Signs Your Child is Struggling at School

Signs Your Child is Struggling at School

Starting a new school year can be an adjustment for kids of any age. Some may take a little longer to get into the swing of things or struggle to keep up with schoolwork. As a parent, being aware of signs of trouble can help you provide support early on. Here are some indicators your child may be having difficulties at school and ways you can help.

Declining Grades

One of the most obvious red flags is a sudden drop in your child’s grades. This could indicate they are having trouble grasping new academic concepts or are struggling to stay focused in class. Try talking with your child to understand where they are having problems. Also, reach out to their teacher – they can tell you if your child seems distracted in class or needs extra help in certain subjects. Setting up regular study sessions at home or hiring a tutor can help fill in any gaps.

Avoiding School

Children who repeatedly complain of headaches, stomachaches or other ailments to avoid going to school could have deeper issues. Anxiety about schoolwork, difficulty socialising or even bullying are common reasons kids avoid school. Make sure to comfort your child and explain that you want to help them address the underlying problem. Inform their teacher and work together on identifying causes and solutions. In some cases, counselling may be advised to help address severe anxiety, depression or learning disabilities.

Lack of Homework Completion

When a previously responsible child stops regularly completing homework, it may signal problems. Difficulty understanding directions, lack of motivation or inadequate time management skills can affect work. Sit down with your child and create a homework schedule to help them establish a routine. Offer encouragement and check in to make sure they understand assignments. If their struggles persist, confer with their teacher to see if modifications like extended time or tutoring are options.

Disciplinary Issues

Frequent detentions, calls home regarding behaviour, or suspension can point to several concerns. Some kids act out because they are bored or understimulated. For others, behavioural problems are tied to learning disabilities, mental health issues like ADHD, or problems socialising. Discuss behaviour expectations with your child. Work with their teacher to find them positive outlets like clubs or sports. Counselling and behavioural therapy may also help address social skill deficits and manage conditions like ADHD.

Talk to your social worker if you are fostering with Fosterplus, as they can support you and offer insights that may help.

Additional Warning Signs

Here are a few more subtle signs that your child may be having trouble at school:

  • Lack of interest in school, complaints that school is “boring”
  • Declining interest in hobbies and activities they previously enjoyed
  • Withdrawing from friends and social situations
  • Trouble sleeping with no clear cause
  • Increased irritability, anger or moodiness
  • Expressions of low self-esteem or not feeling good enough

While some struggles are normal, significant changes in mood, behaviour or interest in school could indicate deeper issues. Don’t dismiss them as simply “going through a phase”. Check in with your child and their teacher to identify areas of concern.

If you spot any of these warning signs, take steps to help your child get back on track for success. Communicate openly with your child and their teachers. With your support, they can overcome obstacles and thrive at school.

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