5 Signs Your Child Has Learning Gaps that Need to be Addressed

The last couple of years have been disruptive, with many students learning from home for extended periods. While some students have flourished, others have found it difficult to process and retain information through online classes. 

Parents are rightly concerned about the long-term impact of these disruptions, and possible gaps in learning that may have resulted. The term ‘learning gap’ refers to what students have learned, as opposed to what they are expected to have learned by this stage in their schooling. 

These 5 signs will help you determine if your child has possible learning gaps that need to be addressed.

  • Poor Performance 

A drop in performance at school is the most obvious sign something is wrong. If your child’s grades have declined over the last couple of years, there’s a strong chance this is due to their disrupted learning environment. 

Online learning has many benefits, but most students aren’t equipped to only learn this way. This is particularly true for ‘hands-on’ learners and those who thrive on personal interaction. Students who need additional support often really struggle in a virtual classroom.

  • Avoidance Tactics

If your child was previously happy to talk about school but now is reluctant to discuss what they’re learning, they could be having problems. When something becomes difficult, kids often try to avoid it. 

Try to find out more by asking some gentle questions. Make sure your child understands that it’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed sometimes and to need help. Talk to teachers about your child’s quality of work and behaviour.

  • Homework Issues

How kids manage homework is a good barometer of how well they’re coping in class. If your child completes their work with minimal help and gets good marks, it’s a reliable indication they’re keeping up in class.

Children who drag their feet and need you to explain tasks and help them complete homework may have some issues. Another sign they might be struggling is if they start spending excessive amounts of time on their homework. Try to get to the bottom of the problem by observing them and talking to the teacher. 

  • Acting Out

Because they don’t have the skills to explain when they need help, kids often act out when they’re having difficulties in class. You might notice changes in behaviour that on the surface seem to have nothing to do with school.

If your child has become grumpy, disobedient or depressed, school may be the problem. If they suddenly start lashing out at their siblings and you, there’s something going on that needs to be explored. Sometimes students who are having issues at school will start putting themselves down by claiming they’re stupid and hopeless.

  • Increased Anxiety 

Many students are anxious by nature and find school quite stressful. Returning to the classroom this year is harder for many due to the extended time away last year. 

For this reason, it might be difficult to determine if your child’s increased anxiety stems from schoolwork issues, or just nerves at being back at school. The best way to figure it out is to communicate openly with your student about how they’re feeling and how they’re coping with the work. 

If your child does have learning gaps, the good news is they can be addressed easily. A tutor can work with your child to help bridge any gaps and restore their motivation and confidence. 

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