What Are "Good" Grades?

Updated on April 13, 2009
J.N. asks from Salt Lake City, UT
5 answers

OK, I was a super-nerd in school. I always got top grades and was never satisfied with less than an A ...
The trick is that now my daughter is in 4th grade and starting to receive letter grades. Obviously it's too much to expect straight A's from her - I don't want to put all that pressure on her (I never recall my family expecting all A's from me - it was a self-imposed pressure). But I really have no idea what to consider 'good' grades, what to praise, and what to feel like might need a little work.

I know that grades don't tell it all. I am very aware of her great, awesome, wonderful personality and talents, and of her challenges. But grades are important in school - they still give recognition for honor roll and grades are one determining factor for getting into a good college. What is a reasonable balance?

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answers from Denver on

See I come from the different end of the spectrum. I did what I had to do just to get by,learned but didn't strive. I was expected to bring home C's and above always but at the same time didn't do my best either. I regret it now big time. I got B's in some things in high school but knew I could have done better. I think there is such a thing as unrealistic expectations too, I think each child has a area they thrive and one they struggle in school with. Our job as parents is to help with the struggles and support them.

I have a second grader now, she and I discuss expectations.
I want to know she is paying attention, trying her best and if she needs help not hesitate to ask. She gets mainly 3's which is a scale from 1 being the worst to 4 being above standard and I am happy with that. When I see ones on her papers I ask if she understood it, if not then we review it, I have her redo and resubmit her work to bring up that grade. I have also been working closely with the teacher that if she is struggling like she was recently in geometry that she stays after one or two times and has one on one with the teacher.
I know her, she is too social in class, very much a mind drifter if she loses interest and that to me isn't trying your hardest.
Sometimes though she really is struggling and we work through it together.

I don't expect A's, I just want her to try her best and realize when the teacher is talking for her to listen and not be afraid to ask for help. She is very hesitant in asking and just does a lot of guessing too. That has caused a lot of issues this school year.

All I ask is that both of my kids try their best. I have a son headed to Kindergarten and will follow the same protocol with him. Failing isn't an option as there is always a way to learn, whether here with me, with personalized attention or a tutor and that if they are failing something that they just didn't speak up that is when I am more inclined to get a little upset.
Sometimes it gets hard for them and I get that. Homework is not fun but necessary.
Success to me is measured on whether they are truly doing their best and giving it their all, not on a letter grade so much.



answers from Provo on

Grades, Grades, Grades.......I want to pull my hair out! My kids are so different. My daughter has gotten straight A's all through high school and she has spoiled me. She will be graduating in May with a 3.98 GPA and I am so proud. Along comes my son and he is struggling getting through jr. high. I have sure changed my idea about grades. If he can bring home C's we have a party. I realize that different kids get different grades. I am a single mom raising three kids by myself (daddy's give a little financial support and not much else.) My little guy assures me that he is getting A's in preschool and I appreciate the fact that he is aware. My daughter got the university paid for and that helps a ton. On the other hand, if my middle son graduates from high school that gives me great satisfaction. I would say that A's are great, but C's are average and sometimes that is great. Your kids are still young so I think if you work on motivation that is the key.



answers from Denver on

For me, A's, B's and an occasional C are fine. Mostly I've always told my kids that if they are trying their best, that would do. If they are trying their best and getting below a C, then they might need additional help. Or if they simply want the additional help, we will give it to them. We've wanted them to value the grades and how they do beyond just what our expectations are. This whole issue requires such a fine balance between wanting our kids to do well and yet trying not to pressure them, doesn't it? Also, every kid is different in their makeup and abilities. Some are very self-motivated, some apply extreme pressure to themselves and still others try to slide by. And some are simply more capable academically than others. I think our expectations need to be unique toward each child, according to their abilities, if possible. Good luck!



answers from Denver on

Good grades are simply what the child receives when doing their best. I received straight As, but never put any effort in, so now as a parent, I don't consider those "good grades". I know kids who struggle and spend hours working just to get a C. In my mind, that's a much better grade than an A from a kid who didn't try. You are her mom. Only you know when she is working and when she is slacking. If she's slacking, she needs to be reminded to do her best. Not all kids are going to excel, but maybe your daughter is one of the kids who will since you were. Even then, don't push, just encourage her best.



answers from Denver on

I don't think there is a steadfast rule about what us acceptable. Expect her best. For me, that was A's in honors English and C's in remedial math. I cried more than once a week just to get my C in math because it was sooooo hard for me. That was my best. You're her mom. You'll know when she is slacking.

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