You know your child is smart. But why does he come home with failing grades? His report card doesn’t reflect what he’s capable of—and in frustration, you wonder if he’s lazy.
But there are many reasons why a smart child would not do well in school. Here are some things you may want to look into, so you can help your child deal with the problem and succeed in school.
Does he have a learning disorder?
Many people don’t think a smart child has a learning disorder, but there are many subtle conditions that may slip past even the most concerned teacher or parent. For example, he may be very talkative and sociable, but he has trouble understanding written language.
Furthermore, many learning disorders affect a specific skill set, so he can do well in one subject and fail in another. Learning include difficulties with spelling and writing, reading comprehension, and doing mathematical calculations. There are also disabilities that particularly affect memory, organization skills, or even social relationships.
Is he in the right school?
Children have unique learning styles: some learn faster with words, others through pictures or movement. There are some progressive schools that tackle subjects in a multi-faceted way, as opposed to taking down notes, memorizing them, and then answering written tests.
If you can’t change your child’s school you can augment his learning experience by doing science experiments at home, taking field trips, enrolling him in enrichment classes, or signing up for clubs or community activities. For example, if he doesn’t like reading, a summer writing workshop may help him fall in love with the written word.
How is his self-esteem?
When children don’t do well in school they may lose interest because they have given up. They may say ‘I hate school!’ or simply go through the motions, too insecure to speak up and say, ‘I don’t understand’ or ‘I need help.’ Schedule a meeting with your child’s and talk about the specific school requirements that see your child struggling. Your goal is to work as a team and problem-solve to find ways to support your child’s schoolwork.
Is he trying to get attention?
Some smart kids purposefully rebel and get bad grades in order to get the attention of their distracted parents. Their grades may be a cry for help, or a sign of deep stress and emotional anxiety. What has your child been going through, and are there any other signs—behavior at home, the kind of relationship you have—that something is troubling him?
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