When my daughter reached junior high, I was horrified to learn I could now view her grades – in real time – online. It presents me with a choice I don’t like. Do I micromanage the grades, or do I observe silently and let the kid learn lessons the hard way?
Well, truth is I can’t observe silently. It is not in my nature. This year, the elementary school grades are online, too, so the pressure ratchets up. Now I have the pleasure of viewing middle kid’s grades which is not nearly the heart-warming experience of viewing oldest kid’s grades.
But I do check the online grades, when I can bear it, and the result is either 1) A droning, boring speech from me about “not living up to one’s full potential,” or 2) A heated “dialog” that goes something like this (it is one-sided, me talking and the other party shrugging indifferently):
- “Why is your assignment missing? I watched you complete it right here and pack it in your backpack! What happened to it between here and school?”
- “Didn’t you study for that test? Why not? Didn’t you have a study guide? Where is it? Why didn’t you use it?”
- “Do you know you have a (C or D) in (fill in the blank)? How are you going to bring your grade up?”
- “How did you do so poorly on that test? I helped you study! You knew everything last night!”
- “Cookies AND chips AND water? I’m not paying for water! What is wrong with you?”
Oops…sorry. That last one is what happens when I review the records of oldest kid’s school lunch purchases, also (most blessedly) online.
I admit, I’m the type of parent who prefers to meet with the teacher twice a year at the parent-teacher conference and nod and smile as they recount my child’s successes and transgressions. But I’m off to school conferences today. I may have a different opinion this evening.
What do you think? Is it an advantage to monitor your kids’ grades online? Or is it just another darn thing to do?