If your student is getting bad grades, you want to be supportive, but you
also want to ensure that their academic performance improves. While it’s
natural to get upset by bad grades, your student may lack the skills they
require to do a better job. You can help them to take responsibility for
their academic performance and provide them with the much-needed tools
to get the job done.
What’s the problem?
Every student has a bad test from time to time, but if you notice a marked
decline in a particular subject or in overall grades, it’s time
to take action. First speak with your student to try to ascertain what
the problem is. Don’t be discouraged if they can’t tell you;
it may be that they just don’t know why they aren’t doing
as well as their fellow students.
Speak with their teachers; your teachers are the best resource for finding
the root of the problem. Problems may range from getting distracted in
class, not being organized, lacking study skills or simply forgetting
to complete assignments. You should also investigate the possibility of
social issues like bullying.
Fixing the foundations
If your student has gaps in their knowledge, then the more their teachers
build on these foundations, the less they will understand. If you suspect
that this may be the issue, then get an in-home tutor to evaluate your
student’s knowledge. They will be able to tell what kind of an understanding
they have of the subject matter and help to fill in the gaps.
In-home tutors are able to work individually with your student so that
they are able to catch up and show rapid improvement. They are also able
to work in a situation where your student feels comfortable and confident.
As they progress, they will feel more confident, and will be more likely
to ask and answer more questions. They may be too intimidated or shy to
ask questions in class.
Teachers don’t always have the time to teach both the course material
and study skills. Your student may need help with the way they study.
Start by asking your tutor or teacher to ascertain what learning style
suits your student best. Then show them how to convert their course materials
into a format that is more accessible to them. For example, if your student
is a visual learner, they can remember material by creating a mindmap,
flashcards or an inforgraphic. Ensure that your student knows how to properly
study, summarize and revise and how to estimate how much time they should
leave for studying.
Being organized isn’t something that comes naturally for most students.
If your student often forgets about assignments and tests, loses items
or doesn’t hand work in, they may need help with organizational
skills. Find a calendar that works best for them. This can be a diary,
a smartphone app, a whiteboard; anything that helps them to member important
Ensure that you check their calendar every day and help them to fill in
the tests, exams and assignment’s they have coming up. Block out
time between extramural activities when they are set to do their homework
or study. Ensure that they have enough time to complete their schoolwork
and help them to prioritize tasks.