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Using the Midyear Report Card to Help Your Child

Princeton Online article

Hamilton, New Jersey, January 27, 2016 – It’s midyear report card time, which might be a source of stress in your household—but it shouldn’t be, says Holly Murphy of the Hamilton Huntington Learning Center. “The midyear report card is a perfect opportunity to formulate a plan for the remainder of the school year, taking note of your child’s strengths and identifying any areas to work on,” says Murphy. “The information you receive in this report card is especially useful because you have time to address any issues and work with the teacher if necessary in the last half of the year.”

Murphy offers parents several suggestions and tips at midyear report card time:

Progress is key. In the wake of the Common Core State Standards now implemented in many states, your child is measured on his or her progress toward mastery of grade-level standards. That means your child isn’t expected to be proficient in any subject just yet. As you read the report card and talk with your child’s teacher, make sure your child is on the right track. If not, discuss how to help your child get up to speed.

Take note of higher-level thinking skills. As education is changing, students are expected more and more to think critically and more deeply about a wide range of topics. Pay attention to your child’s marks in this area, and if needed, talk with the teacher about how you can nurture the acquisition of these higher-level thinking skills.

Inspect the study skills. Parents tend to jump straight to the grades and overlook comments or marks on some of the skills that are integral to the learning experience. Read carefully for discussion of your child’s organization, time management, focus, neatness and overall attitude about learning. These skills are an important part of being an effective learner.

Watch the work ethic. Effort and persistence are important measures—a decrease in either should be a red flag. A student who tries in school and continues to experience failure may become so frustrated that he or she gives up. Pay attention to whether your child is giving his or her best effort in school. If not, investigate why.

Keep the big picture in mind. It’s easy for parents to get hung up on the specifics of the report card, but as you evaluate your child’s academic picture, don’t forget that every student encounters road blocks from time to time. If your child is struggling with one subject, or with certain aspects of one subject, don’t panic. Even if your child is having difficulty in several areas, remember that he or she isn’t alone. Many students stumble, but with targeted help and the teacher’s and your support, your child will recover.

Report cards are an excellent tool for parents to gain a detailed understanding of how their child is performing in school, but they’re much more than that, too. “At this point in the school year, it’s so important to check in with your child and his or her teacher about how the year is going,” says Murphy. “If there are trouble spots, the great news is that there’s time to address them before the end of the year.” If your child’s report card identifies problem areas, call Huntington at 1 800 CAN LEARN to learn how we can help your child with a customized program of instruction.

About Huntington

Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader.  Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams.  Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed and meet the needs of Common Core State Standards.  Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible.  Learn how Huntington can help at www.hamilton.huntingtonhelps.com. For franchise opportunities please visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com.  

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