While declining grades are a good indication your child may need a tutor, there are far more subtle signs that may help you address this issue earlier and enable you to help them solve the problem well before their grades go down.
1. They’re not mentioning schoolwork
If your child used to tell you about all the things they’ve been studying at school, the tests they were taking, how their homework was going, but then suddenly stopped doing so, chances are, something is wrong, and it may be a couple of things.
Assuming this trend is happening in other areas of their life, too – they don’t talk about their friends, their plans etc., chances are the problem is bigger than just the grades. They may be experiencing bullying at school, or may be feeling down for some other reason (love problems are a common cause of us not feeling like talking!)
But if you notice they’re just as talkative as they used to be about everything else BUT school – they are probably struggling and feeling frustrated and embarrassed because of it. You can sit them down and tell them that if they are struggling with a certain subject or more, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s a normal part of education. The issue can be solved by going to a tutor, especially if the tutor pays attention to the student’s personal struggles, too, rather than just the math equations – and that’s exactly what Nobel tutors do.
They have issues eating and/or sleeping.
If your child is younger, they may even regress to bed-wetting if they’re feeling especially anxious. If they’re older, this will probably come out as inability to fall asleep or sleeping longer than usual and/or changing their eating habits (it also works both ways – either eating much less or much more than before).
This may well mean there’s a larger issue going on which doesn’t necessarily involve only their grades, so you need to examine other possibilities, too. However, absent any other issues, if sign #3 is also present, there’s a big chance they’re struggling with school.
They take a lot longer to finish their homework
If your child used to finish their homework in, say, an hour, but now they’re consistently taking twice as long, you can be pretty sure they need extra help. Once again, you should talk to them about it, and if they agree, maybe try to help them as much as you can, given you have the time. However, if the homework issues are becoming so severe that they hardly have any free time once they’re done, and you can see they’re struggling and ending up frustrated – our advice is to go for a tutor.
Their behavior at school is changing.
If your child used to be a “nice kid” – never acting out, respecting their teachers and peers, but has suddenly flipped the script, it means something is definitely wrong.
They may be trying to get your attention and point to the issues they’ve been having. Another reason may be that they’re trying to divert attention from their grades to their behavior. There is a third option – they may be feeling frustrated due to their struggles, which may cause them to act impatient and even aggressive. In any case, it’s quite possible they’re struggling with the school curriculum and don’t know how to talk to you about it. The best thing to do is have an open conversation with both their teacher and them to get the full story and understand what each of you can do to help solve this issue.
Finding a tutor once your child’s grades have already started slipping will still help, but it will take a lot longer for them to get back on track.
As always, it’s better to react as soon as you notice the changes we discussed. That way, both you and your child will be spending less time angry and frustrated, AND it will be easier for them to catch up.
However, if you realize there’s a bigger underlying issue once you talk to them about this, don’t hesitate to book a FREE consultation with one of our Coaches. We are here to help.