At what age should I start worrying about grades?

United States
May 8, 2007 9:26pm CST
My oldest son is in first grade and my middle son is in Kindergarten. Now I am wondering if I am worrying too much already about the grades they bring home or it is good to want them to get good grades even this early in school? I don't yell at them or anything like that if they don't bring home a good grade, I just ask them what happened and see if there is a problem that I need to fix. My oldest son doesn't have the attention span that I would really like him to have, but he is smart as a whip, so I get a little upset when he fails a test or something similar. Just because I do know that he is so smart. What do you do? Do you worry about your young child's grades?
12 people like this
27 responses
@djbtol (5497)
• United States
9 May 07
Certainly teach them young to do their best and strive for the best grades. However, this is not the most important thing when they are young. Your son needs love, acceptance and encouragement - no matter what the grades. Anger, shame, humiliation, threats or other such emotional maneuvers will not work. When your son is young and striving to do his best, parents and teachers should be carefully observing how he learns and what form of teaching is most effective. Is school easy for him, or does he need to work at it. Hope it goes well for you and your children.
• United States
9 May 07
I guess I am just wondering if I came off sounding like I was yelling or humiliating my children after your response. If I did, I am not like that. Yes I get upset, but I don't yell or humiliate them for a failure. I know that is not the way to go. :) Just a question though, what do you do when the teacher thinks there is nothing wrong with failing grades all the time? That is what I am up against this year. The teacher isn't much help. Unfortunately. Thank you for the well wishes.
1 person likes this
@KissThis (3006)
• United States
9 May 07
I have a first and second grader. I often will ask them what happened to cause them to get a lower grade. I do this for a couple of reasons. I want them to be able to ask themselves if they did their best work and I also want them to know that if they have a problem they can come to me for help. My daughter often brings home school work that she didn't understand what to do on.
3 people like this
• United States
10 May 07
I think you have the right idea here. Sounds like you are right on top of things and also trying to teach your children how to handle this responsibility somewhat on their own also. That is a good thing in my opinion. Thank you for the advice and the response. :)
@speedy1279 (2667)
• United States
9 May 07
I agree and disagree with wachit. I agree that there is too much pressure put on kids these days and it can and sometimes will hurt them down the line. But I disagree about not being concerned with the grades at thier age. I would not put awhole lot of pressure on your kids about bring bad grades home, but I think you are doing the right thing by asking very calmly what happened and encouraging them to do better. To me there is nothing wrong with that. Here in Florida they don't start getting A's, B's, C's, D's and F's until they are in third grade. Until then it is O's and S's. My stepson who is finishing the fourth grade has always done good in school but when he was in the younger grades we still encourgaged him to try to bring home O's instead of S's. But we did not make a big deal about it. Your kids may think you are being hard on them, but I'm sure as you know because you were a kid once. They will thank you for it later in life. Don't worry about the grades a whole lot, just give them lots of praise for the good grades and encourage them to try harder on the bad ones. Good Luck!
3 people like this
• United States
10 May 07
Thank you speedy for the words of encouragement. I too feel that I need to worry at least to some extent about their grades, but the grades are basically just an indication of how they are doing in school in my opinion. They kind of tell me if they are learning something the right way or if they just aren't getting it. You are fortunate that your schooling system sticks with o's and s's for grading until 3rd grade. We start here at 1st grade. I guess that is why those marks look so menacing already. lol I could really wish that they would keep those marks a little later around here, but then again I kind of like it so that I know exactly what there average percentage is. lol Thanks for the response it is much appreciated.
@Calais (10899)
• Australia
9 May 07
Yes, but they can only do their best if they put their full attention into it, But at that age I wouldnt worry too much. The only things that you can do is try and help them as much as what you can, and just have support and encouragement there for them.
3 people like this
• United States
9 May 07
Thank you calais for the words of encouragement. Much appreciated.
@wachit14 (3600)
• United States
9 May 07
You kids are so young that you needn't focus on grades right now. Right now is the time to focus on love of learning. Establishing good habits will ensure that they will get good grades as they get older when grades become more important. There's so much pressure on these little kids now, that making too much of a failed test might create test anxiety at a later date.
