If you can believe it, we’re more than halfway through the school year. The middle of winter is when you can expect conferences and progress reports, but what do these really mean, and what do they say about your child’s academics and learning. And also, why is this important?

The middle of the year is ultimately a great opportunity for checking in and making sure our kiddos finish out the year strong. Expectations are set at the beginning of the year, but as we fall into the routines of going to school and picking the kids up after, it’s easy to forget about the day-to-day learning that contributes to your child’s growth as a whole.

At New Vision Charter School, we have a number of things for you to consider and reflect on as your family finishes out the school year. Take a look at our academic checkpoints for the middle of the year, and look into enrollment for kindergarten, elementary, and middle school with New Vision Charter School in Loveland!

Know Your Child’s Grades

The last thing you want is a third quarter report card that shows a few Ds when you thought your child was doing just fine. This moment of panic is why many parents end up calling teachers frantically and requesting meetings to make sure their child finishes the year out strong.

You can prevent this anxiety-ridden moment by checking up on their progress reports and grades in the middle of winter/middle of the school year instead. Ideally, you should check in on your child’s grades once a week or once every two weeks, so if it’s been a minute, reach out to their teacher! They’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. With that being said, approach the conversation in a positive manner, and be sure to hear from your child before just making assumptions. For example, your 6th grader might be acting out in class, but it might be because they can’t see the board and are lost — this happens way more frequently than you might think!

Talk With Your Child

Lay it all out there. Show them the grades, and ask questions in an unemotionally-charged manner — what we mean by that is yelling “How do you have a C in math?! You’re supposed to be good at math!” is not going to go over well.

Go line for line on their progress report and talk about what’s going well and where they’re struggling. This will be essential for our next point of coming up with goals!

Set 1-2 Goals

Chances are, your child’s immediate goal will be to “do better.” This isn’t actionable, and it doesn’t give a plan for how they’re going to improve, and it also doesn’t express what “better” means or looks like.

Instead, come up with some reasonable goals with your child that are attainable for them. Some examples include “I’m going to raise my goal in science from a C to a B by the end of the year. I’m going to do this by completing extra credit and asking for help when I need it on labs or worksheets.”

If your child has straight As, that’s great for them! But it doesn’t excuse them from not making goals to help finish out the year strong. The goal could be maintaining their current grades, or finding ways to challenge their academics both in and out of the classroom. Or, if they’re a Hermione Granger type who are perfectionists and could stand to take a breather, it’s OK to encourage them to take it a little easier in the name of self-care.

Reflect and Encourage Consistently

If you and your child set these goals for the middle of the year, they’re not going to feel as motivated to keep things up if their progress goes unnoticed. Everyone needs encouragement from time to time, and if you see a moment of growth and progress, celebrate it!

Did your 7th-grader go to tutoring before school when they would have rather slept in? Did your overachieving 10-year-old get a 17/20 and didn’t throw a fit because they recognized they’re human? These are huge things to celebrate, and they easily tie back into the goals that you both worked on creating. Goals are more tangible and achievable when they’re well-known and consistently accounted for.

Remember What’s Important

Grades mean a lot to a lot of people, and for good reason. Grades are seen as indicators for success, and as our charter school teaches, they often open doors (or can close them) to other opportunities. But the other thing our charter school teaches is that grades are just one part of it — learning is the most important part of school.

If your child gets a B but they didn’t really learn anything new, that’s less impressive than a child who worked really hard to get a C. If your child is trying their best and showing that they understand the material they’re being taught, that’s always the most important thing. A middle-of-the-year academic check is much more so about how your child is learning. Grades can tell us a lot, but they alone don’t tell the whole story.

At our Loveland charter school, we are driven to help every child succeed. In fact, we started New Vision because we were all parents who were wanting the best for our own children. Learning and school should be one of the best parts of a child’s life. Our charter school works tirelessly to make that happen. Set up a tour of our school today, and begin the enrollment process!