7 Tips For How to Help a Child Struggling Academically

It is key to adopt a proactive and supportive approach when addressing the challenge of helping a child struggling academically. Academic difficulties can arise from various factors, such as learning disabilities, lack of motivation, or inadequate support systems. However, significant improvements can be achieved with the proper strategies and interventions.

This article explores key tips of how to help a child struggling academically, providing insights into practical methods and approaches that can positively affect their educational progress.

1. Encourage Children in Daily Conversation

Parents can learn how to help a child struggling academically by fostering strong bonds with their children and supporting their overall well-being through regular conversations about their everyday experiences.

Encourage Children in Daily Conversation

Below are some suggestions to effectively encourage children in daily conversation:

  • Spend Time Daily: Dedicate a few minutes each day to talk and listen to your children attentively, showing patience and love.
  • Understand Their World: Take the time to comprehend your children’s interests, friends, activities, and music preferences.
  • Show Affection: Express love through gestures like hugs, praise, and spending quality time together.
  • Discuss Media: Discuss family discussions about books, newspapers, magazines, and TV programs, sharing insights and opinions.
  • Visit Educational Places: Explore libraries, museums, zoos, and other educational sites as a family to encourage learning.
  • Encourage Vocabulary Expansion: Make learning new words a fun family activity, promoting language development and curiosity.

2. Establish a Study Routine for Your Child at Home

A well-defined schedule helps children manage their time effectively and develop disciplined study habits. Parents should include study time in their daily routines to foster a conducive learning environment.

Establish a Study Routine for Your Child at Home

Here are how to help a child struggling academically through a study routine:

  • Make Study Time a Family Value: Establish daily study time as a family routine, regardless of homework assignments.
  • Follow a Daily Routine: Structure the day with designated times for eating, sleeping, playing, working, studying, and reading.
  • Provide a Quiet Study Space: Designate a well-lit area at home for studying and reading, free from distractions.
  • Engage in Educational Activities: Foster family interests in hobbies, games, and educational activities to promote learning and bonding.

3. Supervise Your Child’s Study Habits

“My child is really struggling in school; how can I help them?” Tracking their child’s academic progress allows parents to identify challenges and provide necessary support. Prioritising education empowers parents to help their children form a positive outlook on learning and responsibility.

Supervise Your Child's Study Habits

To effectively supervise your child’s learning, parents can implement these strategies:

  • Prioritise Schoolwork Over Screen Time: Set reasonable limits on television, computer, and phone usage to ensure ample academic time.
  • Emphasise Punctuality: Encourage timely completion of assignments and punctual attendance to school activities.
  • Promote Responsibility: Instill good study habits and a positive attitude towards learning, praising effort and diligence.
  • Model Proper Language Use: Demonstrate correct language usage and courtesy in communication with your child.
  • Stay Informed and Involved: Regularly communicate with teachers, review report cards, and attend parent-teacher conferences to track your child’s progress.

4. Communicate with Teachers to Support Your Child Better

Regular interactions with educators provide insights into your child’s academic performance and behaviour. Working together can assist parents and teachers in addressing issues and enhancing the child’s learning experience.

Communicate with Teachers to Support Your Child Better

Here are how to help a child struggling academically via communication with teachers to support their child’s education:

  • Attend Conferences: Participate in parent-teacher conferences to discuss your child’s academic performance and progress.
  • Review Report Cards: Discuss concerns or questions regarding your child’s report card with the teacher.
  • Engage in IEP Meetings: Collaborate with teachers in Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings to address your child’s needs.
  • Stay Informed: Keep track of school newsletters, notes, and assignments to stay updated on school activities and requirements.
  • Utilise Communication Channels: Use parent bulletin boards and assignment notebooks to stay connected with the school and teachers.

5. Be More Involved in Your Child’s School and Community

Being actively involved in your child’s school and community activities significantly benefits their academic and social development. Participation in these events fosters a sense of community and belonging.

Be More Involved in Your Child's School and Community

Here’s how to help a child struggling academically with your involvement:

  • Attend School Activities: Participate in events like plays, sports, and award ceremonies to engage with the school community.
  • Volunteer at School: Offer your time and skills to tutor, mentor, or assist in various school activities and events.
  • Participate in Decision Making: To contribute to school policies and initiatives and join parent organisations, committees, or advisory boards.
  • Connect with Other Parents: Build relationships with other parents through school activities, parent education programmes, and community events through the SCO (School Community Organisation).
  • Engage with the Community: Participate in community activities and programs with your child, fostering a sense of belonging and civic responsibility.

