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Most parents understand occasional poor grades are simply a part of growing up. But if the problems persist, it may stem from your child’s struggle with the learning process itself. In these cases, it’s best to hire a professional tutor to help them reach their full academic potential.
How can you tell the difference between ordinary struggles and a more fundamental problem that can only be solved with tutoring?
Here are a few of the things to watch out for:
- Suddenly declining grades
While poor marks can indicate a need for a tutor, a sudden drop in your child’s performance is more concerning. If your child’s grades drop sharply, this could mean they’ve missed a fundamental concept.
Many teachers are unable to give your child the personalized attention necessary to find out what they missed, and it’s tricky for your child to identify the problem on their own. Without finding the problem, your child’s marks could continue to suffer over the long term, which is discouraging and could cause them to perform worse in other classes. It’s best to consult a tutor right away to get them back on track.
- Difficulty getting started
Does your child sit down to work on homework and then spend an hour or more doing anything but their assignment? A lack of motivation when it comes to schoolwork is often more serious than simply not wanting to do the work. Frequently, it indicates a child is so frustrated with their schoolwork it’s become debilitating and demoralizing. This could be due to any number of things, and it’s often best solved by bringing in a professional tutor who can help your child break down topics and learn material effectively.
- Spending more time on homework
Another sign of trouble is when your child takes much longer than necessary to complete assignments. Taking more time on homework without an improvement in their grades may indicate your child is lagging behind and doesn’t know how to complete the assignment, and it’s a good time to call in a tutor.
- Doesn’t enjoy learning or school
Comments like “I hate school” are often dismissed as simply “kid talk” or “teenager talk,” but if these comments are made frequently, they could underscore a more significant problem. Nobody likes to do poorly or get bad marks, but after repeated subpar report cards, your child may turn their frustrations toward school itself, or conclude that they simply “don’t have the right brain” for a particular subject. If this is happening with your child, it’s a good idea to look into tutoring. Tutors can help your child learn better whivh can make all the difference in their attitude toward school.
- Behavioral issues
Sometimes frustrations with school and learning can manifest in more extreme ways than just negative attitudes and comments. If your child is acting out in class, frequently tardy, or skipping classes or school altogether, this is a sign of a significant problem than you may not be able to solve on your own.
It’s always important to keep an open line of communication with your child so you can understand where their behavior stems from. It could be a sign of more significant problems with your child, but if you suspect it might be due to their performance in school, hiring a tutor may quell their frustrations and get them excited about school once more.
- Input from teachers
You don’t need to be alone in discerning whether your child needs outside help to improve their grades; teachers can be an excellent source of input. Attending parent-teacher interviews is an excellent opportunity to ask your child’s teacher about their conduct in the classroom and their academic struggles. Your child’s teacher may have already identified the problem, and they could be taking steps to help your child learn more effectively, but if the problem is more significant than they can handle with their schedule, ask if they recommend hiring a tutor.
One of the biggest struggles as a parent is understanding how to help your struggling child. While the occasional poor test score or essay grade is part of growing and maturing as a student, it’s important to know what broader patterns may point to a more fundamental struggle your child is having with learning itself. We often like to think we can help our child get through anything that comes their way, but sometimes extra – and professional – help is the best move to make for your child.