If I know my child is capable for getting better grades, then she gets in trouble. If I know they worked really hard and still struggled, they will not get in trouble. Make sense?
My DDs are only in 1st. We celebrate and do a lot of verbal acknowledgement when they do well and put forth a good effort, regardless of the 'score' (this goes for various things), but if and when they do poorly on something and did not try, write neatly, turn it in etc-- they get in trouble and/or have to practice. We also ask them how they think they are doing and what is easy/hard and if they did their best on certain assignments, really the process and learning how to learn is important at this age because it instills good work habits. Our school has a 1-4 scale for report cards, it does not seem very helpful to be honest.
Mine are youngest too-- they have a 10/05 Bday. DH and I agonized over doing K (which DDs did not do) or going straight to 1st (which we did). It does change it a bit since some kids in their class will be 8 this spring/summer! My girls will not turn 7 until 6-8 weeks after school starts, they will still be 6 when 2nd grade starts next Fall.
I really dont want to emphasis 'good' grades. DH and I want to emphasis ' do your best' and to ask for help if you dont understand.
I was paid for As & Bs as a student, but it did not affect my grades since I was naturally inclined to try to do well. I got a very poor grade (D) in Chemistry in High School, but my parents understood and helped me the entire semester and I still struggled and I did not get punished at all. I switched teachers and that really did make a difference (teaching style). It got a C in French- and did have to check in with my parents for a semester until it rose to a B because I was not studying or completing some of my work. I graduated with honors and can honestly say that I learned a lot from the few poor grades I did get, I learned how I did (and did not) learn best and also what my own strengths and weaknesses were. Now an elementary age students would not likely gather all that from a report card, but the idea behind working hard and learning from mistakes begins early.
DH got paid for grades and was an average student. It did not make a difference to him since he was honest and said he slacked off a lot- $ four times a year (report cards) did not really make a big impact over 9 months of daily school.
Edited by KCMichigan, 19 March 2012 - 12:18 PM.