Around age 10, children start developing a new sense of independence. If you are the parent of a preteen, then his behaviour may sometimes make you feel that he is pushing you away. He also starts testing the limits you have set for him over the years. This sudden change in his attitude can leave you baffled and you may start wondering as to what really happened to him.
The reason for your child’s strange behaviour is the change she is undergoing both physically and emotionally. Significant developments are taking place in the cognitive as well as social aspects of her personality. She now desires more freedom, and it’s time for you to understand and respect her wishes.
However, your support as well as supervision in various areas, especially academics, hold great importance during these formative years. By understanding what is going on with your preteen, you can evaluate his academic performance in a better way. Evaluating your child’s academic performance will help you assess the quality of education he is receiving. It will also help you understand where he stands in relation to the goals set by him, you and his teachers.
However, before you start measuring your preteen’s academic performance, you must remember that usually students with higher mental ability score more in tests measuring IQ. But, better scores are also linked to effort, motivation to achieve and the academic environment at home and school. So, if your child’s school is lenient towards studies or the learning environment at home is semi-structured, your child’s academic achievements would be affected.
Here are a few questions you should answer before you start assessing your child’s academic performance.
- How do you wish to track his achievements?
- How would you respond to good and bad performances of your child?
- Would you discuss your child’s performance first with the teacher and then with him, or would you do it with him and his teacher together? Or, would you discuss it only with him?
- Would both parents show equal interest and praise or reprimand together? Or would you take the backseat, while your spouse deals with the issue? Or would one of you focus on one aspect of the child’s performance, while the other focuses on a different aspect?
- How much weightage would you give to your child’s emotional well-being in relation to his exam scores?
Now, let’s look at some of the common ways through which you can evaluate your child’s academic performance.
- Standardised tests
- Personal graphs
- Personalised education plans
- Profiles of achievements
Several factors can affect your child’s achievements in academics. Some of them are self-esteem, behavioural tendencies, social relationships and civic sense. Keep these factors in mind while measuring your child’s performance. Another important point to remember is the extent of your own interaction with him in matters of academics. Analyse how much time and effort you invest in discussing with your child his academic performance and the ways in which he can improve. Here are some easy and practical tips that you can follow to stay informed about your child’s performance and progress in academics.
- Keep track of your child’s progress in projects, tests and graded tasks throughout the year.
- Maintain a chronological record of his grades to assess if he is consistent, improving or regressing in his performance.
- Evaluate how well your child can think critically and apply knowledge practically.
- Get an overview of all your child’s subjects and gauge the level of his understanding of the subjects/topics.
In addition to monitoring his academic grades, also pay attention to his participation in extra-curricular activities as it will help him develop a well-rounded personality.
It may take you time to understand your preteen and her educational needs, but it is worth the effort. Remember, the expectations and beliefs you have about your child’s abilities will go a long way in making her feel confident and strive to improve.
As an educator and parent, I would advise parents to be patient, spend time with their children, and to listen more than advise and understand more than judge.
Nivedita Mukerjee is a journalist, educator and parent. She writes about matters that concern a child’s success and well-being. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.