Introducing Your Child to the Concept of “Grades”


A young child may not readily understand the concept of grades, and may be in for a little shock when he or she starts going to school. So prepare your son or daughter for this by gently introducing the concept; your child will better adjust to school life that way. Here’s how:

Step 1. Pick a good nursery and kindergarten school that will help introduce the idea of grades.

All kids eventually want to show off their intelligence and achievements, but some take a little longer than others to move out of their “only play all day” mindset. To help your child learn the meaning and value of good marks, enroll him or her in nursery and kindergarten schools that occasionally give grades for good behavior and lessons learned.

Step 2. Talk to your child about the concept.

Even while he or she is in nursery or kindergarten, start telling your child about what higher school years are like, and what grades are for.

Never, ever describe grades as something to be feared, or something used to “punish” a child for laziness or bad behavior. Instead, try explaining to your child that it’s simply a way of measuring how fast or how far his or her learning is.

Step 3. Introduce the idea of special awards.

Nursery and kindergarten schools often give kids special recognition or awards for jobs well done. Explain to your child that the award means a child has done a great job, and deserves praise. And when your child does get an award, dont’t forget to praise him or her! Give him a big hug, kisses, and other signs of appreciation. This way, your child learns what grades and recognition mean.

To add extra depth of meaning, you can also explain to your child that grown-ups get awards and recognition for a job well done, too.

Step 4. Establish a tradition of personal rewards for good grades and good behavior.

Each time school grades are good, you can give your child some form of personal reward at home. Keep it all simple but heartfelt. For example: when your child learns to read, or learn basic arithmetic, reward him or her with a wonderful treat that both of you can share and use to celebrate his or her achievement (i.e., going to the zoo, having ice cream, etc.). Be creative. If your child earns an award and it’s something that can be framed, do so and hang it in the living room for everyone to see.

Step 5. Introduce your child to the idea of aiming for higher goals.

dont’t just push your child to aim higher in “everything.” Be sensitive to who your child is. What are his or her core strengths and intelligences? What are his or her interests and talents? That’s where your child will naturally want to aim for higher learning.

You can start by exposing your child to grown-ups who display excellence in a particular learning skill. A child needs to see adult role models to help them realize, “Hey, I can be like that when I grow up someday.” Then you can tell your child that, to get to that level, good grades are essential.