Read your child’s report like it is the beginning of the story…

Read your child’s report as if it is the beginning of the story…If you were to give yourself a report on your parenting for this quarter or semester, what would you write about yourself? If your child had to write a report about you or their teacher, what would they write?

Teachers and schools are required by law to provide the children with a written report. It in and of itself is not the absolute indicator of what your child is or is not capable of. When your child was born you did not expect to receive a manual, use that same common sense when reading their report. Their report is not a complete rendering of their life here on earth. Put it in perspective.

Please don’t read the criteria as absolutes. A ‘no’ on a report is not necessarily bad. For example, if your child is social/likes company and people then if it says they find it hard to sit quietly at their table- that is a statement of fact- it’s true of their character- it’s not negative! They genuinely like to chat and enjoy being with people.

If your child is not able to take turns again this is not negative, just an indicator of something you can work on- play a game at dinner which involves waiting for one person to finish speaking/eating/telling a joke before the next person eats/speaks or tells their joke. In the car- set up a roster between the siblings which determines who gets a window seat or gets to get into the car first ( this may help with getting to school on time) or who baths first every night, sets the table, loads or unloads the dishwasher- that’s turn taking!

If your child struggles with aspects of language please make an appointment with the teacher to determine which part exactly! Too often a global mark makes you think your child struggles with English/Afrikaans/Xhosa… That would be like giving yourself a mark for being married or dating – which part is difficult and which part is easy….which part is a challenge and which part is a breeze? For example, which part of the language is a struggle- is it preparing for orals and presenting ideas out loud in front of a group, reading aloud, recognizing words or making meaning, grammar,comprehensions, writing, spelling or phonics. Be specific about the details. Celebrate the parts that come easily or your child copes with well, and take it as an opportunity to learn the aspects that present a challenge.

Read your child’s report differently this term than the terms before. It is one measure of how your child is doing as a human being. It may or may not be a reflection of you- depending on your level of neuroses. It is an opportunity to ask questions and recognize your child’s characteristics as a human being!

Most importantly don’t forget to look for the most important characteristics or values you want your child to learn: opportunities they should have everyday in their schools to practice acts of love, kindness, tolerance, collaboration, empathy, creativity, critical thinking, compassion and courage…if it’s not reflected in your child’s report that is okay as long as they KNOW these are the values and characteristics we need in the newest human beings on the planet.image

Read your child’s report like it is the beginning of a story- not the end! And if it’s the end let it be the beginning of a beautiful sequel, trilogy or series!

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About Rose-Anne Reynolds

I am head of Inclusive Support at Pinelands North Primary School in Pinelands, Cape Town, South Africa. I am passionate about inclusion, children, embracing diversity, multilingualism, tolerance, joy and love in abundance. I am married to Brandan Reynolds who is an editorial cartoonist and political commentator, we have two children Kai and Ella.
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