• United States
9 May 07
I have been trying to instill the love of learning that you were speaking about, but it seems that no matter what I do to encourage this, they whine! lol I am not harsh with them when they do fail, I just want to know why...Sometimes they can tell me sometimes they can't. That is sometimes the most frustrating part. Not knowing where the problem is. And yes, I do not want to create any test anxiety in them, as I fell into that trap for a while when I was younger and it was very hard to overcome. :)
@syain1972 (1011)
• Singapore
9 May 07
You're not alone in this. I have an eight years old boy and I am pushing him to get good grades. Like your son, he is intelligent but a little lazy. I got pretty worked up if he didn't bring home the grades. I even have a tuition teacher now to coach him. I've no choice but to start him young as the Education system here is too reliant on Academic excellence. There's no room for complacency. Sometimes I really pity the children. When I was at his age, there was not much stress like what he is experiencing now. I am myself feeling the stress.... Can't help it but to prepare him for the 'REAL' world!!:
• United States
10 May 07
LOL, sounds like we are having the same problems. And yes, I completely agree with your statement that the Education System is way to reliant on grades, and not performance, as it should be. :) I too sometimes feel sorry for my children as they get older and have more to learn in school, as it seems like they are trying to make them learn such high tech and harder stuff at a lot earlier age than I ever did. But I do agree with some of it. Thank you for your response.
@syain1972 (1011)
• Singapore
12 May 07
Apparently, everything is so complicated now in school. I pity the children.....Sigh! :/
1 person likes this
• United States
12 May 07
Yes, I do pity them sometimes also.
@steney (1418)
• Philippines
9 May 07
All about numbers - Grades are all about numbers.
I can say that at this point, I'm not yet worried about my child's grades in school. She's 5 years old and has already gone through Nursery and Preparatory, skipping Kindergarten because she qualified for Preparatory last year. Although her lessons are advanced for her age, I just let her do the studying in school, and then I let her play most of the time in the house. We just review a day or two before the major exams, and I'm happy that she does well everytime. I feel there is no need to pressure her at this age because she might get bored to go to school. I even regret having her take Preparatory instead of Kindergarten last year, because children are expected to be more mature at that level. Though academically she is very good, young as she is, she's still the type who needs more playtime. Anyways, maybe I'll be worried when she enters 1st grade this June. I know the will be a lot of studying and homework involved, but I'll try to create a balance so she can still enjoy school despite the new challenges she'll be facing there, and get good grades at the same time.
• United States
10 May 07
Sounds like you have an exceptionally bright child! It just sounds like a lot for one little person to take on all at once. But at least you realize the need for some play time away from school and work. :)
@steney (1418)
• Philippines
13 May 07
Yes, I realize it's too much for a little girl at her age. Anyways, I'll be on guard always to keep the balance. I don't want her to despise having to go to school and do school stuff. Maybe I'll just incorporate more fun in it to keep her interested. :)
1 person likes this
@Melody1 (968)
• India
9 May 07
I think its not the time you should start worrying about your son's grades.In fact you should never really worry as it could indirectly put unwanted pressure on your child.They are very sharp at reading us. I am a mother of two daughters and i jsut tried to lay a foundation of good study habits at the very beginning.But I knew that kids would feel burdened if they daily studying was imposed in a monotonous manner.So,i implemented what i was taught in child psychology.That is the playway method.You have to make them feel that its just like playing games.They play games everyday,similarly they study everyday but just like games.No hard and fast rules.No set targets.Only everyday allocation of about an hour and a half of homeworks and memorising the taught lessons,either by singing or play acting.You could invent your own interesting method according to your child's interests. Constantly trying for new ways to sustain their interests has the key.If desired result is not achieved at the beginning,just don't show too much of concern and importance.Just increase the study playtime and occasional home testing where in you also pose as a fellow student. Gradually,this will become a part of their habit and without realising the burden,they should be studying everyday.(I hope so) Remember,"Home is the first school and mother,the first teacher." If I were you,I would be worrying only after eighth grade. Good Luck!!
