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Having a Hard Time at School is Nothing to be Scared Of

For some students, school can be an intimidating place, especially for those who struggle in certain subject areas. The result is that many of these students develop fear and anxiety, which prevents them from enjoying a positive learning experience. As a parent or teacher, it is important to understand your child’s struggles so that you can provide the proper support.

When a student is having a hard time at school, there are many factors to consider, including learning disabilities, emotional issues, or even lack of sleep. It could also be possible that the material is too challenging or too boring for the child's level of understanding.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you help your child ease into their learning experience at school.

Make School Your Ally

Partnering with your child’s school can be a great way to ensure that your student is getting the individualised help that they need in order to succeed. With the range of support offered by teacher-administrative staff and enrichment opportunities, parents can work alongside the school to help their child succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. Principal support to strengthen teachers' morale plays a vital role in this collaborative framework, fostering a positive and responsive learning environment. Through collaborative work between schools and families, students can feel supported throughout their educational journey and are more likely to embrace their learning.

Encourage Responsibility

Although it may be tempting to go easy on your child when they are experiencing a hard time at school, it is important to encourage responsibility so that they can take ownership of their learning. By setting clear boundaries and expectations, you are ensuring your child is educated on the importance of taking ownership of themselves and developing the necessary problem solving skills to become confident and successful learners. Some areas you may want to set expectations around are:

* Completing schoolwork/homework on time
* Asking clarifying questions when needed
* Trying different approaches to learn new concepts

Communicate Openly

When it comes to helping students who are struggling in school, communication is key. Parents should talk openly and honestly with their children about their difficulties in order to try and identify potential triggers or underlying causes. Having regular conversations with your child about their school performance will help them feel supported and less overwhelmed. Similarly, parents and teachers should make every effort to stay in communication to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding student progress. Providing students with various options for communicating, such as journals, conversation cards, and round robin conversations at meal times, can be a great way to draw more information out of them in a low-risk setting. There are also many highly effective education support apps, such as Class Dojo, that can be used by parents and teachers on a daily or weekly basis to help form and build strong communication throughout the school year.

Look at Learning Styles                                                                                                                    

Understanding your child’s unique learning style is important for identifying the support tools that will benefit them the most. As you consider a response to intervention, you can help your child embrace their individual needs by discussing each of the 4 main learning styles. Your child may be comforted to learn that when it comes to learning, everyone falls into a different category.

Helping your child figure out how they best absorb information can make all the difference when it comes to overcoming any struggles they may have at school. When students realise there are various strategies and resources that are suited for their unique needs, they are more likely to have a shift in perspective and be less intimidated in certain subject areas.

Although there aren’t always visible signs to explain why a student is experiencing fear or worry, there are actions you can take toward understanding more about the root causes. Through conversations, open communication, accountability, and assessment, parents and teachers can work together to gain clarity about their student’s needs and create a plan that will allow them to access the appropriate tools and strategies. Over time, these various approaches can lead to an improved school experience for your child.