Surprise! It’s Report Card Time

Report card time can be accompanied by anxiety, stress, confusion, and surprise, both from the students presenting them and the parents reading them. Just when families are getting back into the school routine and things seem to be sailing along smoothly, report cards arrive and can cause a bit of a shipwreck if things are not going as well as everyone thought.

Thankfully, there are some tricks parents can keep up their sleeves to ensure that report card time comes and goes with no surprises.

  1. Take time to communicate with the teacher at least once a week, via phone, email, or in person, to ask how your child is doing in core areas such as math, reading, spelling, listening, etc. Keeping up to date with your child’s progress lessens the chance that serious issues will arise and go unnoticed until it is too late.
  2. Review past report cards as a reminder of any past issues. Chances are, issues arising in the previous grade may make an appearance in the present as well, so knowing ahead of time the subjects that may be a struggle can help ensure a preventative and active approach to tackling problem areas.
  3. Follow up when tests and assignments are returned. Were the results satisfactory? What are the next steps that can be taken to ensure the next test/assignment shows improvement?
  4. Use the Internet to keep up to date with classroom activities via a teacher’s blog or a class web page, if available.
  5. If issues begin to arise, don’t wait to seek help. Problems that seem unimportant often continue to grow until they are more difficult to handle than if they were acknowledged when they first appeared.

Being actively involved in your child’s education allows parents to know exactly how their child is doing without needing a report card to tell them. Staying involved gives parents early warning for any problem areas that are arising so these issues can be dealt with efficiently and effectively, therefore removing the shock and stress of report card time for both parents and students.

Oxford Learning provides supplemental education services across North America. It offers programs for young people from preschool through university, and its cognitive approach goes beyond tutoring to ignite a lifelong love of learning. Find out more at .


  1. Nadia says

    From a teacher’s perspective – report card time is not great for us either! They take forever for us to write and we want to accurately reflect each child across all the subject areas. I like your list, except for the first point. As much as I think you should maintain fairly regular contact with your teacher – weekly is a bit much! See it from our side. We teach at least 22 students in a class. Can you imagine if we had to catch ups with each child’s parent every week – where would we get time to plan our lessons and mark work … I love my job and I’m extremely dedicated, but I also have a family outside of my job that I need to go home to. If your teacher is good – they should be contacting you if there might be any ‘nasty surprises’ long before reports ever go home. There should never be any surprises! (Well maybe some pleasant ones!!)