• United States
14 May 07
Thank you melody1 for your response. I shall have to think about different ways that we can play our way to success. :)
@a_ce_e (1427)
• Philippines
9 May 07
I think it is not yet the right time to worry about your kid's grade, but of course it is flattering to see that our kids do good in school. Maybe you may start guiding them and teaching them at home. You may try to find strategy to let them enjoy the subject, say put some games on which is related to the subject they have difficulties, and do some other stuff to motivate them to go further on studies. But don't put too much pressure on them, it is good to see that they are enjoying it than doing it because of pressure.
• United States
14 May 07
Thank you for the response. I liked your ideas for games and such that would maybe interest them more and get them learning more. That is a good idea. Right now we have some workbooks that we picked up at the store for them to do and we also have a leappad with some different games on it that help them to learn new stuff, but I haven't actually sat down and made up any games for them. I will have to look into this further. :)
• United States
9 May 07
As a mother you need to be concerned all the time from the preschool on in my opinion. I think that if you keep track of what is going on when your children are little you might find a problem then instead of waiting until they are in Jr high. If he is having problems with a test you might want to talk to him and also just pop in informal to see his teacher and see if she can shed some light. Is he distracted by other kids, does he need to sit in front of the class, does he need more one on one? Good luck
• United States
12 May 07
Thank you for the good tips and advice.
@roque20 (518)
• Philippines
9 May 07
I am student now and when i start at grade school i dont worry to my grades because i know i study hard and i dont expect too much with my grade because i know my abilities and knowledge.I do just worry about my grades when i am in college now because its hard to balance my work here online and my studies.
• United States
12 May 07
Yes, it is sometimes a struggle to balance everything that we need to do isn't it? Hopefully you will continue to get the grades that you want. Good luck and thanks for responding.
@mssnow (9493)
• United States
9 May 07
Don't ever worry about grades. Just tell them to do their best. When they do something that is better than they did before praise them if they are failing at something find out why. Don't yell at them . There is a reason. Find out why first. I always told my sons that grades were important to get into college but i also said do the best you can. thats all i asked. They all got straight a's in high school and graduated with high honors. I would never yell at them if they did bad. I would just ask them if they did their best. if they said yes i would say" Thats all you can do then. lets se if we can find a way to bring it up though.
2 people like this
• United States
12 May 07
I am glad that you have had such good experiences with your children. It is always nice when we see all of our hardwork that we put into teaching our children something pays off in the end and they learn something useful from it. Very gratifying. Thank you for the response.
@ellie26 (4133)
• Malaysia
9 May 07
As parents, we should always make sure that our children have the best education they can get. Being worry about how our children grades is perfectly normal. I think it is better to start monitoring their school performance as soon as they step into school life. I think we need to culture a good study discipline from a young age so that they will know how to divide their study time and play time. I do worry about my children school performance. I talked to them to try to find out what is their problems. It helps if we continue to have good communication with them.
2 people like this
• United States
12 May 07
You have some very good views on school studies and your children. I applaud you. Thank you for your great response.
@mushymai (43)
• Philippines
9 May 07
i think that you should be alarmed if there is a sudden change in the grade of the student. if u really want to know whats happening to your child and why he doesnt get good grades, the first thing to do is ask your son about it and then ask the teacher why it is so. The parents should become involved in the school concerns at an early age so that both the parents and teachers can help the student to do good in school. If there is a sudden change in his performance maybe he is affected by something like bullies. its good to check on the school some time.
• United States
12 May 07
Yes, he has had a few problems with bullies at school, but it has been several months since then and it is just recently that he just doesn't seem to want to bring in good grades. I am very involved in my children's school life and I talk to the teacher often, but she doesn't seem to think there is a problem and won't listen to anything that I say or request in regards to my son. It is very frustrating when you have to go to the principal of the school just to get the teacher to listen. Thanks for your response.
