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Report Cards.. How do you balance between kids?

I have 5 children, all with 5 different learning styles and abilities.
2 of them are quick learners, school is easy for them, so when they get a C on their report cards I get on their case. Because I know that they 'can' do better, but choose to be lazy and don't.
I also have a child who has struggled since Pre-K. He is now in 6th grade and spends hours studying and doing homework. For him a C is great. One of my 'smarter' ones got a D on his last report card and I took his x-box away until he brings it up, while my struggler got a D and I didn't do anything, but reward him for his 2 B's. Does anyone else have multiple kids in school? How do you balance what you expect out of them. My oldest got an D, and he is one of the 'smarter' ones. I was so mad at him, but my husband said I overreacted. He is in 9th grade and the class he got the D in was 11th grade geography. But it was due to incomplete homework.

Answer Question

Asked by RoxieAnn at 1:05 PM on Apr. 29, 2009 in General Parenting

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Answers (7)
  • I think your handling it well.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:07 PM on Apr. 29, 2009

  • He hit you with a dreaded "emotional blackmail" bomb. Stick to your system. Discipline each child as an individual. You're doing ok.

    Answer by jesse123456 at 1:22 PM on Apr. 29, 2009

  • Your oldest is in 9th grade, he is old enough to understand that your expectations are "effort" and not "grades".

    Answer by Cavalrybaby02 at 1:27 PM on Apr. 29, 2009

  • I was always upset when report cards came around. I was an A student, so when the one time I got a C I got in trouble, even though I worked really hard for that C with tutors because I was so bad at Algebra II. My sister got a C and got praised. I didn't think it was fair. That's just coming from someone who got A's and didn't get praise because it was expected. I hope you aren't pressuring the A students too much. That's my only concern.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:35 PM on Apr. 29, 2009

  • I think you're fine. Mine are only in 2nd grade and pre-k right now, but my 2nd grader struggles with math, and my pre-ker seems to already have a handle on math. If that proves to be the case, then I will expect the better math grades out of the youngest, and will be more willing to accept a lower grade in the oldest, if I know he's really giving it his best effort and trying hard to learn and succeed. You can't set the same expectations for each kid; they all have their own strengths and weaknesses and you have to set your expectations accordingly. If you think the ones who do well are upset with the way you treat the struggler, I would sit down with them and explain that b/c he struggles and has so much trouble, that a C is a good grade for as much trouble as they have, but that since they (the ones who do well) don't struggle, you expect their grades to reflect that, and a C grade doesn't reflect that.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 2:43 PM on Apr. 29, 2009

  • There's a maxim that we use in education (I'm a teacher) regarding what is "fair" for kids, when they all have such different needs.

    "Fair" isn't everyone getting the same thing. "Fair" is everyone getting what they need.

    It sounds to me like your instincts are on target. If a child is doing the best they can, you reward them, regardless of the numerical grade. If I watched my kids struggle with a concept they found difficult, but really worked at it, and then scored a 70 on the test, I would be thrilled. They put in the work, and got an acceptable result. Remember, a "C" is "average." For some kids, it's perfectly okay to be an "average" achiever in a subject.

    Find ways to play to the strengths of your struggling learners. Emphasize a skill or subject they are good at. Let them know that it's okay to have to work hard, and that they should be proud when they do their best.

    Answer by Jodie118 at 2:48 PM on Apr. 29, 2009

  • Thank you to all who have provided positive answers. I believe the hardest struggle with being a parent is learning to addess each child as an individual and teaching them that they are not and do not have to be the same in any way as their siblings. Teaching them to do their possible best and be happy with whatever that 'best' is.

    Answer by RoxieAnn at 9:37 AM on May. 4, 2009

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