When a child is doing poorly at school, it does not just affect the child. Being a parent, it goes on to affect you too. Parents, all of us, want to help our children do better at school and hate to see them struggle. We hate to watch our children cry over poor grades, knowing how much it can affect their self-esteem, grooming them to a feeling of not being good enough, and exposing them to bullies.
But school is hard. And at some point, a large percentage of children might struggle with low grades at school. Can this be said of your child? Then, your child needs your help. Do you know how to help a child struggling at school?
The following tips will guide you on how to go about helping a child struggling with low grades to do better at school:
1. Leave them to think for themselves when they have assignments
As counterintuitive as this sounds, it’s a great thing to try out. When a parent helps a child with their every homework or school work, it subconsciously breeds dependency in that child, some form of mental laziness, leaving little to no room for development. The child just becomes dependent on the parent’s help, and when they need to do it on their own, it becomes a problem.
Leave your child to reason on their own, and let them think for themselves. If their homework requires parental guidance, you can help a little. Assisting your child is not the problem; preventing them from solving these problems on their own is.
They might not ace their assignments if they do them on their own. This is fine. A little failure does not kill.
2. Talk to your child
Having conversations with your child after a long day at school not only helps to relieve their burden but also helps to strengthen your bonds. Don’t disregard them after helping their homework or feeding them; speak to them.
Ask your children how their day went. Ask about their friends. Their teachers. Anything. This builds a solid relationship with your child and makes it easier for them to speak to you in case they’re not doing so well among their peers without fear.
3. Create a daily routine
Are you aware of how long your child spends carrying out an activity? You should be. Daily routines are easy to make and aid your child. Set time aside for their entertainment, time for studying, and homework, so they get used to it.
Starting it earlier helps to keep them in check. Without being told, they know when to watch the TV, when to read or when to relax.
4. Learning space
Your child should have a designated space for their learning. This area should be provided with all their learning materials to prevent perambulation. It should also be away from distractions. Their writing materials, books, a steady desk, good lighting, and proper ventilation should be in this space as well.
The child should get into the space with the intent to learn alone. There should be no games or distracting material here.
5. Read together
Be around your child when he reads sometimes. Let them read to you if it makes them happy, and ask them questions about what you both have read. Test their knowledge as you do so. Don’t be too harsh either rather, let it be a fun interaction for yourself and your child.
6. Understand your child
Oftentimes than not, some children find it hard to understand things on their own. It is up to you to notice this trait and get extra help for your child if needed. A tutor to put them through the things they fail to understand or correct their errors might be the solution to their problems.
7. Check their books
This also boils down to understanding your child. For you to understand your child, you need to check their notebooks constantly. If possible, every last day of the week. This provides an avenue for you to see your child’s errors and find ways to correct them.
If these errors have been repeated more than once, focus on that topic with them and learn together. As time goes on, have little quizzes with them at intervals, so they don’t forget what they have learned again.
8. Know your child’s teacher(s)
When taking your child to a school, try to know your child’s teacher. Make the teacher understand that you will like to be aware of any issues your child might face in school. This is all for your child’s development. There are times children won’t want to speak up about things that might have gone wrong throughout their day. The teachers serve as a link to your child’s development in school.
9. Attend parent-teacher meetings
Try not to be too busy to attend this meeting as it provides you with information about the school and its regulations. It serves as an avenue for parents to air their opinions on the school and the teachers and vice versa.
It’s not advisable to have someone else attend in your place as this will only prevent you from knowing the people in the school system. Attendance allows you to hear things for yourself and even air your opinions on subject matters.
10. Expect more
There is a thing like parental expectations. It doesn’t have to involve you demanding that your child be the first in their class but supporting and motivating them with your words and actions.
Let your child know that you expect them to do their best so they’ll feel proud of whatever they come out with. They will be moved to work harder and improve themselves.
11. Take advantage of the holidays
As much as holidays are for relaxation and family time, don’t forget that it’s also the perfect time for your child to brush up on themselves. It’s the time for them to learn new things, visit the library and find interesting books. It’s not meant to be for relaxation alone.
The time your child spends learning new things and studying for the next semester will definitely pay off as they’ll have grasped the primary level of the things they’re going to be taught in their next semester.
Also, it is the perfect time for your child to develop new intellectual skills either by playing games like Scrabble or even learning how to follow a recipe from scratch.
12. Efforts should be rewarded rather than output
When you know how long it took your child to grasp a topic, how determined they were to get it, and how happy they are now that they have, you’ll realize that rewarding them for their efforts is worth it.
When you reward a child for the output alone, he might feel relaxed and decide not to put in much effort. They might rely on someone else to put in that effort for them, which shouldn’t be so.
Rewards your child by letting them play with video games or letting them watch TV. With children, anything fun can be considered a reward.
13. Don’t compare your child to their mates or peers
Many parents do this to light a burning flame in their child’s heads by comparing them to someone who did better than they did. This act not only reduces your child’s self-esteem but it breeds envy in their minds. It makes them lazier and uninterested rather than serving as a boost.
Solution? Don’t. Don’t belittle your child’s efforts by comparing them to someone else. Correct them and encourage them to do better at their own pace.
14. Encourage your child to use their devices to learn
A lot of children now have access to smartphones, laptops, and other devices. These devices are very useful as they are the key to thousands of information that can help your child learn—from study apps to articles on things that will surely pique their interest.
It’s not bad to add variety to the things they learn as long as it’s educational. This helps increase your child’s interest in learning new things in their free time and broadening their knowledge.
15. Lead by example
The only way your child will find the will to succeed is if they see those traits in you as their parents. If you’re hardworking, successful in your life path, you become an inspiration to your child.
Make out time to read as well. It could be a novel or a kid’s book. Just read. When they see you do these things, they pick up the traits as well because they want to better themselves as you have.
No mentally healthy child is dumb. Children are smart and can grow to become even smarter if parents lend a helping hand to guide them.
For a child struggling with school, your role as a parent in helping cannot be overlooked.
Children can sometimes be slow. Be patient with them. Be loving; a healthy learning environment makes the difference.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash