By Allison Barchichat
Now that first semester grades are in, many of us wonder what we can do to make second semester more successful for our teens. Here are some tips to turn that GPA around:
- Get the scoop. Some parents call for tutoring and when asked what teacher their child has or what course she is taking, there is silence on the line. In the tutoring world, this is vital information. Before things go south, keep track of all your child’s teachers, classes, and grades. Make sure your student has the login and password for the online grade book so he can check on his grades himself.
- Start talking. In many schools, teachers are only required to make one parent contact if a student is in danger of failing. This may include simply a comment on the bottom of a progress report. You could find out your student is failing just weeks before the semester ends. There is no limit however on the number of times you check-in with your child’s teacher. Send an email to your child’s teacher any time you have a question or notice grades slipping – don’t wait!
- Use the web. This semester a parent contacted me to see what her son should use as a final exam review tool, meanwhile the teacher had already posted her own review on the blog. That study guide was up for at least a week, certainly with the students’ knowledge. But let’s be real, sometimes information given to our teens at school doesn’t make it all the way home. Check the teacher’s blog as a means of cross-checking your student! Links to teacher blogs are on the school webpage.
- Yes, there was homework tonight. In high school, there is homework every night. If your child isn’t bringing materials home, there is a problem. Teenagers often interpret ungraded homework as “unnecessary homework.” Everything the teacher assigns is important, graded or not, for review, practice and understanding. All the tutoring in the world isn’t going to make your teenager do his homework, and nothing will impact your student’s grades more.