When we lived up in Mount Pleasant, they did number grades from Kindergarten to 4th grade. For 5th & 6th, they did a combo of numbers and letter grades to ease kids into the system, then in 7th grade, they get the full letter grades.
Down here, they leave 5th grade in with the elementry schools, and put the 6th in with the 7th & 8th grades. So, Raegan started the year with letter grades.
I want to encourage good grades. I was a HORRIBLE slacker. I lived with my mom for 1 year, and went from doing my homework and getting good grades, to seeing how much easier it was to just not do the work, and get crappy grades. That, unfortunatly, stuck.
At the begining of the year, we talked with Raegan, and came up with a plan. I didn't want to be -too- hard on what we expected, because that can backfire and cause worse behaviour. We decided that if she could go the entire school year with nothing lower than a C- on a report card, she would get $5 at the end of the year.
Her first report card came home like this:
Language Arts- C+
Social Studies- B
Not bad, but she was bordering on some bad falls, and she was not doing well in science class. She had brought home some very badly graded assignments that she just didn't put much effort into. I think she was surprised at the level of work difference between what was expected in 5th grade, and 6th grade. She as also working on changing classes for the first time, and having a different teacher for all her classes. Then, there was the move in general, and not knowing anyone.
Today, her second quarter report card came home.
Language Arts- B-
Art (in place of Gym)- B
Social Studies- A
She raised every single grade! Her Science was her lowest grade before at a C, and it's a B+ now.
A few weeks back, she was telling us how she had raised on of her grades, and Nick made a new deal with her. If she brought home only A's & B's on report cards for the rest of the year, she can pick out a new game (within reason) for her DS she got for Christmas.
I know a lot of parents are against bribing for good grades- but heck, if $20 gets my daughter to study, and keep her grades up, I'm darn well willing to do it.
As Nick has mentioned often- at this age, what else do they have to study for? College? Most 11 year olds are not activly planning for college right now. Jobs? Yeah, they hold out their hands, and ask Mommy & Daddy, and hope they get it. The only reason they have to get good grades is because they want them. You can't force a child to learn if they want to be stubborn about it.
I don't think Raegan would be stubborn, but I'm more than willing to find out if this works. Chris was told when he starts getting letter grades, he'll have the same deal Raegan gets. Hopefully, he'll want it by then, too.