Frustrated with Your Child’s Report Card?

I have conversations all of the time with frustrated parents. If your child’s report card is Standards Based, they might be getting proficient or meeting the standard. You might see B’s if your child is getting a letter grade. Perhaps you see a 3 because your child’s school is using a number and that tells you they have met the standard. But, for some reason you have this nagging concern that your child isn’t really proficient and you are concerned that this letter scale isn’t really showing the true picture of what is going on. 

I am not pointing fingers at anyone, but when you really examine what is going on and see things at home that you question, you get frustrated. You want answers. You want help. So what is a parent supposed to do?

I have heard the saying, just wait and your child will improve. Don’t worry, this is normal. But, when you see things like your child simply cannot do any math independently, or simply cannot read anything that is at grade level, you are left to wonder what is really happening?

So, what are parents supposed to do? My biggest suggestion to you is to take action. Do not ignore these reports When your child is behind, you are going to want to identify where they are behind and figure out what you want to focus on. For example, your child is struggling with their regrouping with addition. What should you do? Try some of these strategies:

Look for videos on YouTube that might help you understand the topic so that you can teach your child. 

Look for practice materials that you can use to practice those types of problems. 

Try to make your practice fun. Practice and then play! Play? Play a game with your practice problems. Take your fun outside. Take a whiteboard with you and an erasable marker. Find your basketball and play a game of horse. If you get the problem right, you can shoot the basketball close to the hoop, if you get it wrong, you have to stand back. If basketball isn’t your game, think of other ways you can practice. 

Here is the thing, as the parent, you really do need to take action. Sometimes we are told to wait and see what happens, they tell us our child will outgrow the problem. Then two years later the problem is still there and it has gotten worse. 

Or, we were never told there was a problem and we find out there is a big issue that none of the teachers ever talked to you about. Suddenly you’re being told that your child is now several grade levels behind, but no one took the time to tell you this. 

Most of the parents that contact me for tutoring services have similar stories. I always congratulate them on reaching out to someone for help because that takes a lot of courage to do. It is so disheartening to learn that your child is struggling in school. Immediately we go into Mama or Papa Bear mode and we want to protect our kids. We want to blame others. We will literally cry about it and we want to blame ourselves. I know because that is how I felt when my child needed help with speech. I thought I hadn’t done enough to help my son and now suddenly after asking if he was doing okay and everyone was telling me he was, he really wasn’t. 

Taking action may sometimes mean more than YouTube videos and practice materials. There are other options out there. Do a web search for online learning tools. I say this all of the time, but Sal Khan and his are wonderful! He has curated some amazing videos with practice problems to help guide your child as they learn new materials or review topics they are struggling with. It is a free program, but if you love it, I recommend sending them a donation. It really is that good!

Another amazing tool to consider is IXL. You can get a parent plan and then you get access to math, language arts, science, Social Studies, and Spanish for grades preschool through 12th grade. Be sure to look at what grades are supported for each area, as that may vary. I have my own subscription and I use it as practice materials when I need quick support for the students I work with. It isn’t my teaching tool, but it is a support tool. 

I love It is a gamified version of a learning tool that you can purchase as well. You can get support with math and reading, however you will want to check the levels to be sure it is a good fit for your child. You can even print out worksheets to use for practice materials. 

The last tool I want to share with you is I have used this website for its free version for years in my teaching practice, but now that I am a private tutor, I have finally taken the plunge and purchased it for myself. I love that it has workbooks, worksheets, videos, songs, and games all geared for math, reading, and grammar. There may be other topics on there as well. It spans Preschool through 8th grade, so if you have multiple children, you can support more than one at the same time. You may have to pay extra for that, but contacting them directly to ask about purchasing is probably best. 

There are so many tools out there that you can use to support your child on their learning journey. I know that many of these things cost money. I do not want you to spend a dime. However, when we think about overcoming a struggle, sometimes we have to pay for the help. So, when you make your decision about how you want to support your child, consider that sometimes it does require some cash. Set a budget and go from there. Sometimes we don’t realize we are spending money on things that we don’t really need, and we can rethink our family and help our kids out at the same time. 

And, if you really aren’t too excited about paying for an online service, but you want a professional to help your child, consider hiring a tutor. There are many ways to go about doing this. You can look into websites that have hundreds or thousands of tutors, and get someone who will show up and help your child with homework. Or, you can seek out a private professional and work with them to create a plan of action that will focus specifically on skills that your child needs support with in order to move forward with their learning. That is what I do. I support families of children in PreSchool through 6th grade who struggle with math. Most parents seek me out for this particular problem, and then when they find out that I am an actual teacher, they have me work with their child in other subject areas. I am happy to help if their needs are in my area of expertise. 

I hope this article helps you have the confidence that you need to take actionable steps in supporting your child when they become stuck, or need more support with their school work. If it is helpful, please share it with someone you think may need it. 

If you are looking for free resources to support your child, be sure to visit my website and look for the resources link. You can find it at:

To learn more about Tutoring with Sheryl be sure to visit the following:

Tutoring with Sheryl on Spotify

Published by Tutoring with Sheryl

I have 32 years of experience teaching in public schools in Nebraska. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincon. I hold a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Doane University. I have 2 Google for Education Certifications. I have been tutoring online for 1 year. I have worked with countless students of all ages to support their education. I also support teachers with planning and management in their classrooms.

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