Report cards were a big deal this year with my oldest since he’s in third grade.
In K-2, students get a mark of A, O or B(Above Grade Level, On Grade Level, or Below Grade level), with an A only being possible at the end of the school year. It makes a lot of sense to me- when you are monitoring sight word recognition and reading level, saying whether a child is on grade level or below is easier than saying a percentage. Would you give an A if the child is reading with the required accuracy at the required reading level benchmark or, since that is where they are supposed to be, you’d say that was average so it’s a C? It’s much easier to say On Grade Level for that.
But from third grade on, the kids get letter grades, along with the chance to earn Honor Roll(A and B’s) or Principal’s List(all A’s).
My oldest didn’t quite make Honor Roll. His 84 in Language Arts meant he had one C on his report card(I still take issue with our 7 point grading scale instead of 10 point- an 84 would be a solid B in some schools instead of the highest C).
After the award ceremony, where my son didn’t get an award for his grades, he asked me if I was upset with him for not being on the honor roll.
Here’s the thing: last year, he started off second grade below where he needed to be for his reading level. First grade was a bit of a mess for him and his teacher was not helpful at all. So his grades for the first two semesters in second grade for Language Arts were B(below grade level), as he tried to catch up.
And then something clicked. It had to do with his incredibly amazing second grade teacher, the work we were doing at home, AND because it’s very common for skills like reading to “click” at different times for kids when they are in younger grades. Some get it earlier, some get it later, and by later elementary, you wouldn’t be able to tell who was reading on what level when(with the exception of the very highest and lowest- but just talking about the majority here).
So, for the last two grading periods of second grade, he received an O for On Grade Level in Language Arts. I was extremely proud of him for all the work he did to get there. It was very clear when reading with him, all the progress he’d made.
He’s continued with his progress. I wasn’t upset when he was “On Grade Level,” doing the work expected for a child in his grade, so why would a C (meaning average) bother me? Now had that C been in math, where he’s been doing advanced work, that would be a different story.
I want my boys to do their best in school. To try, to learn, to reach for a higher goal. And that doesn’t necessarily mean straight A’s or even Honor Roll.
But, I’m proud of my boys any time they are trying their best, no matter how that translates to a letter grade.
How do you feel about your kids and Honor Roll?
Last Week’s Pour Your Heart Out Highlights
- Roller Coaster Rides from Love Life Surf: “There was a part of me that felt like Mommy was entitled to be angry too and to express my emotions.”
- The Break In from Making It Work Mom “The reality is we were careless. We had been lulled into a false sense of security living in our same small New England town for nine years.”
- How Do You Blog from Good Girl Gone Redneck: “And no, nobody has said they have had an issue with my words at all. It’s me. It’s my mind, ya know? It’s my thought process that leads me to thinking what if people think …?”
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