By Robin Rivers
KEY University Admissions Essay Coach
Yesterday, in the middle of a meeting, I got the text from my daughter’s high school. Mid-term grades are out, and her math teacher wanted to talk. Eyebrows raised, I logged into my e-mail and there was the topic of our discussion staring back at me: a 54.9 percent mid-term grade in math.
Where did we go wrong? We checked in throughout the term. She did her homework. All seemed to be tracking well. But, 54.9 percent — a C minus — was not a mark a Grade 8 who is mastering math without any hiccups brings home in the middle of October.
Without asking any of you to raise your hands, I’m willing to bet I’m not the only parent who received mid-term grades for their child that left them slapping their heads, frustrated, and wondering what to do next for their kids.
I called my daughter’s math teacher as soon as I received the e-mail. Here’s what she recommended as a course of action:
- School-sanctioned before- and after-school sessions. It was news to us as newly-minted high school parents that teachers offered tutorial periods during the twenty minutes before school and for as much as an hour after school every day. Our daughter is now going every day until her grade shows steady improvement.
- Making sure they know that asking for help is OK. Algebra is often the big first test of math skills, even for the smartest of kids. All it takes is a few weeks of poor study habits, not diligently showing work in a problem, or getting distracted in class and a very smart student can fall behind quickly. Let your child know that they should not hesitate to tell you or a teacher when they are struggling so they can get the help they need.
- Weekly e-mail check-ins between us (parents) and her (teacher) to gauge progress and any concerns that come up.
- Regular communication at home. We do talk about class and homework at home, but I admit we’ve been a little lax in monitoring her progress as a family. We’ve now scheduled twice-a-week family sessions where we work on anything either of our daughter’s is struggling with in school.
- Outside tutoring. One of the first things I did was send KEY’s Education Department Manager Alyssa Wood our daughter’s grades and request and assessment to see if we could place her with a tutor to help her better understand the math that is confusing to her right now. This is a great option, and we at KEY are here to help relieve the stress for you and your child.
- Help your child regain confidence after receiving such a low mark. Creating goals with rewards, stronger study habits, and organizational skills will help your child go a long way in math and all of their subject.
My daughter’s next exam is Nov. 7, and she is already buckling down hard to make sure she is able to get those grades up in a subject she really does love. As parents, we are grateful for her teacher as well as the solid tips she offered to get us all back on track.
Don’t forget, KEY star tutors are here to help your children. Our math tutors have a solid track record of guiding students through mastering foundational skills to overcome challenges and achieve their goals. Call (604) 638-5398 for an academic assessment today.