Online grades – or, ignorance is bliss

gradesWhen 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?

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13 thoughts on “Online grades – or, ignorance is bliss

  1. We look at the total grade, not the individual grade of every paper – too much for me to do and too much pressure for them. We don’t expect an A on every assignment/test, but we do expect their best effort overall. Here’s what hubby said to the 14 year old yesterday morning when she was blaming her less than great overall grade on the fact that they have a long term substitute teacher: “I don’t care who the teacher is. Do you want me to take your phone now until you get that grade up, or at the end of the trimester so I can have it all summer?” Funny – when I walked in last night she was actually working on her homework instead of locked in her room face timing her friends.

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  2. I won’t go into the trials I have been having with my son’s school this year. I just learned I could do this today, and lets just say if I had known I could see his grades in real time. The boy would most likely have passed all of his classes.

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    • I was able to spot a pattern in a particular class – now I make my son bring the homework home for that class even if he has it done at school because I’ve learned he doesn’t always read the directions. Has a talent for answering the exact opposite of what’s been asked.

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  3. I have to say, Sarah, this makes me feel all sorts of empathy for the poor children. My parents were very much into my business when I was a kid and it drove me crazy. That said, I will be all over my son’s grades when he gets older. Except I’ll try to restrain my micromanagement tendencies. 🙂

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    • I know, I go back and forth between feeling like I’m invading their privacy, and feeling like I’m shirking parental responsibilities. Lose-lose.

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