immediate neighbor and my son's best friend's mom was diagnosed with and died of cancer in less than a year. My teen daughter tried to take her life & ended up being hospitalized and required extensive counseling for the year after. During all of these family & friend situations there were numerous emergency hospitalizations, ambulance trips, and lots of my time away from my kids. Grades were the least of my concern and my kids fell off the honor roll. Horror!

Ultimately grades are only a small part of the measurement of how your kids are doing as they grow up. How do they handle stress? Are they helping people in the community that need help? Are they respectful of others and those in authority? Are they learning to contribute to the running of your household? How well do they operate in a team environment?

Help you child to be well-rounded. Realize that school, while important, is not he ONLY measurement of how well your child is growing up. most of the world's successful people were not A student but were C students - becuase they had lots of skills in addition to academic learning. The A students are the geniuses who find cures for diseases, become neurosurgeons, and discover awesome new drugs that improve out lives. But the kid who got a C in english language arts may be the kid who designed the hospital where you have life saving surgery.

Deep sigh. My kids are 13 & 16 and I no longer expect A's. I just want them to find the things in life that they are really good at and enjoy and get "A's" in those things.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I got a hodgepodge of grades throughout my schooling. I don't even remember what they were. You know why? BECAUSE IT DOESN'T MATTER.

No one ever asked me what my grades were! Sure my high school grades helped get me into a good college. But you know what--no job interviewer EVER asked me what my college grades were! They were more interested in what I learned.

We homeschool and we don't even do grades. My daughter is doing fine, she has learned so much and can apply it all! She always strives for the top. So grades have nothing to do with striving to do your best.

Grades are subjective. Depends on the teacher.

If you punish your daughter for a B, or even give the slightest hint that it's not acceptable, you will have RUINED school for her. She may grow to hate it. Don't be surprised if her grades drop after that. And don't be surprised if she learns to resent YOU along with school.

Yes, YOU can ruin school for her. You will not be encouraging her to do her best, you will be telling her that her best isn't good enough for you.

Is that what you want?

If not, then you had better chill out.

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answers from Kansas City on

Can't wait to watch the responses on this one.

Thank you Leigh R. for a very well thought out response and it is what I wanted to say in my heart, but if I would have responded when I first saw this question, it would not have come out as nice as yours! ;)

My kids are now 22 and and 18 year old senior in HS. The absolutely had different abilities. The 22 years old's 'grades' were not as good as they could have been and they truly were 'mediocre' since they were mostly C's. They were truly a reflection of his effort. Of course we had higher expectations for him, but we didn't (still don't) throw them in his face. He DID learn because I can hear it the way he talks and lives his life now. His teachers adored him because he did add to the class discussions, etc. And they even said that he was very smart, he just didn't apply himself. Well, all but one teacher which I'll get to in a minute.

My 18 year old came out of the womb focused and driven. I've never had to put any pressure or higher expectations on her because she puts enough on herself. And as Angela G pointed out, my DH and I are trying to bring her back down to earth and look for ways to keep her grounded and realistic. I think we finally did it! Last year as a junior, taking 2-3 AP classes she did get all A's except in Physics which was a B+ Her comment, "I'm thrilled with the B, I thought it was going to be worse."

And as Leigh so eloquently pointed out, you WILL come across teachers who just grade differently and look at abilities differently. The one teacher who made life miserable for my son, was because he wouldn't play her game. He may have had all the work done, but if it wasn't turned in the exact order she wanted it turned in, it was an automatic deduction. No, it's not fair, but she says it up front. And she is a good teacher! So while he would just turn things in willy-nilly and got the points off, out daughter on the other hand, is very organized and she and this same teacher get along great! This is a college level calculus class by the way.

Don't even get me started on standardized tests. This could be a post on it's own. Let's just say that the underachieving son, always scored brilliantly on those tests. Our daughter, would miss the 'achievement award' because her tests scores would be off a 1/2 percentage. Clearly the results were NOT reflective of my children's overall abilities and efforts.

You do need to lighten up. There is a way to encourage, but your post does come off a little like the Tiger Mom.

*Again NYMetromom, very well put about book learners vs. hands on!

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answers from Austin on

Grades are not the whole story.

We have always told our daughter to do her best effort.

As she got older, I told her, I would rather her be getting a few B's than all A's because it would show me she was being challenged.

These are their grades. They are not a reflection on you.

Our daughter just graduated from college.
She was not even in the top 10% of her graduating high school class.
She was an excellent student Mainly because she loves learning...She got everything she could get out of high school and out of her college years....

