We are full of children with performance anxiety. And with parents. We worry about the child's performance at school, and then because we cannot let go of all this as modern parents - to use a fashionable and worn-out word. The semester certificate will come no matter what we do, and even though we hear from more and more places that grades don't matter, it's not easy to take them lightly
It's completely normal to want the certificate to look a certain way, but it's also normal to break your heart for your child when you see how much they struggle. You are right if you often see the curriculum as alien to life, and even if your child's grades don't tell you who you are.
What do the tickets mean?
Although a single number alone does not say much, it is shaped by many factors at the same time. The grades indicate, for example, how well the child can meet the (often overly standardized) requirements set for each subject. How effective are his learning methods (does he have any at all). How interested you are in certain subjects. How your anxiety affects your school performance. Just as it also includes how well the particular teacher's methods work for him.
What does the certificate say about the child?
If not everything, this is not enough. The problem is rather that if we try to express the above in marks, the subtleties disappear. A four can be someone who studies almost nothing, but is like a sponge, plus, let's say, he can articulate well - he generally won't have a problem writing papers with four or five for a long time. But "good" can also be the failure of a maximalist child who wants to conform, a ticket that is not only a lot of work, but also a lot of disappointment. In one family, they are very happy with the triplet, because they know how much hard work is behind it, in others, "the skin is coming off my face, my son" is the first sentence spoken when mediocre ones appear on the certificate.
And anyway, not everything is perfect with the classification system. The five-point scale is far from sufficient to truly differentiate between achievements, just as it does not show where the weaker and stronger areas are in each subject. It does not indicate where we should improve or what the ways forward would be.
Evaluation with a number can easily be seen as an evaluation of the child's personality, and being put on the shelf as a "five student" is just as dangerous as being in the "two" box, if we look at it from the perspective of the child's personality development.
In addition, evaluation with grades can easily kill internal motivation: in a performance-oriented environment, after a while, the child learns more for the grade than for the experience of learning or for the knowledge.
And what does the certificate say about the parent?
The child's grades alone do not tell what kind of parent you are. With the exception of extremely neglectful parents and performance-obsessed, "only a five is good" environment, the vast majority of families just want their child to feel tolerable at school and get grades that will help them achieve their goals. As parents, we have every right to expect the school and teachers to help our child, while it is a daily experience that the public education system is bleeding from several serious wounds. Most of the time, it really doesn't depend primarily on us what marks are on the certificate.
It's more of a problem when the semester tickets come in "lots". If you are "completely baffled" by the wrong certificate. If you excused yourself by saying "I thought everything was fine at school", you are shifting all the responsibility onto the child and the teachers. The more you feel this way, the more likely you could have done more to make the certificate "better".
It's not that you should monitor what's going on at school every day (although it's very important to be there when he's learning to learn, for example), but if there's a really cold shower at the end of January, there's a good chance that more attention is needed devote yourself to the matter.
From this academic year, electronic class diaries will be introduced compulsorily in public schools, although the system often fails. According to many, it is not user-friendly, and raises a number of professional and even personal legal concerns (for example, I somehow feel guilty all the time because because of my viewing, a poor child cannot snooze a single ticket like I did 25 years ago), the opportunity is there: you can do it look at the tickets even from your mobile phone.
In addition, it is not a devil to ask our son/daughter, sometimes to visit the reception class or their parents, even if the daily teacher-parent relationship has been greatly reduced. If you update yourself at least once a week about what is going on at school, you will be able to do more for your child, and you will be able to manage the marks in the bulletin better than if you are filled with bitterness, anger and guilt every six months. Don't fall for the gravel: you can go in, the gate hasn't been raised yet.
The business is coming
So, if the semester tickets are announced today, tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, it is worth taking the above into account and trying to handle the matter in the right way, and help the child to do the same.
Read or listen to I explain my certificate, have a good laugh, then watch his together. Make sure that it's not his performance that determines how much you love him, but also let him know that it's important to you that he does the best he can according to his abilities. Do not attach too much importance to the grades, but notice if the certificate warns of any problems.
Whatever the situation is now, there is good news. The end of the semester is the best time to apply the lessons of the past months to your own advantage. You can help in the change, if necessary, to move forward with realistic expectations, so that everything that is needed can be completed by the end of the year. Remember that yelling, aggression and punishment do not help at all, they only undermine your relationship and can even make the situation worse.
And finally, face your own expectations. Is it so important because of the child's future that it is four or five, or because it feels good to be the parent of a model student? Do you know that he would be able to do much more, or would it just be great to post the excellent certificate now? Do you really not care if two deuces slipped in, or are you just doing it because you are in tune with modern psychological trends? Do you really think he "didn't do anything all semester" or did you just realize you had no idea what happened at school the last few months? If you put the above in order in yourself, you will be able to respond better to the certificate.
Instead of toxic, anxiety-inducing or dismissive sentences, use affirming and positive messages,
as for example Understood suggests.
