My Child Is Struggling in School. How Can I Help?
Lots of kids have problems at school or with schoolwork at some point. With the right support, most kids can get back on track and succeed at school.
Why Might Kids Have Problems at School?
Kids can struggle in school for different reasons, such as:
- a learning or focus issue
- trouble getting organized
- not feeling well (for example, if they have asthma that isn't controlled)
- feelings of sadness or anxiety
- stress from being bullied
How Can I Find Out Why My Child Struggles in School?
To find out why your child is having problems at school:
- Talk to your child. Ask questions about the schoolwork, other kids, and teachers.
- Talk to your child’s teacher about how your child is doing. Teachers have a lot of information about how a child learns, behaves, and interacts with others.
Then, schedule a visit with your child’s health care provider. They can check your child for a physical problem, like a vision problem that can be fixed with glasses. They also can help you decide if your child should see another health care provider (such as a psychologist) or needs testing (for example, for ADHD or a learning problem).
What Can I Do at Home to Help My Child?
All kids — whether they have problems at school or not — do better when they:
- Have a regular schedule with a set bedtime, homework time, and time to relax.
- Get enough sleep.
- Eat nutritious meals and snacks.
You also might offer to help your child with homework and studying. In some situations, a tutor may help.
How Can the School Staff Help My Child?
School staff and teachers can help kids who have trouble in school. For example:
- If your child struggles with a particular subject, ask for them to meet with the teacher or a learning specialist.
- For kids who feel anxious, talking to the guidance counselor may help.
- Your child can ask to sit closer to the teacher if they lose focus easily.
- If your child is being bullied, ask to meet with the principal to talk about possible solutions.
What if My Child Still Has Problems at School?
If these changes don’t help, your child’s teachers and health care provider can help you decide what to do next. Depending on what you've tried so far, this may include having your child:
- see a psychologist or psychiatrist
- talk to a counselor at school
- tested for learning problems
- tested for ADHD
- evaluated for a formalized support plan such as a 504 plan or individualized education program (IEP)