I have a confession to make… I hate report cards, especially for the younger grades (they become more necessary in the upper grades). I don’t really see the point and think they can have some really negative effects. Take a look at some of the top reasons I don’t give my child’s report card a second thought.
Report cards foster competition.
Whether your child is in school or homeschooled, report cards foster competition. It is a constant evaluation of how well you are doing, how much you improved or how badly you preformed. A 6, 7, or 8 year old should not be having to give regular performance reports and feel like they are always being compared with what “should be” the norm. Report cards can also bring out competition amongst parents. We want our children to succeed and these little “records” more often than not make us want to push them harder or brag about them to our friends, or even to our other children.
Now, I’m not against a little healthy competition, for some children it can be a great thing! But definitely not for ALL children! While some will thrive, their siblings will falter. Is it really necessary for elementary aged children to be constantly compared and measured up with their peers? Especially when we KNOW full well that each child develops at their own pace?
[tweetthis remove_hidden_hashtags=”true”]While some kids thrive in school, their siblings will falter #rebeccaspoonerpg[/tweetthis]
Report cards can damage a child’s confidence in themselves.
It is rare that children will excel in all areas of their education. Our kids are unique individuals with their own strengths and weaknesses and likes and dislikes. All of these things will help determine which areas they do well in as opposed to the areas they will struggle in or just plain not care about. Comparing our children to someone else or a “national average” that most likely does not apply to them can be very detrimental to their self-confidence.
Instead of our children being aware of and celebrating who they are, they are told they must fit into a box of “everyone else.” Instead of being comfortable with the fact that they have a weakness and need to work on it, they are made to feel like they are failing, or not preforming, or not measuring up. That is not the kind of path I want for my kids.
Report cards are not a part of our homeschool.
I get report cards from my support teacher. I am told they need work on their writing (which I already know) or that they don’t meet outcomes for their math. I am told that my grade 3 son is excelling in reading while my grade 2 daughter receives a lower mark. I look at these report cards and can feel the “mommy monster” within wanting to come out: to compare, challenge, or make my kids try harder… and I shred them. I literally shred them. They have no impact on my children, no impact on their education, and no place in my home. My kids never get to read or see where they rank nationally. They are never made to feel like they don’t match up.
I KNOW my kids, I know their strengths and their weaknesses. I know they need to work more on their writing and printing, I know my grade 2 daughter struggles with reading. I also know what my teacher does not, that she is a kinesthetic learner and that it will come in her OWN time. I naturally work on what my kids need more help with and tailor their education to meet their needs. So what possible value is a report card to me?