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Help Your Child Deal with Another Bad Report Card

sad boy with school backpackIf third quarter progress reports reflect another difficult school session, you need to stop and consider the impact this is having on you and your child.

Chronically poor performance in school makes report card time painful and discouraging, so as the parent, you need to prepare for the emotions that may surface in both you and your child when he or she receives a bad report card.

Be Positive With and About Your Child

If you have ever had a job you found difficult, but you still needed to show up for it every day, this may be the exact grind your child faces in school. Combine that with poor progress reports and your child’s motivation, self-confidence, and belief in their ability to succeed are all be at risk.

Homework struggles and anxiety over your child’s future may limit your view of your child when he or she needs you the most. This makes it critical for you to pause and reflect on your child’s good qualities.

Build a list of what they do well and things you love about him or her. Then make it a point to tell your child several times a day what you love about them and the things they do well. Your goal is to re-frame your view and, most importantly, your child’s view of themselves.

Combine Short-Term Goals with a Long-Term Perspective

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is an education. As a parent, your job is to help guide daily activities that build toward long-term success while nurturing your child’s unique gifts and dreams.

This may mean revising short-term expectations to a more achievable level, breaking goals into many small milestones, and setting goals in areas other than school. Do this so you and your child can frequently celebrate progress, and, if a goal or milestone is missed, it is easier to try again because there are more opportunities succeed.

You will also be well prepared for the year-end report card, ready to see and celebrate the effort of your child no matter what is shown on his or her final marks.

Seek Outside Help

A student chronically struggling in school is under-stress, parents are under-stress, and quite likely the entire family is under stress. Outside support for the student and the family provides a safety net and may preserve or open up communication channels and facilitate problem solving. Counselors, psychologists, or other mental health providers may be a valuable resource for you and your child.

Hire the Right Tutor

Hiring a tutor to help your child with challenging areas gives them more time to work on the subject matter and enables the teaching to be done in a way that best fits your child. It also puts some distance between you and your child’s homework, which, depending upon the length and complexity of your child’s academic struggle, may benefit you both.

Tutoring should be one-on-one with custom curriculum and your child’s progress setting the pace.

If your child is struggling within a traditional school setting, do not place him or her in a tutoring center. A tutoring center may just expose them to the same frustrations they experience daily in the classroom. Make sure the tutor you engage truly supports your child in their own unique way.

Be Open to New Educational Ideas

The traditional school model is old and long-established and most likely your frame of reference. Your child is one tiny piece in a very large system, and if he or she does not fit, your child, not the system, must adapt.

Curiosity and a love of learning can be fostered within any child, but its manifestation will be unique and personal for each and every child. No matter the skill and dedication of its employees, large educational institutions cannot scale down to meet the individual needs of every student.

If your child is struggling, alternative education may be exactly what he or she needs to thrive. Individualized instruction, custom curriculum, student-paced learning, and adaptive teaching techniques are all high-touch educational tools available in alternative education.

At its best, alternative education can turn school from being a daily grind into the fun and fascinating journey learning was meant to be.

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