Tips for Parents: How to Monitor Your Child’s Progress

math chalkboard schoolEvery parent wants the best for his or her child, especially when it comes to education. Whether your child has just started kindergarten or is beginning a new journey in high school, it is important to monitor your child’s progress every step of the way to ensure he or she is well prepared for success. The tips below will help you monitor your child’s progress in school.

ACADEMIC PROGRESS

  • Attend orientation, open house, and parent teacher conferences.

    • Establish a positive relationship with your child’s teacher early on. Take advantage of any opportunity you have to meet with the teacher in person. These are your opportunities to understand your child’s progress directly from the teacher, instead of only relying on graded assignments as updates.
  • Use phone or email calendar reminders to monitor your child’s progress.

    • Technology is a great tool to take advantage of when it comes to monitoring your child’s progress. Find out how frequently progress reports are sent out and know when to expect report cards. Flag these important dates on the calendar as well as others, such as test dates and parent teacher conferences, so that you are fully knowledgeable about your child’s academic schedule. If your child is older and has a cell phone and/or laptop, encourage him or her to setup electronic reminders as well.

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    • Check your child’s grades online weekly.

      • You do not have to wait for progress reports or report cards to monitor your child’s progress. By now, nearly all school districts offer some type of online portal to parents. It allows you to log in and check your child’s grades at any time. Usually, you can see all graded assignments, whether it is a test, quiz, or even a homework assignment. Ask your child’s teacher for access to that portal. This is a fantastic way to see how your child is doing on all assignments in each subject, especially if your child is reluctant to share results with you.
      • If your child is younger, make sure you physically go through his or her backpack every night. Elementary school children may forget about homework or communications, so you should always check his or her folder to make sure you do not miss anything.
    • Be aware of standardized state testing results.

      • While state standardized tests are not perfect or all-encompassing in measuring students’ proficiency, they can still be helpful tools to benchmark your child’s academic progress. If your child scores lower than the average in one of the subjects, this could help you discover areas of improvement for your child to work on.
    • Keep in steady, but not overly frequent, contact with your child’s teacher.

      • Meeting your child’s teacher is a must, but keeping a constant and open line of communication with him or her throughout the school year is equally if not more important. Check your email daily for communications from the school. Be open with the teacher and express your concerns or ask questions without being overbearing. Check in with the teacher when you have concerns or feel the need for a status update, but use this privilege wisely.
    • Converse with your child daily about school.

      • Check in frequently with your child to understand how he or she is feeling and to see how your child thinks he or she is doing from his or her own perspective. However, be careful how you phrase questions. You do not want your child to think you are fishing for information or that you are suspicious of him or her; be genuinely interested in hearing about his or her day. When giving advice, remember that your child will be more receptive to suggestions than orders. Make checking in a daily task, whether it is speaking with your child when you pick him or her up from school or at the dinner table.

    SOCIAL PROGRESS

      Your child’s social development is also important to monitor. Know who your child’s friends are and get to know their parents. Make sure that your child has healthy relationships with his or her peers. It is important to make sure that your child is associating with positive students who strive to do well in school and stay out of trouble. This will become increasingly more important as your child reaches middle school and high school. Ensuring that your child is progressing both socially and academically will lead him or her to future success.

    Parents, have you used any of these methods to monitor your child’s progress? Do you have any additional tips to share?

    Author: Ashley Moore, Editor at A Grade Ahead.

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