Throughout my school years, my parents had zero tolerance for low grades. My mother once had my math teacher give me three extra homework assignments each night after I failed a test. I worked the extra assignments until I made an A. I was an honors student and had no business making low grades. I now thank my parents for their diligence in my education and my current success, and my wife and I have the same concern for our son’s education.
Our son is in the honors program. In seventh grade, students can take honors English and math. As long as they maintain high grades, they stay in the program throughout high school and add more subjects. He made this program because of near straight A’s throughout elementary school and excellent standardized test scores. He has the ability, but now in junior high, he needs to keep working hard. We will make sure he does.
We expect our son’s best effort in every class. We do not require him to have the best grades in the class, but we require his best. If a B is his best, then we are fine with it. However, if he can make an A, then we expect him to make it. He has no business making a C or lower in most cases.
We check our son’s grades frequently through the parent portal of the school Website. We see every assignment, quiz, and test score in each class. His overall grades are fine. However, he has made some unacceptable individual grades. For example, he made a D on a pre-algebra quiz. Our son is very good in math. He simply made careless mistakes and did not check his work before turning in the quiz. He also had two very low-scoring Spanish homework assignments because he did not follow directions.
High grades can bring our son rewards such as computer time or other favorite activities. However, he also has consequences for low grades, especially for lack of effort.
- · Reworking the assignment correctly
I had him rework the entire math quiz and both Spanish assignments, even the questions he got right. He will get them right the first time for full credit or later for nothing.
- · Loss of computer and other electronics
Any further low grades will result in the loss of his electronics. This is the most effective penalty for our son. For example, another C or below in math means loss until he makes an A on a test.
- · Loss of television shows
Next, he will lose television. That has the same rules as the electronics.
- · Extra chores
We pay our son a weekly amount to work his chores. Low grades may earn him extra chores for free and/or loss of weekly pay.
We take our son’s education very seriously, and we expect him to also. So far, he has, but he has fallen into a few bad habits that we need to break immediately. It takes effort, but we will ensure that our son makes the high grades that he is capable of making.
More from this contributor:
Four Ways to Keep Track of Our Son’s Grades
Our Pre-Teen Son’s Body is Beginning to Change
Our Son Learned to Set and Work Toward a Goal