Report Cards - JFF

Updated on October 05, 2011
T.K. asks from Grand Prairie, TX
21 answers

Do you reward your kids for good report cards and progress reports? How? If not, how do you motivate your kids to get good grades? Do you punish for bad grades? How? What do you consider bad? Cs? Ds? Fs? Do you take the subject matter into consideration? Say you struggled with math and your child comes home with a C in Math. Is that a problem, or are you more apt to be sympathetic? Just curious.

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answers from Dallas on

We do exactly what Krista P. mentioned. I am much more concerned about knowledge than grades, though.

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answers from Dallas on

if my 15 yr old got a good and all passing report card I would do a praise the lord dance. Yep I punish because its uncalled for and I have a lazy boy on my hands. I can't do math to save my life so im a little less dramatic about that grade but I will not tolerate zeros. We've had a ling bumpy road :(

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answers from Norfolk on

If the grades remain high, then I can not say 'No' to him for anything he wants from the book store.
If the grades are suffering, we'll take steps to find out what the problem is and see if he can do better.
So far (our son is in 7th grade), he's had straight A's in every grade.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

This topic has many layers.
I think it's the PARENTS who are definitely on the "pushy side" about the letter grades.
As my son often says "A 'B' is good!" And it is. My son is very bright and effortlessly gets A's mostly.
I don't believe in "paying for A's" and I certainly don't "require them" as I've heard some say.
Nothing frosts me as to hear "I want you to bring me A's" and that sort of thing from parents. Grrrrrrr...... Guess what? The kid isn't in school for you, right?
The thing that's important is that the child is learning. That the child is trying. That the child is improving.

Too many parents get caught up in the straight A, why the B? zone.
I think that most kids know where their strengths lie, and where their weaknesses lie. I also know that my child knows where his higher effort needs to be aimed--at a weaker area.

The often overlooked thing that needs to be asked and answered is "Did you do your best?"

We generally celebrate the end of a grading period with a dinner out or other fun thing we want to do.

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answers from San Francisco on

We do generally celebrate a great report card by going out to dinner at a restaurant of the child's choice. Because my kids currently attend a public school (and I'm sorry, they don't learn nearly enough there for any of it to be considered difficult in any way), we do expect they will get As. Both of my girls are extremely bright, and neither has any learning disabilities. If they are trying, they will get As, and that's why we expect As from them. At their current school, getting a B means they didn't put much effort into the assignment, which is not acceptable in our house. I want to make it clear that when we reward them, we reward their EFFORT, not the result. When I see the report card full of As, I don't say, "Straight As! You are the smartest kid in the school!" - rather, I say, "Great job! I know how hard you worked on your assignments this term. Isn't it a great feeling to see all of your efforts pay off?" I know that someday, when we can afford a decent private school again, they will be challenged academically, and they'll no longer be the smartest kids in the class. They may get Bs in that case, and I will be okay with that as long as they have worked hard for those grades. I think it's important for kids to understand that it is hard work that produces achievement, and not the simple act of having been born smart.

Neither my husband nor I struggled in any subjects in school, so I wouldn't anticipate that either of our girls would struggle in any subjects. My mom grew up in an era when "girls weren't good in math," and evidently her parents didn't care if she failed her math classes! To this day it offends her that nobody took her to task for doing badly in math. (In high school, she took it upon herself to find a tutor and ended up getting As in the math classes she took, so the issue wasn't that she was "bad" in math, it was that nobody made the effort to encourage her.)

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answers from Honolulu on

No and No.

As a child, I struggled with Math. And my Mom is a math wizard. Valedictorian.
Still. She got frustrated with me... I in turn HATED doing any homework with her. And there was resentment and animosity. NOT good to treat a child that way if they are not 'good' in a subject.

For me, the MAIN thing is: that a child does THEIR best. AND if they are struggling in a subject, it is the parent's responsibility to get them help and speak to the Teacher about problem solving it. Or getting a Tutor. It is an investment in your child.

Punishing or rewarding... to me.... is not the point.

