8 Ways to Know How Your Child is Really Doing in School

As a busy parent, it can be hard sometimes to keep up with everything, especially during the school year. One thing you don’t want to ‘drop the ball on’, though, is communicating with your child’s school to track their progress, so you know how your child is really doing in school.

Here are 8 ways to know how your child is really doing in school even when you’re busy.

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8 Ways to Know how Your Child is Really Doing in School

1.) Mark down any dates for conferences, open houses, and other school events that allow you to communicate face-to-face with staff and teachers.

  • You may need to change your work schedule. Make a note and request work off as soon as you know the dates.
  • You want to make sure you have an appointment with the school for conferences. Try to avoid just randomly showing up because an appointment allows time for your child’s teacher to be able to discuss things with you thoroughly.

What if you really can’t make the conference date? Just about every school and teacher will be willing to work with you to schedule a conference on a different date. But you have to request this and be willing to work with them so you find a mutually acceptable day / time.

Most kids will also appreciate you going to open houses and similar school events (even if they don’t express this.) It tells them you are interested in their world and life.

2.) Check your child’s agenda / backpack /school papers.

Every day when my step kids come home, I check their backpacks. I don’t just assume they don’t have homework or that they’ve told me about everything important going on at the school.

Sometimes kids forget things, especially after being in school all day and wanting to relax. Or they may be hesitant to tell you about certain things going on if they had a bad day, don’t want to do their homework, etc.

Schools often send home notes in kids’ agendas, weekly reports, test results, graded papers, and letters about important events / happenings. All of these things help you know what’s going on both with your child and their school.

And as long as your child is bringing their homework home, you will be able to see what they have for homework if it’s in their backpack or written in their agenda.

I tell my step kids that it is their responsibility to do their homework both at our house and at their mom’s. But I will always check their backpacks when they’re at our house, because I feel it is my responsibility to monitor all of our kids and know what’s going on at their school.

3.) Know when each school quarter / semester ends and make sure you receive every report card.

Some schools will send report cards home with kids, others will mail them out. Either way, make sure you know when to expect them, and that you do get them. We’ve had report cards get lost in the mail and have needed to request an extra copy.

Report cards are one of the best ways to track your child’s progress in school, so you want to make sure you have them!

4.) Make sure you give teachers and the school’s office updated contact info if anything changes.

The school should always have your up-to-date phone numbers and mailing/physical address. If they mail something, you want to receive it. When the school calls you, you want them to be able to get in touch.

I say to update your info with both the office and the teachers, because teachers will often keep a separate copy of contact info for their students’ parents for easy access. If you only update your address/phone number with the office, your current contact info may not make its way to your child’s teacher.

5.) Keep a school calendar and check the school’s website.

This will help you stay in the loop with what’s going on and when. Plus it will give you a heads up on days your child has off, important events and/or perhaps days where certain activities are cancelled.

6.) Take advantage of any electronic reminders your child’s school uses.

Some schools will use an online portal, emails, automated text messages, etc. to contact parents about their children and send important reminders. Don’t forget to sign up for these things!

7.) Use direct communication with teachers when appropriate.

Some teachers will be willing to give you their cell number or a direct line to their classroom.

You can also let them know that they are free to text or call you any time they have a question or concern, which will encourage them to communicate if issues arise.

8.) Don’t forget to talk to your kids about how school is going!

The previous 7 points focused more on getting information from your kids’ school, but don’t forget to ask your kids how they are doing in school. And not just a ‘how was school?’ question where they say ‘good.’

Talk to your child about things going on at their school, concerns their teacher has, concerns they have, how their classmates and teachers are treating them, etc. You will not always get the full story from the teacher. For example, a teacher may tell you something your child did, but only your child can tell you why they did it, and/or provide other details about the situation that the teacher is unaware of.

Even if you hear that your child was misbehaving in school, it’s wise to listen to their side of the story before you make up your mind about how to handle the situation.

So those are 8 ways to know how your child is really doing in school even when you’re a busy parent. And I’m sure you are very busy! But keeping in communication with the school and knowing how your child is doing is possible!

P.S. This post shares a list of school supplies you can buy online so you can make sure your child has everything they need for school.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

It can be challenging to monitor your child's behavior and progress when they're in school, especially as a busy parent. But there are things you can do to make it easier. Here are 8 ways to really know how your kids are doing in school this school year.

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