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What Actions to Take When Your Child Is Struggling in School

What Actions to Take When Your Child Is Struggling in School

You feel for your child when he or she is having a hard time in school. You remember when some lessons just never seemed to sink in. Parents and educators have found some ways to help kids who struggle.

Identify Challenges

Before you write off the teacher as not being there for your child or your child for not being smart enough, there could be some other answers. Does he or she have a hard time paying attention? Do you have trouble getting him or her to get motivated? Does your child seem scatterbrained? You might talk to his or her pediatrician about testing for attention deficit disorder (ADD). If he or she is constantly in motion and unable to sit still, you might ask your child’s physician about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). If he or she gets headaches when reading or doing homework, his or her vision might be the culprit. Talk to your child’s teacher about seating him or her closer to the board, and take him or her in for an eye exam. A problem with vision is a common predicament for kids who struggle in school.

Change Schools

When choosing a new school, consider the benefits of a private education to see if that may be a better fit for your child. The style of the current school might not be in alignment with your child's temperament. The class sizes in public schools are often not conducive to enough one-on-one time for children. A private school might offer the attention, class choices and preparedness for ongoing education that your child needs.


Has your child's behavior changed lately? Is he or she unusually despondent or secretive? Has he or she been coming home with scrapes and bruises and refusing to explain how he or she got them? This is a time when it's particularly important for parents and teachers to have ongoing communication. If your child is being bullied, his or her teacher may be able to offer some insight that you do not see at home. If your child is at home long hours after school, something might be happening during that time that you need to know about. Perhaps he or she does not want to tattle on the perpetrator. Or maybe your child is afraid of the bully.

There are reasons other than your child's intelligence that could be causing his or her struggles in school. Keep an open line of communication with his or her teacher, principal and doctor while you sort through the possibilities.

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