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7 Signs Your Child Is Struggling in School

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Are you wondering if your child is having a hard time in school? Click here for seven telltale signs that your elementary schooler is struggling in school.

As a parent, it’s your job to make sure that your child is happy, healthy, and thriving to the best of your ability. You’ve put them in the best school that you can find, you’ve tried to support their efforts, and you spend time talking to them about any problems.

But do you know how to tell if they’re struggling in school?

When a child struggles in school, it’s easy for them to go unnoticed. They may feel embarrassed about it or afraid of punishment, so they won’t tell you right away.

We’re here to talk about a few signs (both subtle and obvious) that your child is experiencing emotional and academic struggles in the classroom. Read on to learn more. 

1. They Get Upset About Going to School

Let’s face it: most children aren’t thrilled about the idea of going to school, especially as they get older. When school goes from being a fun socializing opportunity to a place where they have to sit down and learn, they may put up some resistance and look forward to weekends and snow days.

That said, if your child seems more upset about going to school than normal, or if they’re resisting, it might be time to consider that they’re dealing with either social, emotional, or academic struggles. 

Rule out all other options. Is your child sick? Are they trying to get out of going to school to experience a fun event? If not, open up a conversation with them or talk to their teacher. 

2. They Don’t Want to Talk About It

While opening up a conversation about school with your child is a great way to get them to talk about their struggles, many children won’t want to talk about it. They’re not yet adept at discussing (or even identifying) their emotions. 

When your child gets home from school every day, you should try to at least briefly talk about it with them. Even a simple “what did you do in school today” is often enough to get them talking. 

Brief answers are both normal and okay, but an overall resistance to talking about school is a sign that something is wrong. 

3. They’re Misbehaving

Many children in elementary school act out from time to time, but if your child is misbehaving more often than usual, they may be struggling in school. 

Misbehaviour is a stress response. Children don’t misbehave because they’re malicious. They do it because they have an unmet need (and in this case, that need is support). 

They don’t know how to verbalize that need, so they get attention in the best way that they know. They act out. 

4. Their Teacher Reaches Out

While many teachers are overburdened and stressed out in 2022, they’re still devoted to their students. If your child’s teacher reaches out to you and expresses concerns about your child, it’s in your best interest to listen to them. 

For many parents, the knee-jerk reaction to this is a refusal to admit that there could be a problem. The “not my child” response is common. Remember that even if your child is bright and normally well-behaved, they can still experience school struggles. 

See if you can work together with your child’s teacher to find solutions for the problem. They may recommend academic tutoring and other types of education help that can get your child back on track. 

Remember that your child’s teacher isn’t maligning your child. They’re trying to help. 

5. They’re Showing Signs of Stress at Home

Again, children aren’t often able to express their emotions and struggles in words, especially when they’re young. They know that they feel “bad,” but they don’t know how to solve the problem. 

This can cause children to start showing signs of stress at home. 

We already mentioned misbehaviour (a common sign of childhood stress), but there are other signs that you can look out for. 

First, if your child is struggling to sleep at night, it may be due to stress and anxiety about going to school the next day. This problem will build on itself as the child gets less and less sleep. They won’t be able to function well, which will continue to cause them to struggle in school.

If your child isn’t eating well, this is another common sign of stress. 

Children who are experiencing mood shifts or swings may also be going through school struggles. Mood swings are common as children enter adolescence, but for young children, they’re often a sign that something is amiss. 

6. They Spend a Lot of Time on Homework

It’s good for your child to spend time on homework, but if that time is excessive, it’s a sign that something is wrong. Teachers don’t want homework to consume a child’s entire evening.

Before assuming that the teacher is simply assigning too much homework, look at the work that your child is doing. If it’s appropriate for their grade level, but they’re still spending hours on it, it’s a sign that they’re struggling in school. 

7. Their Grades Keep Getting Lower 

This is the most obvious sign that your child is dealing with academic struggles. 

You should always be keeping up with your child’s grades. Whether you’re checking in with their teacher, looking at their marked assignments, or using an online portal, it’s your responsibility to know how your child is doing. 

If their grades keep slipping, they’re struggling academically. 

Is Your Child Struggling in School? 

If these signs seem familiar, your child might be struggling in school. It’s time to talk to them and their teacher so you can get them back on the right track toward academic success. 

Remember: you shouldn’t punish your child for struggling or displaying signs of stress. Your child can thrive with the right support.

Are you looking for a private elementary school where your child can get all of the academic support that they need? At Pear Tree Elementary, we aim to offer a high-quality education to all of our students. Contact us or schedule a visit today.