When a student comes home with poor grades, it can be an especially stressful challenge for parents. We all have high expectations for our children’s education, and we want to see them perform well. This is even more true when a student who previously performed well starts to struggle academically. While it can be easy to panic or overreact, there are many simple reasons that a child may struggle academically. By identifying the cause and responding appropriately, you can help your child get back on track to academic success.
Learning New Material
One of the simplest reasons a child may suddenly get lower marks is that they’re encountering new material. When students learn complex concepts for the first time, they may struggle to keep up with their peers or their teacher’s expectations. Many times, this just means that a student needs more practice. For instance, if your child was good at elementary math, but struggles to learn algebra, don’t panic. Complex math involves new forms of reasoning that can take a while to learn. The important thing is to provide opportunities for students to work on the skills they need to improve. You should ask about extra practice work that the teacher may be able to provide. Also take advantage of any after-school tutoring opportunities that may exist. Another great option is to seek outside help that can be personalized for your student’s particular needs. A good tutor can identify and address your child’s challenges and design a program to get them back on track.
When young people are at school, there are lots of forces competing for their attention. They have friends who want to talk to them and hang out with them. They have sports teams and other activities they have to plan and practice for. And they have dozens of relationships with teachers, staff, and other students to manage throughout the day. Sometimes this gets to be too much, and a student’s attention to their schoolwork can suffer. If you notice your child’s grades are falling a bit, spend some time assessing their schedule. How much time do they have to devote to schoolwork? Are they getting enough sleep? Ask them about the atmosphere in their classes. Do they feel like it’s easy to learn there? Once a distraction is identified, you can work to address or remove it.
A school environment is a dynamic learning space where lots of different personalities have to work together to make learning possible. Sometimes, if these social and professional relationships break down, students can suffer. This can happen where there are tensions between students in a classroom. For instance, a student may suddenly be uncomfortable speaking up or participating in front of other students. In other cases, poor relationships between student and teachers can negatively impact the learning environment. Have a talk with your child about their teachers. Ask them if they’re comfortable in their classes. Do they like their teachers’ styles? Are there any teachers they have a hard time learning from? If a student is uncomfortable working with a particular teacher, consider scheduling a parent-teacher conference to address any issues. If you need help preparing for such a meeting, have a look at some of our tips for successful conferences.
Ultimately, your student’s success depends on managing a number of complex factors. By asking the right questions, you can identify any problems that may be negatively affecting their performance, and get them back on the path to an effective education.
If you are interested in speaking to someone about educational support services for your child, you can contact Best Brains at (847) 485-0000 to speak with a representative.