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answers from New York on

My parents rewarded us with a trip to the fro-yo shop and that was it. We were expected to maintain A's and B's. Anything below that was not OK and usually resulted in more practice and less "play time". We went to a high-achieving prep school that cost my parents a fortune. Good grades weren't negotiable!

My son is too little to have report cards yet, but I'm sure I'll be the same with him.

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answers from Pocatello on

My mom rewarded A's and B's... was "neutral" about C;s and "punished" (took away privileges and rewards) for D's and F's...

That was starting in middle school. Before then she was a lot gentler about things, because she didn't want to punish me if I was genuinely struggling. But after she was certain bad grades were due to laziness on my part she got much more strict.

I was actually a gifted student though... my bad grades were a result of me not doing or turning in homework, while I was getting 99% or 100% on all of my tests and assessments, and the papers and projects I did do and turn in were all getting 100% as well...

My eldest is really bright, and I probably won't be sympathetic with bad grades with her UNLESS she is proven to be really struggling. On the other hand, I suspect she may be gifted like I was... so my job will be to supplement her enough to make sure she can stay challenged and engaged (I quit DOING homework because I was just plain bored with it).

Well see though, she is 2 and is already SCARY intelligent... but we'll cross that bridge when we get there. A problem with her is that she loves challenges and learning, but hates rote memorization and repetition. She'll need a lot of variation to stay engaged. I think you have to judge each child based on their own aptitude and ability.


P.S. - my grades really shot up when I moved to an alternative high school. The social pressure and drama of high school was taken off a bit, and there was a much smaller student/teacher ratio so they realized what was going "on" with me. I was put in about 50% independent study and project based classes and 50% advanced classes which kept my challenge level UP. I even took college classes my senior year of highschool (not just A.P. classes) At the same time I got special permission to work at a local newspaper half of my day in my senior year... an I took online courses in the summer. I entered college with a full-ride arts scholarship and maintained a 3.75 GPA in college...

Point being that some kids struggle because they are over-challenged, some because they are under-challenged, and some because they are being taught using the wrong approach or are in the wrong learning environment. So when people say that they're kids succeeded by switching to art's schools, alternative schools, or even homeschooling, it doesn't suprise me at all!

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answers from Salt Lake City on

B average or above- My oldest has always been a good student there were a couple of years there 7-8th grade where he honestly just didnt care. The deal is you want your privileges including electronics and driving privileges I need a B average on your report card. I am not going to crucify you for getting a C in math if the rest of our grades are A's. Math is hard I get it. The same rules will apply to my 8 year old when he is old enough for report cards. I dont pay for grades but Grandpa does he only pays for A's that gives them a little more incentive.

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answers from Dallas on

My children are not really old enough for report cards but I do remember growing up asking my dad to pay me for all of the A's that got it. I had so many friends that got paid for my grades, I always had good grades and wanted to be rewarded for them too. My dad told me that he would be happy to pay me for my A's but if I got anything lower than an A I had to pay him.. LOL That was the end of that conversation, there was no way I was going to do that what if by chance I got something lower. No way!

I would say each child is different that you would have to do what works best for your children. I always made A's and despite my sisters best effort (and I do think she tried) she always made C's. I think you are going to have to do what works best for your family.

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answers from Richmond on

I don't really reward them other than putting the report card on the fridge with all the other tests that earned 100's... that's a really huge deal in our house, to get something on the fridge!!

As far as bad grades, which we haven't crossed that bridge yet, I'd make them buckle down and study a little extra. If there's a very real struggle in a certain subject, I'm hoping to recognize that and not pass it off as 'laziness' on the child, teacher or parents (my) part, work a little more with them, maybe get a tutor...

Now I'm not saying that farther down the road I won't be above taking away everything they love if their grades dramatically slip ;)

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answers from Boston on

Depends on the kid. School is very easy for my SD so we expect higher grades for her. Anything less than a B would be unacceptable for her (and Bs mean that she's getting sloppy - she can and should be an A student). My husband will usually tie something big that she wants to do to her report card. Last year was the first year she lived with us and going to a concert in the spring and having a pool party in the summer were contingent on her making the honor roll those respective terms.

