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IF your child got a report card...

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Let's say your child/children get a report card (7 of mine are ps, I homeschool 1 of them and hopefully will homeschool 3 more next year)...


Now lets suppose you want to reward children for good grades...


You have 2 children in same or close to same grade.


One child works diligently and tries very hard... Gets several great comments on good behavior... he passes 3 subjects, just barely, needs a lot more work on 2 subjects... he is always trying and has just the very best attitude.


The other child is very bright... gets four negative comments from teacher, no good comments... he got very good grades on 4 subjects... but he is routinely in trouble and gets notes and emails sent home because he doesn't do what he is told...


What would you do? I want to reward the first child for getting such good comments and trying and CARING... the other child has the better grades, but doesn't deserve to be rewarded, imo, because he could have had all passing grades and could have behaved and didn't... It's sad to me how one tries so hard and doesn't get the better grades...


Any ideas out there?

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I'm confused. Are you looking for ideas of how to reward your child for his hard work? Or do you want feedback on whether it's ok to reward effort instead of academic grades?


If it's the latter, I say go for it. As the dispenser of rewards, you can reward whatever you want--hard work is certainly as rewardable as good grades.

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Just my two cents, but you cannot reward "good grades" in these cases. Especially not if you want to homeschool!


It's all about behaviour--even in the workplace, if you think about it. There will always be someone willing to employ someone who cares and works hard--it's just a matter of finding work they can do well. With the other individual--brains are never the be all and end all. If no one can work with him or her--then that person will have trouble staying employed--no matter how brilliant. I'm sorry if this hurts, or if I've put it too strongly, but I feel strongly about it--as I was probably this child!


I really think the behaviour of the "bright" child needs to be dealt with. Are the problems the result of boredom? A lack of social skills? (I was a bright child with no clue. I got report cards just like that!)


Good luck.

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Don'tcha know that I want you to say,

"Hey, throw a party for the one who tried so hard! He is awesome!

Make the other one sleep alone in a dark basement... shame on him!"




Yeah, I guess I want someone to say to reward the effort and ignore the grades... If it were a reward for grades, the one in trouble all the time would get rewarded and the other wouldn't... What made me ask to begin with is that I have several others who got good grades and I wanted to reward them for their efforts. But, in a group of these siblings, they all cry out for "fair". So, if I reward for grades... the one who misbehaves and doesn't hardly try would get rewarded MORE than the other boy.


I think I might just ignore the grades completely and praise the good comments of the one child and... well, the other one is regularly in trouble already... I know dh will be giving him... hmmm... negative attention for the bad behavior comments... again...

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I'd be leery of rewarding good grades in any other way than in words. I got away from that when I started homeschooling three years ago. Many kids in PS work to earn prizes, not for the satisfaction of seeing their hard work come to fruition.


Even worse were the classrooms that gave every single person an award, right down to "prettiest eyes." I'm just not sure material awards are the way to go. But every family has to do what it thinks best.

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Thanks, Alana. We've been working with the bright boy who doesn't do what he is told for many, many months. He has an older brother who was just like this, but by middle school turned around and is a fabulous employee and one of the best 19 yr. olds I know. But, this young one does worry me. He is not bored, necessarily and the work is not too easy (which was his brother's case). He just doesn't like to be told what to do. Definately an issue... We'll keep working on that.


I guess I'll just verbally let each child know over the next few days how proud I am of them and their progress and behavior, and not be able to share those sentiments the same way with the one child. And, btw, I do look for good moments and opportunities to praise the one child who gets into trouble a lot... sometimes, I realize, his behaviour also stems from wanting attention.

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You can't reward grades if you want to be "fair." My dad used to drive me crazy when got our report cards. He would pay us for A+ and nothing else. But when he reviewed our report cards no matter what they were, he would only comment "Is that the best you can do?" He would hand over however much money was the agreed payment for the high marks, but there was no rewarding "good job" from him, ever.


I hated that judgment as a kid, but I have since learned the wisdom of it too.


In your case, if you value the "good job" from the teacher higher than the high grades, you can't reward the high grades.

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If a parent is going to assign grades, in my opinion, those grades should be an accurate reflection of a student's academic performance regardless of the amount of effort required on part of student. Assign a separate conduct/character grade if you must to reflect effort. But do not commingle the two. I am sure many here will disagree with me.


Personally I never assigned grades except for the few years that we were registered through a cover school. Even then, I did not share the grades with the students. I merely assigned the approximate grade I felt they would earn in a traditional classroom.

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