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How To Identify Your Child’s Academic Weaknesses

How To Identify Your Child's Academic WeaknessesParents are required to be proactive with their children’s academics. One way to do this is by paying extra attention to your child’s early education.

A good start isn’t only about attending a good educational facility. It also pays to commit time to their schoolwork to help you identify any loopholes early.

A typical example of such loopholes is academic weakness. Data suggests that almost 55% of kids struggle in math. While this is common among those with language developmental disorders, it’s still a weakness.

I’m sharing this article not only because I’m a parent. But also because I am a bestselling personal development author with about 2 million books sold globally.

I love to help people enjoy their best lives. So in this article I will explore effective ways to identify your child’s academic weaknesses and address them.

5 Tips to Identify Your Child’s Academic Weaknesses

1. Regular communication with teachers

If you haven’t considered getting close to your child’s teachers, now is the best time. Develop or build healthy communication channels with them to make approaching your child’s teachers easier.

They are the right persons to give you firsthand information on your child’s performance in school. Their candid insight will provide ample information to identify your youngster’s academic weaknesses. Some teachers will go the extra mile to highlight what might cause your child’s academic weakness.

Parent-teacher conferences present great opportunities to connect with your kids’ teachers. Although these meetings are held with other topical themes in mind, it doesn’t stop you from discussing your child’s progress and school performance.

Research has shown that some children feel uneasy when parents meet with teachers. You can calm your little one’s nerves by helping them understand that these meetings are for their good and nothing else.

This strategy can open your child up to the feedback likely to come from these talks with teachers. They will often become receptive to the observations and try to improve with your help.

2. Review homework, classwork, and project work

How often do you supervise your child’s homework? Do you commit time to sitting with them to complete these assignments? You may be missing a crucial opportunity to identify your child’s academic weaknesses if you don’t.

Consistent low grades in specific subjects could mean your child is struggling. Low scores often indicate difficulty in subject comprehension.

Other times, it could be a lack of interest in those subjects.

For example, many children struggle with Math because of the fear of learning complex formulas. It makes them lose interest or develop phobias to anything that involves mathematics.

That is when you should ask questions, but it’s advisable to do so tactfully. A child struggling academically will avoid answering questions presented or framed as a personal attack. Sympathize with their struggles and let them know you only need answers to help them improve.

At this stage, you can look for a tutoring company to offer tutorials relevant to your child’s academic needs. The key principle is ensuring the professional has the relevant experience to transform your child’s academic life. You can never go wrong with targeted tutorials for a child struggling academically.

3. Assess test scores

Declining performance at the end of the school term often indicates an academic struggle you must focus on. Children’s performance varies every school term, but a persistent decline should tell you something.

Your child may not have mentioned their academic struggles with you, but their low test scores would. First, compare their test scores with previous ones to confirm your suspicions. When you notice a decline, try not to panic, as most parents would. Be calm and try to have a conversation with your child about it. Avoid using an accusatory tone, as that will make the chat unproductive. The first thing is to determine any underlying fears regarding that subject.

Next, ask your youngster about their favorite subjects to gain insight into their strengths. This strategy works because of the psychological element involved. It is often used as a cloaked positive reinforcement to get your child talking while feeling comfortable and unjudged. Remember that children can be discerning, so use this strategy wisely. After gaining feedback, consult teachers, online portals, or trusted friends with kids to determine the best way forward. 

4. Observe their study habits and time management

What can you say about your child’s study habits? How well do they manage time at home if they are old enough? Some academically struggling kids will spend an incredible amount of time on a single subject given as homework. That happens because they are struggling to focus on the questions given. It may indicate a weakness your child may be attempting to cover up. Your good observation skills will be needed here to catch this early before things get out of hand. It also helps to observe how your child organizes their study materials.

If they spend too much time doing that, it might be new delay tactics to avoid tackling that subject. A young child may not understand why they struggle in a particular academic area while their friends or siblings do not. That can negatively affect their confidence and self-esteem. When you notice your child displaying these habits, get closer to them. Help them organize their study materials to avoid wasting time, but do this only as guidance in the short term. That way, they wouldn’t always get used to having you do it for them.

5. Use various academic assessments

Another way to identify your child’s academic shortfalls is by using different assessment tools. Many of these are online, making them easy and accessible. The guiding principle is to ensure that these assessments are age-appropriate and cover your child’s school’s curriculum. These tools can help you identify specific academic areas your child needs extra support.

The weaknesses identified will be part of a comprehensive analysis that provides ample information for parents or primary caregivers. It will be ill-advised to do nothing with these reports or feedback. You must show these challenges to your child’s teacher.

This step helps them tailor teaching activities to address your child’s specific weaknesses. The more you do nothing, the higher your child’s risk of losing interest in those subjects or school altogether. Unfortunately, some parents learn the hard way, so don’t let this happen to you and your child.

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