10 Warning Signs Your Child is Falling Behind at School
One of the most common questions I get asked by parents is - how do I know if my child is falling behind at school?
It isn’t an easy question to answer and depends on the age of the child but there are some warning signs to look out for.
10 Warning Signs Your Child May Be Falling Behind at School
1. Poor Grades
The obvious sign that your child is falling behind in their classwork is low grades. If your kids' results have dropped significantly or are consistently below satisfactory achievement, then it’s time to step in.
Schedule a meeting with your child's teacher to discuss their learning. Some questions you might like to ask are:
- Are they completing the work on time?
- Are they getting distracted?
- Are they mucking around or chatting to their friends?
- Is there a recent change in their emotions or behaviour at school?
- Are there any friendship issues happening?
Ask the teacher for suggestions on how they could improve their grades. Work with your child and their teacher to develop a learning plan to improve their grades, setting achievable SMART goals and providing extra support where needed.
Children rarely catch up to their grade level without some kind of learning intervention. It’s a good idea to start supporting them straight away to minimise the impact on their education. ,To find out more about how tutoring can help your child, book a call with Wise Owl Tuition today.
2. Struggling to Keep Up With Homework or Assignments
Another sign that your child may be falling behind at school is if they are struggling to keep up with their classwork, homework or assignments. They might:
- Take longer than usual to complete homework
- Delay starting their homework or assignments.
- Frequently need help with homework and assignments
- Not finishing assignments or not finishing assignments on time.
If you notice your child is struggling with their classwork, you can help them by creating a homework and study timetable that includes a dedicated time for school work. Speak to their teacher or encourage them to ask for help in class if they don’t understand.
3. Difficulty Concentrating
If your child has difficulty concentrating in class, they may be missing important information and falling behind as a result. This could manifest as daydreaming, fidgeting, or difficulty staying focused for age appropriate times.
To help your child concentrate at school you can:
- Make sure they eat a healthy breakfast
- Pack a nutritious snacks
- Ensure they get a good night’s sleep
- Reduce screen time, particularly before school
- Talking to your child's teacher about strategies to help them focus in class, such as sitting at the front of the class or taking regular brain breaks
- Encourage your child to practice mindfulness or other relaxation techniques to help them stay calm and focused.
4. Lack of Engagement
If your child starts to complain about going to school, shows little interest in school or appears disengaged in class, they may be struggling to keep up.
Did you know that studies have shown that children start becoming disengaged with school by Year 2?
Encourage your child to find topics they are interested in and explore them further outside of school. You can also try to make learning fun and engaging by incorporating games or other interactive activities at home. For example, if your child is struggling with maths, you can use fun math games or apps to help them learn in a more engaging way.
5. Behavior Changes
If your child's behavior has changed, and they are more irritable, moody, or withdrawn, this could be a sign that they are struggling at school and feeling frustrated or overwhelmed.
Encourage your child to talk to you or a trusted adult about their feelings. Ask their teacher for a meeting to discuss if there is anything happening at school, and share your concerns.
Consider seeking the help of a counselor or mental health professional if you are concerned about your child's emotional well-being. There are places you can go for help such as your GP, or head to these websites like:
6. Avoiding School Activities
If your child frequently avoids school-related activities, such as studying, participating in class discussions, or attending extracurricular activities, it could be a sign that they are struggling and feeling discouraged. It is important to have a conversation with your child to understand why they are avoiding these activities and provide them with support and encouragement to participate in school-related activities.
7. Difficulty with Core Skills
If your child is struggling with core skills, like reading, writing, or maths, it may be a sign that they are falling behind their grade level. Consider seeking extra help from their teacher, a tutor, or online resources to help your child catch up. Encourage your child to practice these skills regularly, make a big deal of their efforts with stickers, praise, reward charts, and special prizes.
Lack of organisation is a sign that your child might be having some trouble with school. Poor organisational skills can make it difficult for your child to keep track of homework, remember important dates and deadlines, and manage their time. This can lead to missed assignments, poor grades, and increased stress and anxiety.
You can help your child improve their organisational skills, by teaching them how to use tools like planners, calendars, and to-do lists. Encourage them to use these o stay on top of their responsibilities and plan their time effectively.
Help your them to establish a routine for completing homework and studying, and ensure that they have a quiet and comfortable space to work in.
If you aren’t sure how to help them with planning and organsation, our Ace Highschool group class is just the thing for them. In this class we teach students how to plan and organise themselves so they can stay on top of their work and not become overwhelmed.
9. Low self-esteem
Another sign to look out for is low self esteem or confidence. This can show up as:
- reluctance to participate in class,
- avoiding challenging assignments,
- fear of failure,
- school refusal,
- negative attitude towards school and school activities.
To help your child build their confidence and self-esteem encourage them and celebrate their successes, no matter how small.
Tutoring is a fantastic way to help your child build confidence. By working with a small group or 1:1 they get the special attention they need to boost their self esteem and develop their core skills.
10. Complaining About Being Bored at School
If your kiddo is complaining about being bored at school it can be a sign of two things. The first is that they are not being challenged academically. The second is that they have actually become disengaged or feel that they can’t do the work.
It is not common that children are not being challenged enough although it does happen, especially if they are particular strengths in one area of the curriculum.
The best idea is to make an appointment with their teacher and find out how they are going. If they are not being challenged enough you could ask that they are given enrichment tasks.
If they are becoming disengaged or experiencing low confidence then you could try some of the recommendations above.
There are so many warning signs that your child might not be keeping up with school. Like everything they depend on their age and particular circumstances. The best thing to do is talk with your child and their teacher to get to the bottom of it early. By encouraging your child to stay motivated, you can help your child succeed academically and achieve their full potential.
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