Child struggling at school

Is your child struggling at school and what can you do to help?

If you have noticed that your child is struggling at school, whether it be academically or socially, it is best to get them the help they need sooner rather than later, because the longer it takes for a learner to receive the intervention they need, the bigger the academic or social gap becomes and the harder it gets to catch it up.

Child struggling at school: How can you tell if your child is struggling? We know that this can be difficult to read sometimes, as children and teens are not too forthcoming about their academic positions, especially when they feel insecure about it. Well, here are a few “telling” signs that may assist in catching this. Remember though, that these signs only become such, when a pattern occurs or when they happen more frequently, because anyone can have a bad day without it signalling an overall problem.

Child struggling at school:

  • Your child suddenly refuses to discuss his/her school day:
    • While these can be limited to certain subjects that the child is learning about and may not enjoy, if your child suddenly stops discussing what they have learnt about or their interactions at school on a daily basis, it can signal a discomfort within the school environment which can be due to academic or social struggle.
  • Your child has a sudden change in their attitude about school:
    • You can bet that if your child is not happy at school, there will be a sudden and, often major shift in their attitude towards school. They can become angry, distant or even resentful about having to attend.
    • Another big attitude shift to watch for is boredom. When a child becomes confused about what they are learning at school, they become bored. This might not seem like a big deal at first, but if your child tells you that they are bored with a certain subject at school, it is important that you double check why this is happening. It could just be that they already know about what they are being taught, especially at the beginning of each grade, when teachers tend to review the concepts that were taught in the previous year, but sometimes, it could be because your child is feeling lost about what is being taught. Boredom results when a person cannot understand enough of what is being said, that they begin to lose interest.
  • Your child spends way too much time completing homework:
    • A rough guideline is that a child should be spending ten minutes per grade level on homework each school night, so it can be a big warning sign if your child has little to no free time after school because they are working on completing their homework for too long. Some teachers may give out more homework than others, so check your child’s school policy on homework and have a rough estimate on how much time they should be spending on their homework each afternoon. Keep a close eye on the amount of time spent on their work after you have discussed each teacher’s policy with them.
  • Misbehaving becomes a pattern at school:
    • Before you think to yourself that you just have a “naughty” child who needs more discipline, remember, sometimes misbehaviour at school, is really just your child’s way of trying to take the attention off of the fact that they are struggling with their school work. Children often lack many of the skills needed to speak up and specifically say what it is that they are having a difficult time with at school. They don’t want to be embarrassed or criticized for not being able to keep up “like the other kids”. If your child is typically well behaved and then begins to have behaviour problems at school, take a look at both their academic progress and their social world.
  • If your child’s teacher expresses concern:
    • When your child’s teacher expresses concern about your child’s work, it can sometimes come as a surprise, especially if you have known different results from your child in the past. But it is important not to take this concern lightly, because it gives you a chance to help address and arising problems as they develop.
  • Your child starts having a hard time sleeping or changes in their eating habits develop:
    • Problems sleeping or eating often result from worry. If your child is concerned about his or her academics or social skills at school, they may begin to develop sleeping or eating problems.
  • Lastly, and probably the most obvious of the above signs, if your child receives low grades:
    • An occasional low grade may not be cause for concern; however, like any of the above signs, if this becomes a pattern, you should take steps in assisting your child to bring those grades up. Be sure to understand all of the information on your child’s report card and use it to come up with the best plan you can to help your child be more successful in their school environment.

Now that you know some of the telling signs that suggest your child struggling at school, what can you, as a parent do to assist them with becoming more confident and successful?

It makes a big difference in your child’s confidence to succeed when a child struggling at school when the support and encouragement from you far exceeds the struggles they feel they are having.

At Catch Up Kids, we support you as a parent in every possible way to help your child at school. Our approach comes from viewing the problem as a whole, looking at the multiple areas of deficit that may be contributing to your child’s struggle. We also spend time focussing on your child’s strengths, providing them with the confidence to build onto the basics and become independent thinkers and problem solvers.

We aim to empower our learners, help them to achieve academic excellence and become confident members of the school environment.

Catch Up Kids is a remediation program designed to assist your child with the following skills:

  • Emotional coping
  • Attention
  • Planning
  • Inhibition
  • Memory
  • Flexibility
  • Self-monitoring
  • Time-management
  • Meta-cognition
  • Problem-solving
  • Social skills

….and more, while your child continues to grow in the mainstream school environment.

Our experienced team of tutors, who are trained to meet your child’s individual needs, can provide school-facilitation, afternoon services either at one of our designated academies or at your home and even, community outings.

Our website also provides numerous articles, ranging from ADHD detection to fine-motor skill activities to battling fatigue for parents with children who have learning difficulties, videos and links to educational resources, information on educational apps, news articles and fun learning activities. We have an online questionnaire to help with quick assistance for you to check whether your child is an eligible candidate for Catch Up Kids.

Please visit for further information.