There are many signs that your child is struggling in school, but only the top 4 I will focus on for this post. I also have a prior post on Struggling Readers, which I will paste a segment below, but this post is a general guide on a child struggling in school (for any reason).
As a parent and a teacher, I have witnessed many signs that a child is struggling. The key is to figure out the problem early and get help as soon as possible.
There are many ways to help your child if they are struggling in school. It may be that they can’t keep up, that they can’t concentrate, can’t remember the numerous topics or rules that they need to memorize, etc.
It could be that they have a learning disability (this website gives symptoms of learning disabilities) or just can’t see the board from where they are! There are a ton of reasons that your child could be struggling – emotionally, physically or educationally. These are just some of the signs of a problem:
- Your child does not want to go to school. They will look for excuses of any kind to avoid school.
2. Suddenly, your child is getting into trouble in school and/or is having problems at home.
3. There is a drop in the usual good grades and/or the teacher has called.
4. When your child is completing homework, it is taking way too long or it is done too quickly.
These 4 signs can pertain to any subject in school. I only focused on the 4 signs that I saw most often. There could be many different signs. In general, you may feel concerned because something is just different or you are seeing your child frustrated while completing homework.
A Few Suggestions if You do Think that Your Child is Struggling in School:
1. Ask your child (when you and your house are quiet and calm) if you can talk and then tell them of your concern. I learned as a teacher, during peer mediation training, that if you talk about how something makes you feel, the person is less likely to get offensive or combative – for example, instead of “Why are your grades slipping in math?” instead, try “I feel so worried when you take so long to complete your homework, how can I help?” When I used it with my daughter, I definitely saw a difference in her reaction to any topic I wanted to talk to her about.
2. Have someone else ask your child if everything at school is ok (this worked better for me when my daughter was younger).
3. Contact your child’s teacher and/or teachers to better understand if they feel there is a problem or not. They could possibly give extra help, suggest a tutor for extra help, suggest counseling at school, etc.
4. Make a doctor’s appointment to see if your doctor can figure out the problem.
It could be simply that you need to start working with your child to get them started on homework, organization, etc. or they need their homework to be broken down in parts (maybe using a timer would help).
Also, they may need to do their homework in the morning instead of the afternoon. The first step is trying to determine if your child is actually struggling and the second step is trying to get them the help that they need.
This is an article from Reading Rockets on what questions to ask a specialist if you think that your child may have a learning disability.
These are Some of My Previous Posts that Can Also Help and below the titles is a part of two of the posts
- Is Your Child a Struggling Reader?
- Memory Techniques to Help Your Child Remember Information
- Homework Routines That Work!
- Is Your Child a Reluctant Reader?
- How to get a Reluctant Reader to Read!
- How to Help Your Struggling Reader at Home
- Books for Boys Who Hate to Read and Tips to Get Them Reading Today
- 10 Tips to Improve Your Child’s Reading Comprehension
- How to Motivate a Reluctant Reader at Home
- How to Help a Reluctant Reader
- Super Fun Ideas For Reading Practice
- Motivate your Child to Read More – a Reading Challenge!
Sometimes helping them organize or remember information will help. I have a post on techniques to help kids remember information (part of the post I posted below, but you can click here for the entire post).
This is PART of my post: Is Your Child a Struggling Reader?
For more information in this post, go to Is Your Child a Struggling Reader?
Some of the Signs of a Struggling Reader
There are tons of resources for what I have found to be the most confusing problems a child encounters as they read. The easiest way to find out what issues a child has with reading, is to listen to them read. These are the key signs that a child is a struggling reader:
Your child does not read fluently and has to hesitate to figure out many of the words on a page.
Your child guesses the word and guesses wrong.
Your child will skip over words.
Your child will appear to be frustrated when he can’t read the words.
Your child forgets a word that they’ve just read on a previous page.
Your child avoids reading, tries to find something else to do, shows behavior problems.
Your child sounds out words using the wrong letter sounds.
Your child is more than one grade level below their grade level.
Your child slurs words.
Your child can’t recall or comprehend what was just read.
This is PART of my post: Memory Techniques to Help Your Child Remember Information
For more information on this post, go to Memory Techniques to Help Your Child Remember Information
I highly suggest these two books as they are packed with ideas to help your child remember information!
I have used this book to give my students strategies to remember spelling and grammar rules. This book has ways to remember information in a variety of ways, these are just a couple of examples:
Their and There
Their – He and I are their sons.
There – You’ll find here and there
To, Too, Two
To – Go to the store!
Too – Did you break your tooth, too?
Two – there are two twins
Mind Maps for Kids by Tony Buzan. This fun and colorful book has amazing ideas to help your child focus and remember information! If you check out the reviews and sample pages, you’ll be convinced this is a great purchase!!
Mnemonics – Memory Strategies to help your child remember information
Association – In association, your child needs to make a connection or association from one item to something else. For example, when a child has a character named Isabell and they have an Aunt Isabell, then that’s an association.
Picture – To picture information your child needs to make a picture of the information in their mind. For example, picture what they think a character looks like, acts, etc.
Repeating – In repeating, your child simply repeats the information over and over again until they remember the information.
Grouping – In grouping, your child categorizes the information they need to remember.
Songs and Rhymes: To create a song or rhyme your child puts the information they want to remember into some kind of funny song or rhyme. You can also use a tune from other songs that you know.
This is a song in the tune of London Bridges for the being verbs:
Am, is, are, was, were, be, been,
have, has, had,
do does, did,
may, can, must, might,
could, should, would,
shall, will, being.
There is so much help available, so don’t free frustrated! I suggest trying to figure it out yourself or with family or friends and then asking your child’s teacher.
Once you have pinpointed what the issue is, there are even more resources available through school, outside help or online. If there are any questions that I can help with, please leave a comment or question below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to help!