Diaries Magazine

What to Do When Your Child is Struggling in School

Posted on the 19 October 2019 by Sparklesandstretchmarks @raine_fairy
There is nothing as heartbreaking as watching a young child struggle with their homework day-in and day-out. But what is the best way you as a parent can support them? Should you encourage them to face the struggle on their own, or bring in outside help?
This post will explore a question that most parents have wrestled with at one point or another: whether or not to hire a private tutor. Yes, it is possible to improve your grades with a private tutor if you find one who has the necessary experience and a passion for teaching, but can it result in children losing confidence and feeling even worse about themselves?
This is an understandable concern. Lots of parents worry that well-meaning interventions that are supposed to provide them with extra support will backfire by making children feel different or even inferior to their peers.
Fortunately, all the evidence suggests that the opposite is the case — that hiring a private tutor will not only help your child overcome their educational challenges, but will also boost their general academic confidence. What to Do When Your Child is Struggling in School

How Anxiety Makes it Hard for Kids to Learn

Think back to your own schooldays for a moment: do you remember ever feeling anxious at the mere thought of having to go to math class, or reading club? Anxiety is intimately linked to problems in academic performance, and if you want to get to the root of struggles in school, it often means addressing their anxieties. 
Unfortunately, anxiety in children isn’t always easy to recognize. In one child, it could manifest as screaming tantrums, while another might hide it with apathy. In some kids, it results in crippling headaches or other physical ailments.
If your child is having a hard time in school, it’s important to find out what the true nature of the problem is: do they simply not understand the material, or are they suffering from an anxiety-induced mental block that is making it difficult for them to even read their homework assignments?
Studies have shown that anxiety can actually reduce students’ capacity to learn, so your struggling child may not lack the ability to understand their lessons — they might just be very anxious.

Why Tutoring Can Help

The anxieties your child is struggling with are compounded by the fact that school is also a social setting. Admitting ignorance is hard for all of us, but it’s triply hard when you have to do so in front of a room full of your peers. This often leads kids to hide their struggles, which creates an emotional feedback loop where the anxiety only gets worse.  
One of the reasons tutoring can help not only overcome the academic challenges, but the anxiety challenges as well, is because it provides a safe space where children can confront the problems with one-on-one support.
Tutors can help kids move at their own pace, dealing with the task in small, manageable steps. And when tutoring is done in the home, they have the added benefit of having other figures of comfort and support around as well.
Parents often feel powerless when their kids have a hard time in school. It can be hard to know how you can help, or even understand what the problem is.
If you’re in this situation, don’t let the problem get worse: find a local tutor who can help your kids confront their anxieties head-on and build the confidence they need to succeed in school and feel fulfilled in life. 
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