Help and AdviceTutoringstruggling at school

Children are notoriously good at masking problems they are having, particularly when they are embarrassed, scared, or don’t want others to know what they are having difficulty with. For this reason, it can sometimes be tricky to spot when your child is struggling at school until the issue reaches a tipping point.

When your child starts to struggle at school, whether it be with their work, friends or an extra-curricular activity, it is imperative to provide support by getting them the help they need as soon as possible. Particularly if your child is struggling academically, the longer the issue is left, the worse it gets, as the curriculum is designed for subject content and concepts to build upon previous learning.  Hope Tutoring provides one one-on-one education for students in Brisbane and remotely.

This blog describes common signs your child might display if they are struggling at school, so you can know what to look for and be able to recognise a potential issue more easily. The earlier you recognise a change or altered behaviour pattern, the sooner you can find out what has prompted it and the faster it can be rectified.

How to Tell if Your Child is Struggling at School – Signs from your Child

Your Child might be Struggling at School if they:

Refuse to Discuss School

If you notice that all of a sudden, your child is reluctant to discuss school, or changes the subject to avoid talking about school, this can be a sign of a problem. Children naturally don’t like to discuss things that make them feel bad, or things they’re embarrassed about, which is unfortunately a common response to struggling at school.

Additionally, if they are only having trouble in a specific area, that subject might become off-limits for discussion, so watch out for avoidance of particular topics too.

Have Increased Anxiety, especially surrounding School

Increased anxiety about school can also indicate that something is not right. This can present in a multitude of ways, such as not wanting to go to school or school refusal, pretending to be sick to stay home, crying or meltdowns before school, difficulty getting ready in the morning or delaying going to school.

Additionally, increased separation anxiety, not wanting to leave a parent or being more clingy can also be a sign of school anxiety, as can school-based nightmares or difficulty eating and sleeping. Increased anxiety at school can indicate that your child is struggling with classroom expectations, their peers, friendships or the content/ workload.

Complain of Being Bored at School

A child complaining about being bored at school is usually interpreted by adults as stemming from being ‘too far ahead’ of their peers, and hence not being challenged by their classwork, resulting in boredom, however it is far more commonly a sign that your child is struggling academically.

Boredom can be a coping mechanism for children who don’t understand the work they are doing, and is an excuse often used for why they haven’t done their work. It is also caused when a child is too far behind to comprehend enough of the material or lesson to concentrate, so they become completely disengaged.

Therefore, it is important to discover the source of the boredom, the first step of which is recognising that it might be an indication that your child is struggling at school.

Suddenly Change their Attitude Towards School

If your child’s attitude towards school suddenly shifts, particularly in a negative way, such as being angry, frightened, stressed or distant about school, it is a sure sign they are having a hard time. When a child who previously enjoyed school no longer wants to be there, it is a clear indicator that they are struggling, whether that be academically, behaviourally or socially.

Are ‘Misbehaving’ at School

Behaviour at school can also be an indication of a child struggling academically, as when children are having difficulty understanding classwork, they feel vulnerable, and are therefore in a more heightened state, making them more likely to lash out or ‘misbehave’. Situations like this must be approached with compassion and understanding, and it is vital that the child is not scolded or disciplined for ‘being naughty’, when it is the only way they are able to communicate that they are not coping. The good news here is that once the root of the issue is identified and a plan is put in place to help, behaviour changes usually resolve quickly.

How to Tell if Your Child is Struggling at School – External Signs

Your Child might be Struggling at School if:

They can’t complete their Homework, or it takes them an excessive amount of time to do so

Not being able to do their homework, or spending an excessive amount of time on homework is a warning sign that your child is struggling academically at school. In primary school, excluding reading, children usually have about 10 minutes of homework per grade level each week, and it should always be comprised of tasks that are an appropriate level to be completed independently.

Their grades drop

This is a bit of an obvious point, but is sometimes overlooked by parents as their child simply lacking in motivation or not understanding the importance of their education yet. A pattern of low grades indicates that your child is struggling at school and needs help.

Remember, you know your child best, so if you think there’s something more going on, you are most likely correct. It’s always better to be proactive than reactive – so even if your child isn’t struggling yet, there’s never any harm in setting them up for success by giving them extra supports such as tutoring.

Hope Tutoring learning support tutor builds confidence and capability to ensure your child is thriving in their education. If you are looking for remote or Brisbane tutoring contact us today.