Your child has gone through a lot of changes in the past few years, and now they have made it to the third grade. However, even if your child didn’t struggle in first or second grade, you may notice they are suddenly having a hard time in school. This is often called the “Matthew effect,” a reference to the passage in the Bible stating that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Third grade is the point at which your child’s successes and challenges will have accumulated and paid off, good or bad.
Third grade is the time when students are expected to know how to read effectively and to move to the next steps where they engage with and learn from texts. They are given books filled with information they have to decipher and pull from instead of books they are reading for practice or to learn the mechanics of words. This all amounts to an effect where your child could have been doing just fine up until this point, and seemingly overnight, they are struggling.
Signs of Trouble
You may notice that their grades have slipped a lot, or their teacher may be giving you feedback about their dip in performance. Additionally, your child may suddenly be spending either way too much time on their homework, or may have stopped doing it altogether. If they are frustrated because they do not understand the assignments or the material, they will quickly disengage and even refuse to do their work. They may even complain of boredom; if they don’t know what’s going on in class or with their work, they can’t get interested or engaged in the topics.
There is also the possibility that your child has learning differences that are starting to come to light. In first and second grade, a lot of learning differences and challenges can go unnoticed because your child is doing the minimum required to pass their tests and get fair grades, but when third grade comes around, this is no longer enough to get by.
How You Can Help
Your child may need a more individualized approach by third grade. If you suspect your child has learning differences such as dyslexia or ADHD, your first step should be to talk to a doctor. Professional advice will be essential in helping your child move forward in third grade and beyond.
You can also make an action plan with your child’s teacher, or even with their school as a whole. There could be many simple adjustments you and your child’s teacher can make to help smooth out the learning process so your child can learn comfortably. This may be challenging in larger classrooms, however.
The next thing you can do is enroll your child in Math Genie. Whether your child is struggling in one area or several, the dedicated teachers at Math Genie know how to give each student individualized attention without missing out on the classroom environment. The teachers give the students and their parents helpful feedback with each lesson, with plenty of workbooks to help your child practice what they’re learning. They will also get feedback and support from their classmates, boosting their confidence and giving them a positive experience they can fall back on.