Common Signs a Student Is Struggling to Keep Up

Students who are struggling to keep up in class often aren’t able to explain how they’re feeling. Falling grades are one obvious sign, but problems with schoolwork can manifest in a range of ways. 

All students have bad days now and then, but when your child’s attitude and behaviour change over an extended period, it’s important to find out why.

Here are some common patterns of behaviour which may indicate your student is struggling.

Misbehaviour in Class 

Misbehaviour is one of the most common signs kids are struggling to keep up in class. Children ‘act out’ because it’s the only way they know how to express their frustration. Sadly, they are often punished instead of getting the help they need. If your student is in trouble on a regular basis, there’s a strong possibility they’re struggling with the work. 

Frequent Bad Moods

When adolescents become cranky and irritable, parents often write it off as typical teenage moodiness. The same behaviour in younger students is frequently attributed to fatigue or overstimulation. Regular bad moods can also be a warning sign that kids are having issues in class. Take note if your child becomes particularly grouchy when it’s time to go to school.

More Sick Days

Kids who are having trouble at school often try to avoid it by claiming to be sick. They might be pretending, but they could very well be genuinely sick. The stress caused by failing to keep up can lead to a wide range of health issues including headaches, stomach upsets and skin conditions. Students may have trouble sleeping, or spend more time in bed. If your child begins to ask for more days off, it’s vital to get to the heart of the issue quickly.

Problems With Homework

Homework is a contentious issue in many households, but if your previously easy going child has started dragging their feet when it’s time to do homework, there might be more going on. The best way to gauge if they’re handling the work is to observe them. Do they need a lot of help? Are they spending far more time on homework than they should? These are reliable signs they could be struggling to keep up.

Lack of Communication

Children who are having problems at school often avoid talking about it because of the negative feelings it causes. They may be embarrassed and ashamed, or fear disappointing their family. If your child is happy to tell you what happened in the playground, but clams up when you ask them about schoolwork, it’s time to find out what’s going on.

What Can Parents Do?

If you suspect your child is struggling in class, you can help them in the following ways:

    • Speak with teachers. Your student’s teachers can help pinpoint where they are struggling and advise what you can do to assist.
  • Practice enriching activities. With a little thought, everyday activities can be transformed into enjoyable educational experiences. Create an environment of continuous learning and growth in your home.
  • Show your support. Kids need to know you’re on their side. Tell them you’re proud of them and will always be there for them. 

Hire a tutor. A tutor will identify your child’s strengths and weaknesses and develop a personalised learning plan for them. They can help students catch up and develop the skills to stay on top of their work.