Report card day used to be a day circled on every family's calendar. At the end of that particular school day, parents knew that they would have a neat and well organized document in their hands outlining their child's academic progress and teacher recommendations. Kids also knew that they would have to be ready for either praise or concern.
We all can remember the anticipation and sometimes anxiety we felt just before we would hand over a report card to our waiting parents. Nerves would often kick in once we started imagining their reaction to a not so stellar grade. On the other hand, our smiles would really brighten when we couldn't wait to see the pride in their eyes for a great report card. Even the busiest of parents would take a few moments to look over the report card and talk about each grade with their kids.
Talking about the report card often became an opportunity for parents to begin a constructive dialogue about the unspoken challenges felt by a struggling student. After discussing a child's grades on report card day, parents would possibly take more of an active role in helping the child with homework or difficult assignments. Parents may also see an academic strength that they didn't know existed before reviewing a report card. Those few minutes of report card review was an important quarterly milestone for both child and parent to get a handle on how a child was performing academically.
That one-to-one connection between child and parent prompted by a report card may be lost now that many school districts are either mailing report cards home or providing grades online. In The New York Times' article entitled "A Report Card Ritual, Destroyed," Lisa Romeo worries that this mechanical way of reporting grades is "wiping out a landmark ritual in child-parent relations, taking with it a vital part of the at-home education conversation."
- How do you feel about older kids no longer having to present their report cards to you directly?
- When you receive the grades through the mail and/or online portals, is it less likely that you'll have a meaningful conversation about the grades compared to receiving the report card directly from your kids?