When your child is falling behind, it’s possible that you and their teachers may not immediately recognize what’s happening. Instead, you could be blaming their teachers for not giving your child enough individual attention, blaming your child for not paying attention in class or doing their homework, or you may be blaming yourself for not noticing what’s happening. Under some circumstances, you may also be feigning ignorance by also stating your child doesn’t do well with a particular subject, like math or spelling.
How Can You Become a More Proactive Parent?
Instead of making excuses or placing blame, it’s crucial for you to become proactive with your child’s education. The first step is engaging in conversation with your child’s teacher to determine where your child is falling behind and how you can help. If they’re not responsive, you can involve your child’s principal or guidance counselor. You can also seek help from an accredited academic or after-school tutoring service to help your child catch up and prevent them from falling behind again.
Math Genie's math, common core and English Language Arts program has been helping children get ahead and stay ahead for over 10 years. In our classes your child will be getting the individualized attention they need. We work with each child to foster confidence and strengthen every area of math and reading. If you see your child is falling behind in school a good first step would be to set up a free assessment at Math Genie to see what specifically your child is struggling with and how you can help.
Having conversations with other parents whose child may also be experiencing the same thing is also helpful. If you have time in your schedule, it may also be beneficial if you become a volunteer or substitute teacher in your child’s school so you can see what their learning environment is like and take a hands-on approach regarding their education.
Ask the Right Questions
It's essential for you to ask the right questions when your child returns home from school. Instead of asking "yes or no" questions, you should ask those that will engage your child in conversation. For example:
Don't: ask questions about grades. These are available on your child’s progress reports and report cards.
Do: ask questions about how they feel regarding the work they're doing, as well as the progress they're making.
Don't: ask your child if they had a good day. A question like this will elicit a yes or no response.
Do: ask which subject they found most enjoyable, why, and which subjects they have homework in that night.
Don't: ask your child why they aren't completing assignments. In doing so, they'll feel intimidated and shut down.
Do: ask your child what subjects they're excelling in, where they feel the strongest academically, and why they believe they can't complete other assignments despite those different strengths.
Don't: ask your child to have conferences with their teacher. It's your responsibility to check in with teachers during their earlier years.
Do: ask your child's teacher if they need extra help with their studies, how well they're coping during class, and why they believe they're falling behind.
Become a Positive Role Model
Sometimes, when children are falling behind, it’s because they lack confidence in their skills or abilities. Therefore, it’s vital for you to become a positive role model by maintaining a positive attitude and always instill confidence in your child. It isn’t uncommon for children to grow incredibly critical of their work and develop an, “I can’t do this,” attitude when things challenge them too much. During these instances, it’s especially important for you to support them, so they stay on track.