How to Turn Summer Break into Your Child’s Turning Point
When children are struggling in school, it can affect much more than their grades. In fact, some experts feel academic concerns can be linked with issues such as stress, declining attitude, depression, and problems at home, with work, and during play. With the looseness of summer’s schedule, it can be an ideal time to address the challenges kids face, and to do so in a manner that is as fun and encouraging as it is educational. The following guide from MyEdMaster offers helpful insight on how to do just that.
Why is my child struggling?
There are many reasons children struggle in school. Perhaps there is a learning disability or your child has trouble focusing. Sometimes there is a communication issue, or it could come down to a child feeling disengaged. Some of this can stem from strains within the learning environment. Our educational systems are often stretched thin due to high student-to-teacher ratios, reduced funding, and other existential threats. Likewise, economic inequality can put a strain on individual children as well as an entire classroom.
Identify weak areas
You might easily identify symptoms that indicate your child is struggling. Perhaps she complains of a stomach ache or avoids talking about school, or one subject in particular is problematic. Beyond those symptoms, sometimes there is an overriding issue that should be addressed, which could be identified with a functional behavior assessment, or FBA. As Understood.org explains, an FBA “is an approach to figuring out why a student acts a certain way. It uses different methods to understand what’s behind behavior challenges.” This assessment is often a necessary first step for learning about your child’s struggles and improving performance in school.
By clearly identifying any underlying cause, you can open a world of possibilities to your child. Through an FBA, serious behaviors, such as a learning or developmental disability, can be analyzed to determine what might be inhibiting your child’s ability to learn and succeed. Beyond academics, the ripple effect can mean improved quality of life for your child now and in the future.
While some symptoms your child is struggling with might be apparent, sometimes symptoms are easily misunderstood. For instance, many people think children are immune to mental illnesses, but as MedicineNet explains, it appears that about a quarter of all kids suffer from illnesses like depression, anxiety, and ADHD. If your youngster exhibits behaviors like excessive risk-taking, aggression, frequent headaches or stomach aches, bedwetting, and so forth, consider connecting with a professional therapist to address underlying mental health issues.
External issues might include overcrowding at school or lack of funding within the system. Large classroom sizes and worn out educators without support are a combination for disaster. If you feel as though your child’s problems are related to environmental factors outside of your control, schedule a meeting with the school to find out if there are things you can do to help.
Sometimes simple reinforcement from mom and dad can help a child to get on course and prosper. Try talking with your child about what you’re seeing. Some experts suggest keeping conversations positive, helping your child feel safe with you, and avoiding sounding judgmental at all costs. Listen carefully and be transparent in your responses. Think about what your child is telling you and what resources you have at your fingertips to help.
There are plenty of learning tools available to parents and children to help hone trouble spots, and summertime can be the ideal time to put them to work. From foreign language apps to math-related games to science portals, there is a bit of anything and everything, and many resources are available at no cost. Allow your kids to have fun! The relaxed atmosphere summer provides can help children rekindle their interests and encourage their improvement.
Children who have trouble learning in a traditional classroom setting may benefit from taking their studies to the great outdoors. Studies have shown that learning in nature offers perks to kids that include better grades, increased physical activity, and improved mental health. Rather than studying inside, engage your child with educational outdoor activities. For example, planting a garden is a great way to teach science in a hands-on way, and kids will love seeing their hard work pay off in a beautiful way. And as a bonus for parents, this particular activity will add some curb appeal (and potentially value) to your home.
Work with a tutor
Perhaps your child needs help in a particular school subject, and you feel a more concentrated effort is in order. In this case, hiring a tutor can be an ideal solution. Dr. Leddo and the MyEdMaster team have decades of experience in helping kids of all ages reach new academic achievements for a fraction of the cost of most tutoring centers. With guidance from an expert, your child can help fill gaps in understanding or sort challenging material with a fresh perspective. Contact us today online or by calling 571-242-6986 to enroll your child.
Summer can be the perfect time slot for getting ahead of problems before the school year begins. Identify the root of any issues, get professional assistance as needed, and embrace the tools at your disposal. When the school year rolls around, your child will be in a better position to tackle the challenges ahead.