Is your child struggling in school and getting low grades? If so, they’re not alone.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) found that many high school seniors struggle with reading and math. But academic challenges don’t affect only high school students; a student of any age can find schoolwork tough for a variety of reasons.
When your child comes home with a less than stellar report card or repeatedly fails tests, it can become a very frustrating situation for you both.
However, there are many ways of helping your child do better in school. Read on to learn eleven ways to teach your child how to get better grades.
1. Resist the Urge to Punish
When a child gets lousy grades, a parent’s natural instinct may be to get angry, yell, take away privileges and restrict social activities. This can backfire and make the situation worse.
A University of Michigan study found that punishing children for bad grades don’t actually address the problem. If the child is putting the effort in, but can’t comprehend how to solve a math problem, the punishing them is both unfair and unproductive.
Instead, parents should create a caring home environment that encourages learning. The focus needs to be on developing learning and problem-solving skills that help children understand their lessons and homework.
2. Get to Know Your Child’s Teachers
Although it’s tempting to skip parent/teacher meetings when you have a job, it’s important not to cancel these conferences, particularly if your child is getting low grades.
Meeting with your child’s teachers will help the two of you work together to identify problem areas and how your child can improve their learning. Ask the teachers how your child is performing compared to their classmates. You should think of these meetings as forming a partnership between you and your child’s teacher.
Remember that teachers should always be available to meet with you at any time of the year to address concerns, not just during scheduled conferences.
3. Help Your Child Develop a Positive Attitude
You can help defuse the stress your child may be feeling towards school and low grades by developing a positive attitude together. Explain to your child that whatever they are struggling with academically, that there’s a solution and you’re certain you will find it together no matter what it takes. You should both be convinced that you can do anything you set your mind towards.
Encouraging your child to have a positive attitude towards school in general and their education as well will help them stay motivated.
4. Create a Quiet Homework Space
Many adults, let alone children, are unable to concentrate on a task when there is noise and other distractions present. You can help your child get a leg up on homework by creating a quiet area of the home that is off limits to their siblings and pets. It should also be away from the TV and other noise.
Their designated homework area should have a comfortable desk and chair. Stock the area with pens, paper, pencils, and anything else they need to help them with their homework.
5. Make Sure Your Child Gets Enough Sleep
If your child is getting less than satisfactory grades, make sure they’re getting enough sleep. An American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) study found that children who didn’t get enough sleep performed poorly in school and lacked concentration.
The study also found that 48% of the participating students received less than eight hours of sleep per night. The AASM recommends that adolescents receive nine hours of sleep so they can feel their best during the day.
To help your child get more restful sleep, try to establish a bedtime routine and get them in bed at the same time every night. Computers, mobile devices, and television should be shut down at least an hour before bedtime, as the light from these devices can disrupt sleep.
Getting up at the same time every morning can also make for better sleep.
6. Encourage Reading
Reading is a skill that everyone needs no matter what profession they decide to pursue one day. Help your child become a better reader and it will help them in all of their classes. It will expand their vocabulary and also encourages a lifelong curiosity about a variety of subjects.
Take your child to the library and let them pick out books they’re interested in. They’re likely to enjoy reading if the subject matter interests them. Read more about how to improve your child’s reading skills.
7. Put Limits on Mobile Device and TV Time
A Common Sense Media study found that the average American child age eight and under spends over two hours daily on screens devices. This includes browsing online, watching entertainment, and playing games. The same study found that amount of time doubles for the eight to 12-year-old segment.
Most experts agree that spending too much time online can lead to weight gain, depression, and sleep deprivation. But it also takes a serious chunk of time away that could be spent learning, doing homework, and getting better academically.
Try to limit the amount of time your child spends with a mobile or entertainment device and make sure there’s enough time devoting to doing schoolwork.
There is one exception and that is online games that help your kids learn. These games make learning fun and reinforce study and retention techniques. Seek out child-friendly online games that focus on a specific subject matter your child needs help with, such as English, science, or math.
8. Encourage them to Get Homework Done
Although the amount of homework American schoolchildren bring home can be intimidating, you need to make sure your child completes all of it in time to earn good grades. This also teaches them responsibility by managing time and meeting deadlines.
You may also need to set aside time to help your child with their homework so that they understand the lesson and how to complete it. Be careful not to do all of the work for them, however. You should be there to assist but they still need to grasp the learning concept so that they are confident enough to finish it on their own.
Work with your child to set realistic goals and expectations for completing homework and improving their grades.
9. Give Them Decompression Time After School
It can be overwhelming for a child to spend all day in class and then immediately try to get homework done. Just as you enjoy de-stressing after a long day at work, children also need a breather.
If your child doesn’t have an after-school extracurricular activity planned, let them unwind at home for a half hour or so with a healthy snack, beverage, and quiet time. Or let them play inside or outside or watch a favorite show. They’ll feel refreshed and less stressed when they tackle their homework load.
10. Communicate With Your Child
Talk to your child and try to learn more about why they may be getting poor grades. It could be a teacher’s teaching style, or it may be the subject matter just doesn’t interest them as much as others do. Or there could be other problems at school affecting grades, such as bullying.
Sometimes there are issues going on behind the scenes that go beyond being bored or not wanting to do homework. Communication is the key to every successful relationship, and the one between you and your child is no exception.
Keep in mind that children going through upheaval in their lives can also experience a slip in grades. If you’re going through a divorce, for example, you need to learn how to make this huge life change easier on your kids to minimize the effect on their performance in school.
11. Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Help
If some of these techniques aren’t working, it’s time to look into working with professional help such as a tutor or an after-school program. Your school and fellow parents should be good initial sources of information.
There’s also the possibility that your child may need to be tested to uncover or rule out any learning disabilities. There’s no shame in doing so, and it can help put them on the right path to lifelong learning.
Know How to Get Better Grades With These Tips
Now you and your child know how to get better grades by following these suggestions. It does take time, patience, and sometimes creativity when finding the right learning techniques that resonate with your child. Above all else, don’t give up on your child when they’re struggling to get better grades.
Here at Legend Valley Metro Magazine, we bring you the best content to help you live your best life ever. For more parenting tips and advice, read our latest children and parenting articles.