Contributed by Aimee Claire
Most children will struggle with their studies at some point.
Although this is common universally, parents still fret over their child’s performance in school. Sometimes, a child who was initially focused and attentive in his or her studies can suddenly become unenthusiastic about schoolwork. Other children may have problems from the beginning and struggle to catch up with their peers.
Certain subjects give students more difficulties than others. The most challenging subjects include mathematics (algebra, trigonometry and statistics), science subjects (especially physics, chemistry and biology), foreign languages and English. Children in lower grades may struggle with spelling and reading.
When a child encounters difficulties in their studies, their normal reactions include anger, frustration and feeling overwhelmed. If the situation fails to improve, their grades, confidence and self-esteem suffer. The child might become withdrawn and resentful towards school.
It is therefore imperative that the child’s parents find a solution early enough to prevent further upheaval in their child’s life.
How to Help with a Child's Education
The parents of children who are struggling academically need to get to the root of the problem. Such parents should also try to giving thier children space to vent their frustrations.
There are various methods available to help children improve their performance:
- Help with homework. In some cases, all that a struggling child needs is a little help with homework. Parents should ensure that there is a set time for homework and should monitor their children to note any difficulties.
- Extra activities at home. Parents of children who are having learning difficulties should engage them in other enjoyable activities. They can make learning fun by helping them to read aloud or with different art and craft projects.
- Being checked for learning disabilities. Sometimes children fall behind in their academic work because of underlying conditions such as ADHD or dyslexia. Parents might find it useful to get their child tested for these conditions.
- Hiring a tutor. Parents who choose this route need to select a specialized tutor for a specific subject. For example, a specialised math tutor can help the child to gain a better understanding of difficult math concepts. Tutors are also a good option since they are not as emotionally invested in the child as the parents are.
The Benefits of Tutoring to a Child
Tutoring has both academic and emotional benefits for the child. These include:
- A more individualized learning experience in relaxed surroundings with fewer distractions. This means that shy children can ask questions leading to a better understanding of the subject.
- Individualized learning which can help the tutor to identify and focus on specific problem areas and to work on them with the student. This means the tutor can bring the child up to speed with his or her academic work.
- Receiving one-on-one attention means that the child is able to learn quickly and cover more of the subject matter.
- Increased enthusiasm and an improved attitude towards the subject.
- Improved grades and performance in school. This in turn leads to greater confidence and self-esteem in the child.
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