Guide·3 mins·09/09/21

5 Steps to take if you think your child might struggle academically this year

It’s early in the academic year but when it comes to something as important as your child’s education you can never offer too much support and guidance.

Naturally, the subjects your child should focus on will depend on what stage of their education they are at. Whether they’re taking the leap from primary to secondary school or jumping up from GCSEs to A-levels, it’s perfectly normal for a child to have difficulties occasionally with one or more subjects in school.  Whatever the case, typically the best place to start directing their focus is towards their weakest subjects. Doing this and trying out the tips below, will lay the path to overcoming any stumbling blocks whilst building your child’s confidence along the way.

Address issues sooner rather than later.

Although there is typically a parents evening in the Autumn term (around mid-October for most schools), don’t feel like you have to wait until parents evening to raise any concerns with teachers. Try to book a meeting to discuss the situation with their teacher rather than catching them at the end of the school day. This will give you a bit more privacy and scope to properly establish the areas that will require more attention moving forward.

To summarise

  • Intervene early.
  • Book a meeting with the teacher.

Openly communicate.

If you recognise that there might be a particular area your child is struggling with then discuss this with them directly. With the everyday hustle and bustle of life sometimes it’s easy to get distracted and fall into the habit of assuming your child and their teacher have everything covered at school. Teachers are amazing but they are very busy what with so many students and it’s not unheard of for areas of difficulty within the curriculum to slip under the radar. This is why it’s fundamental to stay as involved as possible in your child’s learning and encourage them to speak up when they are struggling.

To summarise

  • Discuss issues directly with your child.
  • Keep channels of communication open.

Be active in your child's learning.

In practicality, this might look like regularly communicating with your child by asking specific questions about their day at school. Get curious about what they are learning in class and watch how they thrive off of this interest! Another option to explore is helping with their homework or if that’s not possible, arranging their attendance of a homework club for some extra support. It is also important that when it comes to completing homework your child has a quiet, distraction-free space, so try to ensure they have somewhere they can go that is conducive to working.

To summarise

  • Ask questions.
  • Get involved with homework.
  • Create a calming workspace.

Make learning a priority outside of school too.

Another tool at your disposal as a parent is the ability to spark your child’s curiosity outside of the classroom. Not only will this create fun memories but it will give you a greater insight into their areas of interest, their strengths and vitally for identifying subjects to focus on, their areas of weakness. Family days out visiting historical sites or museums can be a great way to explore how your child approaches learning. It can also provide opportunities to create open channels of communication as mentioned above. If you try this out, be sure to praise and encourage your child in the areas they do excel in to keep their confidence up. Prioritising learning outside of school along with efforts within the classroom will then work in tandem to highlight any potential hurdles.

To summarise

  • Encourage curiosity.
  • Try fun educational day trips.
  • Build your child’s confidence.

Get to the root of the problem.

A key aspect of identifying where to direct focus early on in the year is to establish what the root of the issue is within specific subjects. Is the content notoriously difficult to grasp? Does your child have all the support and resources they need? Are they comfortable within the school and the particular classroom? Is the subject being explained well by the teacher? If your child is not so responsive to the teaching style of their teacher then maybe it’s time to explore the option of trying out a tutor. Scoodle has hundreds of friendly and accommodating tutors that can help to set your child up for success!

To summarise

  • Explore all possible issues
  • Consider checking out Scoodle