Parents always want the best education for their children. Even when a child gets into the best school or has hands-on help with homework, they can still have a tough time with academics. As a busy parent, what can you do to identify if your child is struggling in school and how can you help them get back on track? The reasons kids struggle is not always easy to identify, but there are some common reasons your child might be falling behind and easy ways you can help them succeed.
Reason 1: They aren’t understanding their homework.
Ever notice that sometimes your child understands topics and concepts while at school or with a tutor, but when it’s homework time, they are left scratching their head? If your child seems to be taking hours to complete a homework assignment, this could be a red flag that they aren’t understanding the concepts. Once you establish that your child might need extra help, reassure them that struggling academically from time to time is normal. When a tutor or teacher is present, they provide a guide. Without that guide, your child can get lost. That’s why it is important to have an educational resource readily available for them when homework time has arrived. Leaving your child to Google a random YouTube answer might lead to the wrong answer, make things more confusing, or lead to hours of distracting cat videos. Instead, do some research and find a reputable app or website created by subject experts or teachers. This will serve as a homework go-to resource for your child and will provide them with easy access to reliable information. If you prefer a tutor, you can search a site like Wyzant which can provide you a list of affordable tutors that align with your child’s academics needs.
Reason 2: They find school boring and lack motivation.
We’ve all been there: sitting in class, trying to listen, but barely being able to keep our eyes open. As we all know, sometimes school is just plain boring. Your child will definitely struggle staying enthused about certain subjects, topics, or teachers, and this could deter them from doing well and having the motivation they need to do good in school. So what can you do if your child finds school boring? Try something new! Not all students learn the same way. Your child’s learning style and interests might not be covered by traditional learning methods. Some students struggle with lectures and traditional textbooks, so finding a different way to integrate visuals or hands-on projects are a must. Schools teach to the average student, which can make it hard for different types of learners to follow along. You child might need more a personalized solution that takes into consideration how they learn and sets them up to learn at their own pace.
Now, you can find educational apps that teach any subject by using fun games, showing animated video lessons, or creating hands-on projects you can try at home. See what interests your child and find an activity that they can do outside of school that teaches them that topic. If your child loves video games but hates algebra, find a game that teaches math in a fun way. Check out sites like Thirteen.org’s Get the Math which introduces algebra by using music, fashion, video games, restaurants, basketball, and special effects. If your child loves music but hates writing, introduce them to a podcast like Ted Talks or This American Life that teaches them the structure of a good narrative. If your child loves being outdoors but hates history, take them on a field trip to a national park or museum and provide them with a hands-on project. Be innovative and see how your child responds. Providing a more engaging context for the same material covered in school could be the key to success for your child.
Reason 3: They are not managing their time effectively.
Here’s the scenario: it’s 5pm on a Thursday evening and your kid remembers they have a project due the next morning at school. Sound familiar? Children often wait until the last minute to study for an algebra test or complete a science project, which can significantly affect their grades. Try teaching them the importance of long-term deadlines and time management. Ask your child about tests and projects coming up for the week and then check in ahead of time. Putting reminders on the refrigerator or family calendar can also prevent kids from forgetting about the project.
Set smaller milestones for projects and study times. For big projects, set small goals that build the project piece by piece. As they complete each part, you can reward them for their advancement. For example, ask them to create a hypothesis and a develop an idea for a science project, then have them create the experiment, and finally, have them explain their conclusions. Helping them complete a project in smaller increments will not only help them make deadline but also digest the information better (and save you from last minute projects). For students studying for a test, you can have them digest information in smaller bits, so they have time to process the concepts before test day. For instance, instead of cramming, there are education sites like Study.com that can help break info into 5-10 minute chunks using video lessons. Students can then avoid being overwhelmed and stressed out when their deadline approaches.
Your child might be struggling for various reasons which include:
- Not understanding the homework
- Not being interested in the subjects being covered
- Not managing their deadlines and cramming last minute
No matter the reason, if you follow these easy tips, you can help them overcome any obstacle before they fall behind this school year.
Courtesy of Study.com, an education website used by over 25 million students, parents and teachers. Study.com’s animated videos bring concepts to life and provide an easy, low-cost way for students in K-12 to learn any subject and excel academically.