Why Progress Reports Are Difficult

Parents some times ask us for a written report on their child's progress in their gymnastics class. We don't have a progress report or checklist, that we give to parents. It is not a useful tool in communicating what a student has learned! When asked we are glad to give a verbal evaluation and answer questions a parent has. Allow me to explain further!

In our programs that parents can watch a verbal report is much better because we can give a personal report. Parents can relate to what we say to them and see the progress that we point out. We can have dialog that is specific to their concerns and questions about their child. This has greater value if they have watched class over a period of time.

In our daycare programs the parents rarely get to see their children in class. This makes it hard for parents to follow their child's progress. As a parent, I understand the desire to have communication of how your child is doing. I have asked many coaches specific questions to understand how my child was doing at the time. As a program director, I have tried many different forms of progress reports over my 30 plus years of experience to communicate to parents the students progress. I have yet to find a format that is both comprehensive and understandable to a parent, especially when they do not watch the class. Typically such reports create more questions and confusion than answers. The end result is usually a personal conversation anyway! Even when a parent is a constant observer it is a challenge. Gymnastics is a complex sport. A forward roll looks easy! It sounds easy! You just roll over, right? Did you know that a forward roll has 8 different positions and movements. It requires 3 different body shapes and activates every muscle group in the body! Each skill has many stages and progressions when taught safely and correctly. Your student will experience between 15 and 20 stations with multiple variations to learn that forward roll. To effectively write this down in a manner that is descriptive without being highly technical is difficult and cumbersome. Who wants to read all of that! How many of us actually sit down to read the owners manual of anything we buy? Most of us would spend our free time in another way! I have learned that our time and your money is better spent teaching than stopping progress to evaluate. I prefer our staff to spend their time preparing a great lesson plan than writing a report. Our staff would choose to have a personal conversation instead of giving you a form. Our staff will know your child! They will know their skill level, their strengths, their personality and what motivates them! They will know how they have progressed and what has improved. Call us or e-mail and we will answer your questions.

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