Rarely do children sail from kindergarten through 12th grade without challenges along the way. However, there are typical academic hurdles that teach children about perseverance and asking for help, and then there are big struggles that need intervention. How can you recognize a problem that requires more than just a bit of additional effort on your child’s part?
Here are six signs that your child likely needs tutoring help:
Poor study skills
Is your child helpless when it comes to starting on homework each night? Does he or she struggle to prioritize homework and waste time on meaningless tasks? Study habits are not inherent for most students and must be taught and practiced. Look at your child’s notes and in-class worksheets and watch how he or she approaches homework.
Sharp decline in grades
Occasional bad grades on homework and tests happen even to the best of students and are nothing to get overly concerned about. But grades that get worse quickly might indicate that your child lacks basic skills and is having a hard time keeping up in the classroom.
Homework takes a long time
Your child’s teacher(s) can tell you what is considered a reasonable time for homework, but a good rule of thumb is 20 minutes per night in first grade and 10 additional minutes per grade thereafter. If your fourth-grader is spending more than an hour on homework each night, but the grades don’t reflect the effort, you should investigate.
Lots of time-wasting
Does your child have difficulty getting started on homework just about every night? Is procrastination a frequent problem? These are indicators a child is either avoiding work because he or she doesn’t understand something or has a learning issue.
Anger and apathy
Every child gets frustrated by homework sometimes, but take note of excessive exasperation or anxiety. If your child used to enjoy school and now seems uninterested or upset whenever you try to help with homework, explore what’s going on behind the scenes.
Regular declarations of feeling too sick to go to school. Dismissiveness when school comes up in conversation. Skipped homework (or frequent claims that no homework was assigned). All are signs that your child is losing interest in school. That avoidance could stem from school struggles. Talk with your child to understand what’s actually happening.
Obviously the biggest “red flag” that your child needs help is a poor report card, but there are plenty of indicators along the way. If you suspect that your child is having problems in school between report cards, speak to the teacher to learn more about what he or she sees.
You also should call Huntington. We can help identify the root of school problems and design a targeted program of instruction to close any skill gaps and rebuild your child’s confidence. Call us to learn more about how we can help your child at 800-CAN-LEARN.
Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, algebra through calculus, chemistry and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams. Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence and motivation to help students succeed and meet the needs of Common Core State Standards. Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible. Learn how Huntington can help at www.huntingtonhelps.com. For franchise opportunities, visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com.
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