She has high school classmates that also have graduated from college. They were not in the top 10% of the class, not in the top 25% of their graduating class. They have graduated from college...... At this point...grades are nothing but a memory.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I do not care if my son (first grade) gets As. I think it is truly ridiculous that they even have grades at this age. We had 'some of the time', 'none of the time' and 'most of the time' when I was in first grade. I want my son to learn because learning is fun and exciting. NOT because he needs to get good grades. I assume that because he finds learning exciting, he will as an unimportant consequence, receive good grades. I am fairly sure colleges will never ask to see your daughter's second grade report card. That B will not hold her back in life :)

So much is simply developmental at this age. I learned to read when I was four. My BIL learned to read when he was seven. We both have college educated moms with education degrees who read to us all the time. Today we both have Ivy League doctorates. Back then - NOBODY at all CARED when we started to read. They knew we would and that we would learn because that is what children are programmed to do. Most of what we as adults need to do is avoid quashing that love of learning with testing and external pressure to 'succeed'.

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answers from Dallas on

My boys put so much pressure on themselves that I have to work to find ways to get them to chill out, especially my youngest. I totally agree with Jo. Your daughter's grades are not trending towards mediocrity. I teach AP English, and have very high standards for my students, and my own children, but your daughter sounds like she is doing very well. I also agree with others that learning is much more important than grades, so that is what we focus on in our home.

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answers from Biloxi on

A., she is 7. She will get one B - eh, no biggie.

Academically that is great - for the teachers and the administration and standard test results.

More importantly - is she actually learning the lessons or memorizing them to pass the tests? Is she adapting well to the social structure of school? Is she enthused about school and looking forward to the challenges of her school year? Does she understand that each successive school year is a building block to the next?

Does she feel pressured to perform? Or is she interested in learning?

Elementary school is about setting our kids up to be life long learners. Instilling study habits and an enthusiasm for learning that will transcend the boundaries of the school walls.

Encourage her, praise her for the grades she has gotten - they are good grades! But realize, that her grades this year have no bearing on her future.


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answers from Jacksonville on

Ditto Leigh's post.

The times I stress over my son (mostly a B student, with sometimes As and a few Cs in his history, now in 9th grade with solid Bs in Honors classes) is when the "notes" or "comments" come in that say he doesn't seem motivated or seems uninterested or lacks focus. He is content with a passing grade a lot of the time. He just doesn't LIKE school work.
BUT, he is an excellent kid. EVERY SINGLE TEACHER has ALWAYS commented about what a nice young man he is. Yes, even this year in 9th grade. I'd rather he be an upstanding citizen who is honest and works hard than have all A's and be a disrespectful, self-entitled young person headed out into the world.

My daughter? Straight As. Always. But, she holds herself to that higher standard... it all comes from inside HER. So of course I expect more from her... she would be unhappy with a B on her report card. She is in 6th grade this year and has 97s, 98s and 100 averages in her classes. That is just how she is. If that was the sum of her school experience, I would be worried about her, though, if she was uptight about earning the top grades. Instead, she has lots of friends, has fun and enjoys just about everything she tries, just started a new sport, just started Band, and enjoys learning. She gets upset if she does poorly on something because she knows she can do better. But it doesn't change her positive outlook about anything... she learns from it. And moves on.

Focus on what your child is learning (and not just academically, but about working hard and feeling good about the work and about learning, about being honest and about being respectful, about how to accept failure and learn from it, etc). Not on the grade.

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answers from Boston on

She's 7. I wouldn't worry about grades until Jr. High or High School to be honest. Even then, if my son was making C's, but trying his best I would be proud and happy with it.

Grades don't matter soo much to me, it's their character and value in themselves that matters most. If they do their very best, I am happy with it.

Experience is more valid in the real world then any grade you can achieve in school.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Grades really don't matter. If the child is understanding the material but doesn't like it or it doesn't click with them there is really no need to worry or fret.

I think that if there are issues of them having a learning disability that are showing up then it does very quickly need to be addressed. But as for general grades they just reflect what a child is interested in.

Some kids are going to be a teacher when they grow up, another a politician, another a sahm, a professor at a college, a doctor, nurse, technician of some sort. If they all had to work and work and work on those areas that they didn't fit well with then they might not succeed so well in the areas they like and will eventually use in adulthood.

I hated math my whole life. I thought about going to college to become a DO. My DO told me that I would have to take a lot of math classes to be able to pass my higher science classes. I decided that was not for me so I went a different way.

