As the school year starts, your focus shifts from days filled with play to reading, writing, and math homework. Even though there are months left until report card time, it's never too early to make sure that your child is getting the academic attention they deserve.
Instead of waiting to see C's, D's or even E's at the end of the quarter or semester, take a look at some of the red flags that may indicate your child is struggling in school right now.
Poor Academic Attitude
How does your child feel about school? If your student suddenly switches from a positive attitude to anger when the subject of school comes up, they may have an academic issue that you're not aware of. You may also notice that your child switches from being engaged with school work to avoiding it or acting bored by it. A child who has always been interested or excited about academics, but now seems bored, may secretly be struggling.
What causes the negative feelings of boredom? It's common for a child to feel frustrated when they don't understand the material or can't keep up in class. This frustration can turn into anger, resentment, or sadness as the school year progresses - but they don't.
Avoiding Discussions About School
Your child used to go on and on about their school day, giving you every little detail. But now they barely say a word. It's normal for some children to provide brief answers or an "I don't know" when asked about their day. But these children are typically consistent, avoiding discussion from day one.
A child who suddenly stops talking about school may want to avoid telling their parent about a problem they're experiencing. This includes both academic and social issues.
Instead of letting it go, press your child and continue asking questions. If the academic anger starts rearing its ugly head, it's time to get professional help. A tutor can provide your child with the tools they need to succeed. It's likely that their improved academic success will get them talking again. And this time, they'll be talking their triumphs.
Not Paying Attention in Class
Is your child inattentive at school? If you're getting calls or emails from the teacher about your child's lack of attention or distracted behavior, an academic issue may be to blame. While there are legitimate behavioral problems that cause distraction in the classroom, a lack of attention doesn't always equal a diagnosis such as ADHD.
In the absence of other behavioral symptoms, distraction is often the result of a child who feels lost or like they can't keep up. Whether your child is struggling to read, comprehend subject-specific lessons, or complete math tasks, turning their mind off in class is a sign that you shouldn't ignore.
Along with appearing bored, a distracted child may act out in class. They may disrupt lessons, interrupt the teacher, constantly talk to other students during inappropriate times, or start arguments with peers.
Getting help for your child, through tutoring, makes it possible for your child to understand classroom lessons. This re-engages their mind and can turn their distracted behavior around.
Increased Homework Time
You can expect each new school year to bring more homework time with it. Your child is building increasingly complex skills, and these will take extra time to practice. But a sudden spike in the amount of time that your child spends on their schoolwork may indicate a potential problem.
If it seems like your child is spending the entire evening working on math problems or spends hours on their reading assignments, talk to the teacher. Compare the amount of time that the teacher feels your child should take with what they're actually doing. If there's a clear mismatch, a tutor can help to improve your child's study habits.
Does your child need a reading or math tutor? Contact IQ Learning for more information.