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Parents, Families and Child Care

Celebrating Bad Grades


Positive reinforcement is a great way to encourage children to do well in school. When my son struggled with his reading comprehension test this school year, I asked myself, “What can I do to encourage him to work hard so he could improve his test grade?” I decided to post his failing grades on the front of the refrigerator.

Celebrating Bad Grades

It has always been a tradition in our family to post “good” grades on the refrigerator. Posting school work is a method used in my home to encourage my children to continue to get good grades. Although my son’s struggle with reading comprehension led to failing grades, I felt that using my method to positively reinforce good grades would be a great way to improve his failing grades.

When my son went on a routine trip to the refrigerator after school he noticed that I posted his test with a failing grade. He questioned me on why I would put a “bad” grade up for people to see. I explained to him that I noticed there were three sections on his reading comprehension test. I said to him, “Even though you got all the questions in section one and two incorrect you did AWESOME in section three.” He looked confused after my explanation. I explained that every week he and I would compare each section to monitor his progress.

Over the next few weeks, my son’s reading comprehension test grade slowly but surely began to increase. He raced home one day with a huge smile on his face. He was excited because he made progress in sections one and two. Positive reinforcement paid off once again! By posting my son’s below average/failing grade I had encouraged him to work harder on sections of the test that were a struggle.

Currently, we have a test on our refrigerator with an almost above average grade (C+). The teacher placed a huge smiling face with a special note next to his grade that recognized his efforts. On the way to school on his most recent test day he told me, “Mom, I bet I will get all of the answers right this time in section one and two.” I bet he will, too.

3 thoughts on “Celebrating Bad Grades

  1. That is so awesome. I wasn’t really sure where you were going to go with that but this quote “Even though you got all the questions in section one and two incorrect you did AWESOME in section three.” SOLD IT! and apparently it did for your son to. I like your out-of-the-box approach. and YEA! for your son ( I have never heard a child approach a test with such enthusiasm-nice work, Mom!)

  2. Hello Ms. Kelly, Thanks for commenting on my blog.I have mastered thinking outside the box very well every since I had my son. He is very sensitive and kind. I have to do my best to ensure that my parenting style is always aligned with his emotions. Our education system can make parents focus on their childrens struggles. Therefore, I have made it a priority to always dwell on the strengths of my childrens academic journeys.

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