The first day of school has come and gone, and in these last few months, you may have watched your child struggle with homework or had reports from teachers about his or her trouble focusing in class. That struggle has led to a decrease in performance. You want to help your child the best you can, and that starts with being informed and then creating a plan of action.
Smart Steps to Help Your Child Catch up in School
Know the Struggle
There could be many culprits behind why your child is falling behind in school. For example, children who struggle in school may have learning disabilities or are disorganized. There are even instances where it’s possible for children with high intelligence to have failing grades in school. If your child is falling behind, he or she could be dealing with one or more of these issues.
There are a number of learning disabilities that school-aged children could have, and some of them can go undiagnosed for years. For example, you may have heard of dyslexia, dyscalculia, and ADHD, but did you know that some students with dyslexia could actually learn to compensate well enough that it does not affect their learning? That could go on for years and years with no one the wiser, until they reach a point where coping strategies no longer help and they start to fall behind.
Students with high intelligence may start to lose interest and productivity at school when the curriculum does not match their level of challenge. In some cases, it’s possible that your child may be too smart for what he or she is learning at school, but a failure to focus on what is being presented and doing the homework is still a failure at school.
It may seem that a disorganized child is just a symptom of being a child, but disorganization at school can lead to missed or late assignments, which can then result in poor grades. Imagine never knowing where your pencil is, or never having the same notebook to write notes in, then trying to study for tests or make sure that a homework assignment gets done. It’s a lot harder to get your work done if you don’t remember where you put all of that information in the first place.
Knowing the struggle is only half the battle. Once you can identify the problem, you can then start to work on solutions to help your child perform better at school.
Put Together a Plan
You’ve done your research, so you know some of what may be troubling your student and pulling down his or her grades. Now you can put together a plan to help your child catch up. No matter what difficulty your child is having at school, it’s important to:
- Learn about all available resources and use them.
If your child has a learning disability, you and your child’s teacher are the biggest and most important resources your child will have. Researching about your child’s learning disability can arm you with the information you need to be your child’s advocate and prepare you to meet with school counselors and other school officials when it’s time to decide to intervene.
- Help your child adapt.
Sometimes disorganized children need help creating and maintaining a routine for awhile before they can become self-sufficient organizers. Providing the model by which your child will learn to control his or her study habits will help them practice good behaviors for organization and routine.
- Know what kind of learner your child is.
All children learn in different ways, but to know a child’s learning style will help unlock the doors to better study habits at school and home. For example, if your child is a visual learner, he or she may need to rely on diagrams and colorful notes to make studying productive; whereas, an auditory learner will need to read aloud or have instructions repeated. Students who have difficulty focusing in class, are generally disorganized, or who have a learning disability will benefit from learning more focused study skills based on the type of learner they are.
Highly intelligent students who still have failing grades can benefit from a more rigorous education to keep them from falling behind due to boredom. Investing time in educational enrichment programs, like A Grade Ahead, can see your child reaping the benefits of more challenging and individualized curriculum that he or she can take at his or own pace.
No matter what actions you take to help your child catch up in school, you child will profit most from the time and attention you put into making sure they have all the tools they need to succeed.
Author: Nicole Acevedo, Teacher Manager at A Grade Ahead