What To Do When Your Child Falls Behind in School
Tip #1: Identify Whether Your Child Is Falling Behind
It is important to identify if your child is actually falling behind or not. According to teacher Mike Walton with The School Run, children develop at different rates and will have their own strengths and weaknesses.
It is more beneficial to remind your child that they might be progressing very well toward their potential rather than comparing them to other children who are progressing differently. According to the Understood for All Organization, reading, writing, and math skills will all develop differently according to individual children and their ages.
Tip #2: Identify the Subjects or Concepts With Which They Are Struggling
If you have discovered your child is falling behind in school, it is important to pinpoint what exactly they are struggling with. Your child may excel in one subject but have difficulties in another, or they might struggle with a specific skill across all subjects.
Once you have identified what they are struggling with, it may be easier to determine a course of action. For example, if your child is struggling with a specific subject, having them stay for tutoring could be beneficial and help them not feel far behind their peers.
Tip #3: Reach Out to Your Child’s Teacher
It would be a good idea to reach out to your child’s teacher. The teacher may notice things that you do not get the opportunity to see at home, such as more specific struggles you may only have a general idea about.
Giving the teacher your specific concerns can help them see your child’s needs from a different perspective, and you may be able to work together to come up with actions that can be taken both in school and at home. To get your child feeling like they are making steady progress, collaboration with their teacher can unlock a deeper area of support.
Tip #4: Support Your Child’s Mental Health
Support your child’s mental and emotional health. According to the Understood for All Organization, when a child is struggling in school, the toll may not just be on their grades, but their self-esteem can suffer. It is important to remind your child that everyone has struggles and that it is nothing they should be ashamed of.
Using positive, realistic language to refocus your child on their strengths can improve their self-esteem as well as help them find connections between what they are good at and what they struggle with.
Is Your Student Struggling With Anxiety?
Going back to identifying if your child is falling behind or not - what do you do whenever they are not falling behind? Your child may have intense feelings about the idea that they are falling behind or have the potential to fall behind.
They may experience anxiety, stress, or frustration toward school even if they are generally a successful student. If this is the case, there may be different steps you can take as a caregiver to support your child.
If you are worried your child may be struggling with anxiety surrounding school, there are some symptoms and signs to look out for. The child may be sensitive, is unable to handle criticism, has angry outbursts, or may have panic attacks.
They may also develop phobias or fears that they did not have prior to the stressful events they are experiencing. It is important to note that anxiety manifests in many ways and may vary based on the source of anxiety or the child’s age.
Anxiety is a response to stress, so this can affect their day-to-day routines at home and at school. To help your child manage their anxiety, you can help at home and give them tools to use whenever they are in school.
At home, giving the child space to take breaks or take a walk can help them step away from the stressor and refocus. Sleeping well and eating right can also help your child, which can help keep energy and mood consistent.
At school, your child can practice skills like grounding or recognizing their limits. When they are feeling anxious about a test that is right in front of them, having them focus on three positives about their day or identifying things in the room that they can see or smell can help them refocus.
Check out this blog to learn more about dealing with anxiety in the classroom setting!
What Else Can I Do?
Giving the child the opportunity to talk to a trusted adult, like a teacher or guidance counselor, at school can help them see their support system. Finally, helping them identify whenever they have hit a wall or the work is just too much can help prevent feelings of spiraling or panic attacks.
As a parent, grandparent, or other guardian, it can seem difficult to support a child who feels like they are falling behind in school. However, providing a support system with positive interventions both at home and in school can help the child stay on track. Regardless of where they are on their path, there is always an opportunity for growth and getting ahead!
About Ignite Achievement Academy
Ignite Achievement Academy (formerly named “Manus Academy”) specializes in working with students in grades K-12 with learning barriers.
We help students of all kinds, including those with:
- Learning disabilities
- Language disorders
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
Through compassionate, structured teaching practices and support for the whole child, students receive the skills and support needed to thrive.
At IAA, we equip students with training to build essential academic skills to successfully complete coursework, solve problems, and meet the academic and social demands of their school environment. Contact us today to learn more about Ignite Achievement Academy!