Making the best of a child's natural talents while still strengthening their weaker areas is a great way to help them succeed at what they are meant to do with their lives in their future.

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answers from Denver on

At 7, the report card isn't so much about the child acing tests and assignments, it is much more a developmental thing. More like meeting expectations of a 7year old. It does not mean she is slacking off, it means that she may not quite be at a specific standard of reading, or writing, or math fact computation. This actually has very little to do with how hard your 7 y/o is working and everything to do with maturity and development. I have been in a class of little kids. They are on hugely different levels at this age, some are just barely beginning to read and some are reading chapter books. This has nothing to do with how hard a kid is trying. Some breeze through these early skills and some really struggle (and actually work much harder at it). I mean really she is a 2nd grader. It is still about learning to enjoy school. Cut her a break. BTW my 4th grader has to work at school so much harder than my 2nd grader some kids just do, keep that in perspective before you rail her over not being ABOVE AVERAGE in everything. C is average BTW, so a B is STILL above average.

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answers from San Francisco on

A. - are you kidding????

You have a problem with ONE B? STOP IT. You DO come off as over-competitive. I hope you praise your daughter for her wonderful report card, and DON'T SAY ONE THING about the B.

THAT is how you will more likely get her to achieve straight A's.

But if she never does, if she gets some B's here and there, it will still be great.

And by the way, she's only in second grade. The only time grades really matter is in high school. Until then, you have absolutely no justification for being an 'over the top mom who will not allow anything less than an A," which you are on the borderline of being.

Cheerful is right - you can RUIN school for her. And this is how you will do it.

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answers from Chicago on

Did you know that grades really aren't that important? Did you know that they do not correlate with happiness, later wealth or overall success? Look at Bush Jr.

I wish I could remember the book, but I read this wonderful book by a Ph.D that laid out all the reasons why grades are not important. I just tried to do a quick search for it but I couldn't turn it up....I will try again later.

Your idea of the top is really different from mine. My kids will not be going to school because grades and standardized tests, etc. are all meanless signs of the bureaucratic iron cage. They have nothing to do with intelligence, education, and success in life.

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answers from Charleston on

I wonder if you have a strong willed child. I do, and she is in 4th grade and very capable of making all A's, however she is an A/B student. I have had to learn to let go of trying to force her to make all A's because it only drives me insane, and I start resenting her for not doing what "I" would do. She is not me, and that is OK!

It is also very difficult to parent a strong willed child when I was more of a passive/pleaser child. I wanted to make my parents happy with all A's, so I did it. Some kids, especially strong willed ones, don't feel they have to "prove" anything to anyone!

I would lay off your daughter for now. She is only in 1st grade, and this is the time they are figuring out what grades mean, how much effort they have to put into studying, etc... Don't make her resent you. Come up with a strategy on how she studies, but let her make some decisions. If she wants to watch a special tv show or do something fun with a friend, make it clear that those things happen at a specific time, therefore homework/studying has to be done prior. Let her make the choice whether she gets it done before and then gets the reward.

You can't "make" your daughter make all A's. She has to want it. Try cutting back your comments about her grades, and see what happens. Maybe she feels too much pressure by your encouragement, and then falters. Also, there is nothing "wrong" with an A/B student - they get into college too! So don't stress too much.

Good luck!

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answers from Salinas on

The whole point of grades is the drive MUST come form the child. If you make it about what YOU want you are robbing her of something precious, satisfaction and achievement.

You should celebrate with her on her accomplishment of all A's and one B, reminding her of how proud she should be of HER success.

I assure you she will sense if you are at all disappointed. Let's face it, this is not about her future competitiveness (she's 7 years old!!??) it's about your own pride.

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answers from Atlanta on

It doesn't matter what grades she comes home with, she is only 7. The only expectation should have at this point, is that she always tries her very best. I think it's almost more important to stress that since she is a girl and at some point in her life she will be influenced to act stupid for a myriad of reasons (get a man, guys feel inferior to a very smart powerful woman, glass ceiling and all ect.) You just need to tell her how proud you are of her for her hard work. If there's an area that you know she can do better on, work on it with her. If she's behind in reading, read more with her at bed time. If it's math, go online and find some quizzes or work sheets you can do at home. Quiz her daily on spelling words even if she already knows them. Talk to her teacher about it. They will be able to point you in the right direction. Practice, practice, practice, that's how we all get better. Good luck!



answers from San Francisco on

You call it "encouragement" but I wonder how your daughter sees it. I bet she feels like it's pressure.

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