My oldest son has ADHD and learning disabilities. He's a C student, B on a good day with an easy teacher. He tries harder for a C than my SD does for an A. When he was younger and school was just one miserable, confusing day after another (this was before he was put on an IEP) my husband made a deal with him that for every 90 or above on a spelling test, he'd get a pack of hockey cards or matchbox car (worth about $1). That later turned into $2 for every A, so even now in 8th grade he saves his A tests and projects up and cashes them in for things that he wants to buy. Unfortunately, there aren't many A grades in a given year so it doesn't cost us much. There are consequences on a weekly basis for not doing homework and/or not studying, but no additional incentives or punishments for his report card grades.

My little guys will, God willing, go the way of their older sister. We give cheers and high fives for good reports and maybe go out for an ice cream but that's it for now.

When I was a kid there were no rewards or consequences for grades other than a "good job you should be proud of yourself" or a stern look. I was upset when I got anything less than an A+ so there was nothing my parents could have done to make me try harder or feel worse. My sisters were like me, but one of my brothers hated school and did poorly and the other had severe learning disabilities, so they would have had to treat us differently anyway.

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answers from San Francisco on

I don't actually give a reward, but a lot of praise and we might let her choose the restaurant when we go out to dinner (we go out every Friday night.) As for punishment, the only time she would be punished is if I felt like the bad grade was from lack of effort. I don't feel like I can punish her for trying, but just not being able to master a certain subject. I would, however, take that as my cue as to what I should be working on with her. Whether or not I did well in a subject doesn't come in to play - what counts is her effort.

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answers from Spokane on

We took Ty to dinner (he got to pick the restaurant) to celebrate his end of year report card b/c it was quite good. He takes a week off school every October/November to go hunting with his Dad, he knows if his grades aren't the equivelant of C's and above he doesn't go and he won't be allowed to play the next sport. C's are ok, but only for certain subjects and if I know they are doing their best.
Same will go for Ryder once he's in school.
My SD has had horrible grades since Jr. High. Unfortunately, she lives with her Mom and we don't have much control. My husband has tried bribing her with $, but it didn't work :(

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answers from San Francisco on

Good question. Guess I'm not sure!
My son will be getting his first report card in a couple of weeks. We'll see how it goes....

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answers from Minneapolis on

We have always stressed at least a B for our daughter. She is a good student, but struggles in Math and any form of testing. Always has, no matter how much she studies. She can DO the math, but it gets jumbled easily for her and like I said the testing stinks majorly for her, especially in Math. She chokes.

She excells in Art (she goes to an Arts High School now), writing, literature, discussion classes (once she feels comfortable to talk and speak her opinion, altho she is not that well spoken as a result of that shyness). Since switching to the art school and their way of teaching and the full-on creative environment (it is NOT like a regular school, but how many schools should be in my opinion...) she is doing so much better in all things and REALLY excelling in her art forms and experimenting in other mediums and materials.

She tends to be a "lazy" student after a while tho and needs the fire lit under her. Shes a good kid tho! We tried paying for the grades back in middle school. She didn't care, still did well...always makes the honor roll, altho sometimes just barely with those Math grades. So we just praise alot, and brag about her (I learned a while ago, by watching her, that this really motivates her and works for her to help keep that fire lit) works for us!!!

She had a great guy teacher in 5th grade. Back then her creative outlet was alot of stage work and drawing costumes and he knew of this (it was at a local community college, not the elementary school). He told her, and us at conferences..."You may never be good at Math...and thats ok, not everyone is or can be.Just like not everyone will be as talented at the creative things you are so great at already! But someday you will be signing a contract for a job or to sell some of your artwork. You need to know enough about numbers to make sure you are getting paid right and not getting screwed". He was a very no nonsense guy and we LOVED that about him. She never forgot that talk at conferences, in relation to her math struggles, nor did we.

