If you are concerned that your child is falling behind at school, it is never too early to take action.
One of the worst mistakes a parent can make in regard to their child’s education is to ignore any issues until they are too late. In NSW, the curriculum is delivered via learning progressions, meaning falling too far behind could potentially cause a harmful ripple effect across a child’s entire education. Think about it like building a home, if you do not lay the proper foundations the entire house could collapse.
Check ‘in’ the moment they check ‘out’
It is hard to publish a definitive checklist of warning signs that a child may be falling behind, as every individual is different, however, there is a general consensus among teachers that one of the most common traits that a child may be struggling is their withdrawal from some or all subject areas. Examples of this may include assignments not being attempted, class exercises left incomplete and homework largely ignored. The moment that you discover that your child is no longer attempting to make effort that may be an indication that they are at risk of falling behind.
Ask about their day
One of the best ways parents can discover their child’s danger subjects is to ask them about their day. For example, if your child will talk about English and History in detail, but refuses to talk about Maths, then you have an idea of a possible area of study you’ll need to check they are focusing. Failing to talk about a subject may be a good early indicator that a child is disinterested and that it’s time for a parent to examine if their child is engaged and has developed the skills, knowledge and understanding to continue moving through the prescribed activities.
When it comes to examining how your child is doing at school, it is important to form a constructive partnership with your child’s teacher. By being informed on what their child is doing in the classroom, parents can better engage with their children at home. Building this relationship may benefit a student’s academic performance if they have a champion parent at home.
Clean and routine
Another key factor that may assist a student to maintain their academic performance is a clean environment and a set in stone routine. Provide clear boundaries and expectations of your child, while expecting them to do their homework at a set time, which is more likely to happen in a clean room or workspace. The reason for this is twofold, may not only assist them in reaching their potential, but any noticeable break in this routine can act as a signal that assistance maybe needed.
Set an example
As parents, you need to remember you are the most constant example of how to behave as an adult that your children will see. In this role, it is vital that you do not emphasize only your child’s achievements, but also support them on their educational journey, rewarding the effort and process above the result. Another strategy is to help your child set realistic expectations, look not at what is the world best, but the best they can do. Setting unrealistic goals may damage your child when they do not achieve them while instilling in them the confidence to keep improving will set them up for the jobs of the future, where our children will be expected to retrain and continue their education throughout their working lives.