P&K How To: How To Know When Your Child Needs Academic Help
No child is immune to academic struggles. However, some kids seem to breeze through their challenges while others get mired down. The challenge for parents is knowing when to simply push harder and when to engage extra help. Here are a few signposts that signal a need for academic tutoring.
As pie-in-the-sky as it may sound, the advice to trust your gut really does apply here. Parents know when kids are simply being lazy and not doing assignments. But when there is a legitimate disconnect in the learning process, and it is obvious that information that has been presented well was absorbed poorly (sometimes evidenced by poor grades), then tutoring becomes necessary.
Tutoring is also useful if a child wants to perform at a higher level but can’t seem to reach his or her goals. Sometimes, a child knows that a “B” isn’t going to be good enough on his or her high school transcript, but that “A” is just out of grasp. Tutoring can unlock learning or note-taking skills that the child hadn’t quite mastered before, suddenly putting that higher GPA within reach.
Another signal for extra help is a consistent decrease in a child’s academic confidence. It starts with John saying that “science is okay” which turns into “science is sort of hard.” After a couple of months, he finally says “I don’t like science.” That’s the time to find help.
Talking with the child’s teacher is a good start. Get recommendations for tutors. It can be your teacher or an outside source. Check with local tutoring centers and area colleges that may have cracker jack students who tutor as a side job. Cost can be an issue, but if the budget can be tweaked to make it happen, then it’s worth it. Children WANT to succeed in school, and when parents can help make that happen, confidence soars. And while learning challenges such as dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, auditory processing disorder are not the topic here, those issues may become apparent after academic tutoring has not produced desired results. Thus, tutoring becomes life changing in more ways than one.
Academic help is something that all kids get, in varying forms and from varying sources. It’s worth it every time!
Leah O’Gwynn Kackley lives, works and homeschools in the Rez/Fannin area with her husband Jason and their three kids.