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Share Your Online 'Report Cards' with Your Children

Share Your Online 'Report Cards' with Your Children

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By Dr. William Oliver Hedgepeth
Faculty Member, Transportation and Logistics Management, American Public University

Are you one of the millions of men and women earning a college degree online in the military or working full time in a civilian job? Most of the online students I teach range in age from their 20s to their 70s, with most being in their 40s.

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Many of these adult students see their next career coming their way in a few years. They know the value of a college degree along with their 20 to 30 years of work experience. Some online students decide to go to college for the sole purpose of showing their children that a college degree is important.

As an online college student and parent, do you see your children’s report cards? I hope so. Do you sit down and have a discussion with them about what they have learned or what problems they are facing in English or math class? Do you also go over your report card with them?

Report cards are important in bringing up children. They have value just as when you monitor their eating habits or the friends they associate with. My wife and I carefully reviewed each report card our two children received and took all opportunities to meet with their teachers so we understood our role in helping them with their educational and social needs.

Online College Students Have Their Own ‘Report Cards’

If you are an online learner, you have a report card of sorts. That report card comes to you at the beginning of each week. It is your grade for forum posts where you are supposed to communicate with other students about an issue you have researched. Or, it could be your opinion about some government policy or law.

You also have a report card when you get a review and grade on the research paper you worked so hard to write, which included four or six references in the format prescribed by the instructor.

Those online college report cards may not look like the ones your children receive, but they have the same impact on the student and parent. In the case of online student parents, you are both.

Do You Share Your Online Report Card with Your Children?

When your K-12 students share their report cards with you, do you share yours with them? You should. I did when I was in college. I also shared written assignment reviews and questions with our two children.

We would sit at the dining room table and ask them what they thought of my teachers’ notes or comments, especially when I had missed something or had not carefully followed the written assignment instructions. They both would comment on what we, as parents, had failed to do and then learned what to do to be successful in school.

The result was they did better in their schoolwork and better in college. The kids became the parents responding to the adult report cards. So, let them see your report card each week. They just might teach you something about learning.

About the Author

Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth is a full-time professor at American Public University (APU). He was program director of three academic programs: Reverse Logistics Management, Transportation and Logistics Management and Government Contracting. He was Chair of the Logistics Department at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Dr. Hedgepeth was the founding Director of the Army’s Artificial Intelligence Center for Logistics from 1985 to 1990, Fort Lee, Virginia.

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