- Despite all your efforts, the certificate has become weak again? Don't start doubting your abilities, but don't blame the teachers for unengineering either. Tell me, I'm honestly surprised that the semester didn't go well in the end, because you know, he did his best and you're proud of him for that. Sleep on it for a day! Tell him you'll talk to the teachers to see if it's just small things that need to be changed. If it's bigger, encourage him to ask for more specific feedback! Can you study? Do you have methods to help yourself organize the material, or do you just sit depressed over the book and repeat what you read without understanding what it is about? Help him find the right learning method for him!
- Did everything get worse compared to last year? Don't put on the "you bring shame on my head" record! Believe me, he also feels like crap, and it doesn't really matter which class he entered; in the fifth, for example, it is difficult to get used to the upper tempo on its own. Of course, it's important to talk honestly about your feelings and tell them, if you're not angry, why it turned out this way, but you should suspect that studying may not be the primary problem here. Have there been any major changes recently? Is it getting enough attention? Do you enjoy going to school or are you likely to be bullied there? If you have failed in everything, the problem is probably not with the individual subjects, but there may be a complex problem in the background, the key to the solution of which is primarily your turning to it. Ask the teachers what they see too!
- Does your performance fluctuate between extremes? Is there something you excel at, while others struggle to stay alive? As he grows up, more and more situations like this can arise, because he gets more and more defined about what he is really interested in, and he meets more and more teachers with different characters - this is completely normal. However, although it is true that it is far from necessary to be excellent or good at everything, it is not a good idea to throw the reins between the horses because of subjects I don't like. Talk about how the individual classes differ from each other, what makes him prefer to deal with the weaker subject, what methods work for him, what do you think the ideal class is? These few questions can also start some positive changes in the objects that are not your favorites.
- Although the grades don't reflect it yet, your attitude towards learning is better, you are more eager to learn than at the end of the previous year? Great! Presumably the tickets will also come, this is already a huge step! This is when you need to confirm, don't be discouraged that the improvement doesn't even show up in the tickets immediately!
- Are you telling me how your grades are? Before you scream and tear off the ten nails, count to a hundred or sleep for the whole day. Ask him to think about what led to his total lack of interest, and the next day, calmly talk about it! Here too, it is worth suspecting some external factor that contributed to his loss of interest, but as a parent you must intervene. If the internal motivation is not there, your clearly formulated expectations will also be needed!
- Did you do very well in everything? Great! Appreciate the achievement, because it wasn't given for free, but not by sharing it, but by telling him how proud you are of his efforts and determination, and by assuring him that you'll love him even if the certificate isn't always so shiny !
What can you do to make the next semester go better?
The Very Well Family helps with the following tips:
Take your time
The most important thing is to be there. Yes, there are a lot of things, and it is not lucky if the parent struggles with the child at home over a more difficult example, but be available if you are needed!
For younger children, look at the house, because you can often see here if something is not right. Yes, you're right when you say that this should happen at school, but it's a bit like going through the green even when a crazy driver is coming at a thousand. When gassing, it doesn't matter who is right, because one side is much worse off if the other side hits. Sometimes ask what happened at school, turn the pages of the books together - in this case you can get more information not only about learning, but also bits of information about everything else.
Help me with the curriculum! No, you don't have to relearn spatial geometry, but if the Stars of Eger comes from February, it can be a good family program to watch the film or go on a trip to the filming location, or perhaps see a museum collection from the time. That way, you're not teaching, but you're still helping him, and the subject matter can be more real.
Talk to the teachers
You know, if all the ropes are broken, you can try with nice words… If you see that the child is seriously stuck, if you don't see where to go next, definitely contact the teacher, ask him for more informative feedback than two/three. What does this grade mean for him? What could you do at home to improve? How can the teacher help?
Of course we can't all be as determined as Forest's mom.
If the child is older, encourage him to go there - dare, dare to ask what can be done to make the situation better. Based on this, develop a realistic plan for the end of the year. The second semester goes by very quickly, don't promise impossible things; Plan to improve in 1-2 subjects and think about how this would be possible. The smaller you break the plan down, the better.
"I want to write the next math paper in threes" can be a good starting point.
Participate only as much as your guy's maturity makes it necessary, but be available!
Sometimes the only solution is to have someone take care of the child separately - especially if there is a threat of failure.
Private lessons require time and effort on the part of the child, and for many families it is neither cost nor logistically possible for the child to go to private lessons. If this is the case for you, inquire about the tutoring and study groups available at school, ask around in the family to see if anyone can help you with a particular part of the material. You can check if volunteer tutoring services are available in your area.
The extra stress shows that none of you are missing it. Trust in your abilities and that you have set a goal that is achievable. If you were able to speak honestly at the time of distribution, you would certainly be able to determine what can be undertaken. Try to approach it with humor, even if it is often very difficult. Think about the importance of each ticket and your parents' reactions in your childhood or adolescence: feel free to assume that your child also wants the best. And you should also remember how much less important a certificate will lose in 20-30-40 years.