Too often, especially with middle and high school kids, you find yourself facing a screen of poor grades. This, on its own is bad. However, it is particularly disheartening near the end of the school year. You know your child is capable of the work and/or you know your child has done the work, yet it is not reflected in the grades you’re seeing online. Is there a way to salvage the year? Maybe. A lot depends on how hard you, the parent are willing to work. Try these four tips. Feel free to add your own twist to the tips based on your child’s particular situation.
4 Ways To Turn Around A School Year With 2 Months To Go
- Talk to the teacher. Set up a face-to-face meeting with the teacher in question. Arrive on time. Be there to LISTEN to the teacher. Do not simply accept your child’s explanation of “Mr. X hates” Ask the teacher what they see as the problem. AGAIN, listen to the teacher’s answer. If you do not understand the answer, ask again in a different way. Many teachers will allow students to resubmit work that was not initially handed in or that was done poorly the first time. There is usually an automatic deduction from the grade, but it will be better than a failing grade. Figure out a time table and ask the teacher for help in planning out a work-at-home schedule to make sure the work is completed on time.
- Ask for help. If you suspect your child may have a learning disability, ask your child’s teacher for a referral to the guidance office. If low grades have been a problem all along, a learning disability might be the cause. Set things up to have your child tested. Depending on the results, you might look to special education resources or special education tutoring to help your child catch up and end the year on a good note. The difference? If you are a do-it-yourself kind of person, check out the resources. If you prefer to have someone else take the lead, look into tutoring. Either way, even a few concentrated hours can make an enormous difference.
- Get organized! If you have been living in chaos throughout the school year, now is the time to de-clutter your child’s back pack and your house. It’s easy enough in a well-organized home to lose homework (even homeschool kids lose homework!). If your house is a combat zone now is the time to get focused. Check out FlyLady. She’ll get you started – and, no, you do not have to do everything her way! Find what works for you. Keep track of what’s going on. Add this to #2 and your child will sail through to the next grade.
- Take a deep breath and accept what is. If your child has struggled throughout the school year (and maybe through previous school years), arrange for testing. No one wants their child to be held back but, if a true problem exists, your child is not well-served by being advanced without merit. Instead, use this time to figure out a new plan. Over the summer, try using Special Needs Tutoring to boost your child’s skills and confidence. Online tutors can develop a specialized plan suited to your child’s needs . If specialized tutoring is not in your immediate budget, look at special education homeschool resources. Even if your child does not fall into the special education category, you might find a trick or two to help your own child move forward. Homeschoolers are notoriously ingenious when it comes to budget-conscious solutions.
All kids reach a point where they struggle. Your job is to figure out why they are struggling. Easy fixes like removing electronics from bedrooms, having a cell phone curfew and instituting a central place for computer work can go a long way. These steps help you and your child regain control of time and keep control over it.
Do not hesitate to have your child tested if you suspect a learning disability. Simply having the school recognize that your child might need help learning can make all of the difference.
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If it’s determined that your child indeed has a learning disability, they may qualify for an Extended School Year (ESY) program. This is a no cost, continuation of school through long breaks and can be a true difference maker for many!