It’s the conversation no parent wants to have with their child.
“I got a message from your Biology teacher today. She says you haven’t turned in your last few assignments and might fail the class.”
Far too often, parents do not realize their student is struggling in school until they see the report card or get that dreaded email from the teacher. They feel blindsided upon hearing that their student is missing important assignments and projects or failing a class altogether.
There are obvious indicators, like grades or regular complaints that they “don’t like school.” But there are also more subtle signs that a student is struggling academically and needs help.
In this blog, we’ll explore four signs that show your student needs a tutor or individualized academic attention.
1. Grades are slipping
It’s clear your child needs help when they fail a test or gets a bad report card. And there could be many reasons why your child’s current grades aren’t aligning with their potential.
- Did they fall behind in a cumulative subject like math or a foreign language?
- Are they failing one subject or every class?
- Do they regularly study and complete all of their assignments but still get poor grades?
In any case, don’t delay in having a conversation with your child, and also with their teacher, to get to the root of the problem. Ignoring grades that are lower than your child’s previous performance could have serious impacts on their next report card and also on their self-esteem. Instead, getting individualized academic help as soon as possible will help them catch up and build confidence for the rest of the school year.
2. Regularly puts off schoolwork
When a child regularly procrastinates or shows a general lack of motivation for schoolwork, it could be a sign of a deeper issue. It may be that they’re struggling to understand the material or just need help getting started.
Rather than staring at an assignment they don’t understand, it can be easier for a child to just ignore it. But falling behind is stressful for a student, and it’s important to step in before they feel too overwhelmed.
3. Lacks organization
Disorganized students often forget homework (or hand in unfinished assignments), have messy desks, and cannot keep track of their materials. And if your child seems to no longer care about the quality of their work, this can lead to lower grades and lower confidence.
An executive function coach can help your child improve their organizational skills by providing a routine and an accountability partner. The coach will also teach your child effective studying methods and strategies for time management and prioritization.
4. Suddenly avoids talking about school
Your child’s reaction to conversations about school can give you an idea of how they’re doing in their classes. This is especially true if your son or daughter used to openly discuss tests, teachers, and assignments but now refuses or gets upset or angry.
It’s common for parents to ask, “How was school today?” and then get a one-word response, “Fine.” Many parents accept this answer as satisfactory and do not press for more information. Instead, try to ask your child for details and get more specifics. Ask questions about certain classes, and find out what they like and don’t like about them.
Pay close attention to their responses. If your child talks very little, becomes agitated or changes the subject right away, it could be a sign that they may not be doing so well.
If you find your student exhibits any of the signs mentioned above, don’t “wait and see” in hopes your student will take charge of their studies on their own. The longer you wait, the more likely your student will continue to regress, and getting back up to speed will become exponentially more difficult.
Whether your child is in elementary school or 12th grade, a tutor or executive function coach can provide the type of support and accountability that a parent might not be able to give. Sometimes it takes a 3rd party, who will not judge or blame the student for their actions, to take control of the situation.
A tutor can make a plan to get your child back on track, monitor their progress, and help boost their confidence.
When your child needs academic help, our experienced team of tutors and coaches is here for you. We will find the best possible match for your child based on their personality, background, and goals. Learn about our matching process and get started today.