6. Oversee Children’s Homework to Understand Their Education

Supervising your child’s homework is a practical way to stay informed about their educational progress. It ensures that they are completing their assignments correctly and understanding the material.

Oversee Children's Homework to Understand Their Education

Here’s how to help a child struggling academically by supervising children’s homework effectively:

  • Maintain a Positive Attitude: Encourage a positive attitude towards homework and emphasise its importance for academic success.
  • Establish a Study Routine: Set aside a consistent time and place for homework, ensuring a conducive environment for concentration.
  • Provide Support: Offer guidance and encouragement while allowing your child to work independently, intervening only when necessary.
  • Stay Informed: Communicate with teachers to understand homework expectations and address any concerns promptly.
  • Reward Progress: Acknowledge and celebrate your child’s hard work and achievements to reinforce positive study habits.

7. Ask for the School’s Report Card for Detailed Information

Reviewing the school’s report card provides valuable insights into its performance and areas needing improvement. This information helps parents understand the educational environment and advocate for necessary changes.

 Ask for the School's Report Card for Detailed Information

Parents can consider the following areas:

  • Students and Instructional Setting: Evaluate class size, teacher qualifications, and instructional support to ensure an optimal learning environment.
  • Academic Performance: Analyse overall student performance and subgroup scores to identify areas for improvement and support.
  • Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP): Assess the school’s progress towards meeting educational goals set by NCLB and inquire about strategies for improvement.
  • Stay Informed: Stay updated on school policies, performance indicators, and opportunities for parental involvement to support your child’s education effectively.

Tips for Educators to Help a Child Struggling Academically at School

Supporting a child struggling in school requires a multifaceted approach that addresses the student’s emotional and academic needs. Educators must recognise signs of academic distress and proactively implement strategies to support the student’s learning journey.

The following tips provide a structured framework for assisting students in overcoming academic challenges.

  • Recognise Behaviours That Affect Student’s Academic Performance: Understand that behaviour reflects underlying issues.
    Observe signs such as frustration during homework or tests, frequent absences, lack of homework completion, low participation, constant tiredness, and declining grades in one or multiple subjects. These indicators can help identify the root causes of academic struggles.
  • Communicate with Students: Engage in individual conversations with the students to understand their perspectives and struggles. Ask questions to uncover why they are having difficulties and how you can support them.
    Approach these discussions with curiosity rather than judgment. Collaboratively brainstorm actionable steps to address the issues. Follow up regularly to show your ongoing support and belief in their potential.
Tips for Educators to Help a Child Struggling Academically at School
  • Communicate with Parents/Guardians: Establish strong relationships with parents to foster trust and cooperation. Invite parents to meetings to discuss the student’s challenges and jointly develop improvement plans.
    Solicit their observations and suggestions, such as ensuring a quiet study environment at home or managing distractions. Maintain consistent communication with parents, not just during times of poor performance.
  • Provide Extra Help at Learning Programme: Schedule additional practice sessions or one-on-one tutoring for the student. Ensure these sessions are productive by having an adult supervisor present to keep the student-focused.
    Pair the student with a consistent tutor familiar with their academic needs and progress, and provide extra resources or practice materials in specific subjects as needed.
Tips for Educators to Help a Child Struggling Academically at School
  • Teach and Support Effective Time Management: Help students develop time management skills to balance their academic workload with other activities. Encourage the use of planners to track assignments and create detailed schedules for the semester and weekly tasks.
    Review these schedules regularly to ensure they are followed and make necessary adjustments.
  • Monitor Student Performance: Create a shared document to track the student’s progress toward specific academic goals involving the student, parents, and teachers. This document can include metrics such as homework completion, class participation, and attendance at extra help sessions. For older students, encourage them to update this to foster accountability and self-monitoring actively.

Support Your Child’s Academic Performance with UNIS Hanoi

The UNIS Hanoi curriculum, rooted in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme from Early Years to Grade 12, is designed to develop individual talents and connect classroom experiences to real-world contexts.

UNIS Hanoi aims to foster academic and personal growth by emphasising international understanding, responsible citizenship, and a process-oriented approach to learning.

Support Your Child's Academic Performance with UNIS Hanoi

If you are seeking how to help a child struggling academically, our comprehensive and integrated curriculum, combined with dedicated support services, can effectively address and support your child’s unique learning needs.

Contact us to learn how we can assist in enhancing your child’s academic performance.

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UNIS Communication Team
UNIS Communication Team
UNIS Hanoi is ever-evolving, but one thing that remains is our passion to nurture and equip students to be agents of change for a better world.

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