Child struggling in school

Child struggling in school

*Sierra is a 9-year-old girl in grade 3 who has become prone to mood swings at home.  Her teacher reports that she has become withdrawn and attempts to avoid English at school by feigning a headache, “forgetting” her books at home or spending an undue amount of time sharpening her pencils.  Sierra is a child struggling in school.

It is not uncommon to see a child struggling in school.  The jump from one grade to the next brings with it an increase in workload, a new teacher, new classroom dynamics and possibly a new set of friends or new faces in class that aren’t well known to the child.  This can all be very overwhelming and if a child has not mastered the skills to cope and keep up with these changes, it could very easily lead to a child falling behind academically and socially.

There are many signs to indicate a child struggling in school.  Changes in behaviour, becoming overly upset when asked to do something, procrastinating or avoidance of specific activities, sloppy or incomplete homework, being disorganized, becoming withdrawn, underplaying the difficulty of a test or task, consistently not being able to complete tasks in class within the allocated time, “acting out”, daydreaming.

Many children struggle with reading, writing and/or mathematics in early school years, unfortunately the ratio of children to a teacher can make it difficult to focus the needed time and attention on one student, a class is filled with children all with different needs.  For this reason, the one-on-one setting that is provided by Catch Up Kids ( is so invaluable.  It provides the opportunity for a child struggling in school to move at his/her own pace while focusing on the acquisition and mastery of specific skills.  A Catch Up Kids programme not only teaches academic skills needed to pass a grade, it also incorporates the teaching of skills that will give a child the opportunity to thrive in the classroom.

Catch Up Kids promotes remaining in a mainstream school and the programme should not be viewed as a remedial intervention but rather as an opportunity given to a child struggling in school to catch up to peers and be successful academically.  The academic skills that are taught follow very closely the curriculum used by the relevant school and teachers are often asked to provide input.  The goal is for skills taught to be carried over to the classroom, be it academic, coping strategies, organizational skills, fluency and/or other skills.

It is difficult to keep a child motivated in the school environment, especially if there is an area a child struggles in, no one likes doing the things you are not good at but sometimes it is just that little extra that is needed to get a child back on track.