• Malaysia
9 May 07
my dear friend.. nobody is stupid in this world.. and you should not even say someone is stupid.. i only believe that people are either hardworking or lazy.. the hardworking ones will gain more and the lazy ones will lose more.. i think it might be a little early to worry about grades.. but let me tell you my own story here... i did quite well when i was young... and everyone thought i was smart too... but when i reach my teen age.. i didn't do so well.. and i tend to get influenced by friends.. and my grades went down.. so.. what i'm trying here is.. don't focus too much on grades.. but focus more on the development of your children .. =)
2 people like this
• United States
11 May 07
Hmm...I really liked your response and I think that you may have hit onto something with the hardworking and the lazy. :) Just a question though, was the don't call people stupid referring directly to me, or just everyone in general? Just wanted to ask as I know that I have not called my children dumb or stupid on here or anywhere else for that matter, so I was just curious as to where that little tidbit came from. I can almost guarantee you that you are still "smart" as you put it even now, but studies get harder and friends start to play a big role in our lives, so it is very easy to get swayed from your original purpose sometimes. You just have to remind yourself to take a step back everyonce in a while and survey the situation and make sure that you are still going where you want to be going. :)
• United States
9 May 07
Yes of course, if they failed i get upset but i know thats a part of a student life so i understand them as long as they keep going to school atlest eventhough they failed but i know they learn something from their mistakes so i just let them know what i feel and tell them about the future if they always failed, its their choice!
2 people like this
• United States
11 May 07
Nice way to handle it, make them fear the consequences of not doing well, or I guess I should say more, not trying to do well. :) I am trying to do this with my children also, but I get such a blank stare back that I know they are not comprehending what I am trying to get across. lol Thank you for the response.
• United States
9 May 07
In this area, the grading system up to third grade is s for satisfactory or ns for not satisfactory. In the fourth grade they change to letter grades. We also have twice yearly teacher conferences to keep up with child's progress. I would not worry about grades unless they were failing, or close to failing, then it is time to get working on the problem. Teachers here are very good about letting you know about failed tests and stuff like that. They are always available for after school help sessions so as long as the child demonstrates effort and willingness to learn he will pass in school.
• United States
10 May 07
I am thinking that I need to move to where you are! lol I could really wish my oldest sons teacher was a little more willing to work with me on my concerns about my son. His teacher just blows me off as an overprotective parent when I voice concerns about my child to her. :( I am not happy about this to say the least about her. But I shall be nice. Thanks for the response.
@abednego7 (1060)
• Philippines
9 May 07
My daughter are not yet in schooling stage but if they are, I will not push them too much. At the very young stage you can't tell by the grades if your children is intelligent or academically weak. I have friends that were not doing good in their elementary days and high school years yet excel in their tertiary education which I think is the most critical stage in education. And there are some special talents that are hidden when its not properly cultivated. So its early to tell, but you can help and guide them to discover where in the field of education they are good and nourished that for future career in life.
• United States
14 May 07
Thank you for the great response. I already know that my oldest is probably not going to be my one that excells at school work. I honestly think that he is more into socializing and playing gym, basketball, and football with the older kids. Now my middle one loves school and learning and everything that has to do with it. He actually wants to come home and do workbooks and such so that he can do even better. lol But I am still watching for any hidden talents that might come out. My oldest some is amidextris(SP?) and can write, eat, and shoot basketball with both hands remarkedly well for his age. I try to encourage his use of both hadns as I think it is something good to be able to do. :)
• United States
9 May 07
I think you should always be worried about yoru childs grades. If they don't do well in first grade, and you dont try and make them do better, they may get the idea that they do not have to get better. They could start getting more lazy and stop trying. Don't forget that a child can be held back in any grade. If he doesn't do well in first grade he will get held back.
@anindito (58)
• Indonesia
9 May 07
worry for young child's grades is naturally.but i think you can push your child to reach good grades.its need a time to make their understand.but i think your way to solve problem is good for your child.you just watching your child and if there a problem that they can't solve,then you help them.its a good work.