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How Do I Help My Child Who is Struggling Academically in School?

Most parents with school age children have this question. When my daughter started 2nd grade, she started struggling academically, I did not know what to do. I talked to other parents of students in her class and they gave me two advise (1) help your child at home and (2) to talk to your child’s teacher.

I was reluctant to talk to the teacher; I have my own issues about school. I decided to work with my child at home before going to the teacher.  That was not a wise move. I learned the hard way that the most basic things can be more effective. I found out the hard way that when dealing with a child it is better to go back to the basics.

I would like to share my hard learned lessons. So here is what I have learned

The number one lesson is to go back to the basics. Talk to the teacher.

You are probably saying to yourself, Talk to the teacher, that is such a cliché. It may be it maybe but it is the first step you must talk to help your child.

In my case, I tried to work with my daughter with what I thought she needs to learn, she did ok sometimes but she was getting frustrated. I did not know that I was not going what they were covering in school. My daughter was getting frustrated because she wants to do it right but the subject matter was just too difficult for her. Finally, I made an appointment with the teacher to speak with her briefly after school one day.

I made appoint of being there for our appointment ten minute early. When I went to the school, the teacher was rushing because she had to leave. I humbly thanked her for being so kind and for taking her time to meet with me after school. I offered and started picking up the books that students left behind. As I picked a book or pencil, my daughter would pickup trash and put in the trash can.

After a while, the teacher stopped rushing and sat down to talk to me. Teacher went on to tell me that my daughter does not want to participate in the class, she does not raise her hands to answer questions and she would always seem to be in another place.

I asked the teacher how often she would notice my daughter daydreaming.

The teacher answered that at least once a week, but it might be more times, “I don’t watch her closely because your daughter is one of the students that do not give me any problem.” “I spend half of the class running after three students that are very disruptive and aggressive” “I don’t want any children getting hurt in my class”

I told the teacher that I understood her need for safety. I asked her if it possible for me to come and seat with my daughter twice a week in her class. The teacher smiled and said that would be fine so long as I do not interfere with her class. The teacher offered to give me the class curriculum schedule so that when I decide to visit I would know what subject the class would be going over.

After talking with the teacher I was able to get permission to come to my daughter’s class and observe my child. I wanted to learn how the teacher is teaching the course and how to help my child at home with the class work.

A day after my conference with the teacher, my daughter told me that the teacher came to her desk and asked her what she was doing. My daughter said that her teacher helped her with her math homework.

Two days after my conference with the teacher, I went to my daughter’s class. I stayed for forty-five minutes.  The class had thirty-five students, it was noisy and the teacher was trying tot talk over a couple of the students. When I entered the class everyone got quit.

The teacher said to the class, “we have a visitor today, we should show our visitor how good boys and girls behave in class.” the class was calm for ten minutes after the ten minutes all hail broke loose again.

On my second visit the following week, the students walked up to me and said hello. Two of the students asked me, if I could seat with them too. I told the children to ask their teacher if they could seat near my daughter and I. the teacher gave them permission and we were able to work together to complete the assignments.

I noticed that the children were having the same problem as my daughter. I brought this information to the teacher and she started using a different technique to teach the children. She made a game out of the new subject area that they were covering. The students enjoyed the games and seemed to pay more attention. I continued to make a weekly visit to my daughter’s class and continue to work with the teacher on class projects until my daughter finished second grade.

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