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answers from La Crosse on

With my oldest, he has always tested very high on every IBST. He is usually in the top 3% of the state. With him I expect him to do well with out pushing too hard. Up until this year ( freshman) he hasn't always done what he is capable of doing. This year I told him if he can get on the B honor roll I will give him $25. The A honor roll $50. My dad is going to match it. He wants to be a medic or a poliot in the Air Force. Since his grades are now on his record I want to make sure he does his best. If it takes some bribery to keep him on track Im more than happy to do it.

Before this and for my other kids I know what they are able to do. I hope for A's but I know in some classes they aren't going to get that. Math is a hard subject with one child. When he was 6 months old they told us that because of his eye problem once he goes blind in it ( that happened 4 years ago) for some reason it also affects thier math process and alot of kids have learning disabilities once they reach middle school to high school. As the math gets harder the more problems he is having. That's understandable and with him I try for a B but Im happy when he gets a C.

As long as I know they are doing thier best, then Im happy with the grade they are getting. But if there is alot of late or missing work and that's why they are getting the grade they are getting then no thats not exceptable. They know that they will have to get that grade up or they have limited free time until the mid report comes out.


answers from Phoenix on

I'm happy if my kids get C or better, especially in math since none of us are good at it and one kid is ADD and one is ADHD. I don't reward good grades, nor do I punish bad grades. I expect them to the best they can. I try to keep my eye on the grades before they actually show up on the report cards so I'm not surprised by anything. My mom has given the kids money tho if they get A's. =)



answers from Dallas on

we don't reward for good grades. I expect them to make them. Neither do I punish for bad grade. If they make below a C (only once with 4 kids) we ask them what went wrong look at our parent portal and see if there are mising assignments ect. Then tell them our expectations are for the grade to be pulled up to a be by the next report card. It worked well. I think it helped my kids to know that we have expectations for them and also hepls to teach tem goal setting. I even expect my college jr to have A's and B's.



answers from Tyler on

You have gotten a lot of answers to this question and I want to add some more:

1. Yes, I expect all A's from my son. I expect them because we plan our day around homework time and we review the homework at night. Everything in our life is about completing the homework. If he understands the homework, then he should do well on the tests. If he doesn't understand the homework, then it is up to me to help him in that area. Help from me could entail me actually helping him or telling his teacher that he is struggling in this area and he needs help.

2. I also feel that understanding the grading structure is important. My son came home with a B on a paper the other day and I was annoyed (do I tell my son I am annoyed, no, but are my expections of him super high, yes). Anyway, I looked over the paper and he had missed 1 question and that was a B. To me, that is a poorly designed test paper. If a child cannot miss one question and still get an A, I don't think that is fair. But, that's the teacher's decision. Am I going to take that out on my child, no.

3. And, just to be clear, my son is SUPER bright and that is why I expect A's from him. I don't know what I would do if he were slower and always struggling in school. I think I would accept what he was capable of making. But, he is readily capable of making A's. Further, I KNOW I cannot afford to send him to college. Therefore, I want to instill values in him and the ability to sit down and do his work and study - so that that will translate into good study habits and hopefully scholarships. In this day and age, I believe you absolutely have to have a college degree in order to get a good paying job.

Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

Well it is different depending on the kid. I know that may sound bad but I have one kid the is SUPPER Smart. He took a test in 6th grade that 8th graders take before going to high school and scored higher than most 8th graders. So from him I expect all A's and does get rewarded when he get's them. He has had a few B's and I take to him about it and know he was trying to get his work done too fast. And tell him to slow down. From my younest he struggles with school so we don't expect all A's but as long as he passes. He did have a class that he did not pass one six weeks and we just talked to him and his teacher to see what could be done to make things better. He struggles in reading so the grades that have stuff to do with reading I understand the lower grades. But we have gotten him help and he's improving. I would say if the child consistantly does not pass a class or get's D's and F's you need to talk to the child, teacher, and school councilor to see what can be done to make things better. But if my youngest get's all A's and B's then he gets a reward.

Good luck and God Bless!

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