Identifying Academic Barriers to Learning

As a parent, it’s hard to identify the difference between healthy rigor in learning and when your child is feeling defeated at school. 


First, try to view healthy rigor in learning as a positive experience for the child to boost their self-confidence when faced with academic challenges and increase learning stamina to persevere through lessons.  The snowplow parent comes to mind when explaining the proper struggle for students. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, the snowplow is the parent who works tirelessly to remove all challenges or barriers in front of the path of the child.  Eventually, when the child faces a low grade earned on an assignment or challenged with a problem, the student automatically feels defeated, not equipped to overcome barriers in learning. But how can we quickly identify there if there is a genuine need for academic support for your child without letting too much time pass?

Here are helpful tips to identify if your child needs academic intervention.

Going in Circles

You observe him/her trying their very best to improve their writing skills. They devote the time and focus their attention on the helpful tips they received from the teacher. You observe your child is not only struggling in English but struggles with writing assignments in Social Science and Science labs. If your child’s struggle is threaded consistently throughout all subject areas, this is a good sign that your child needs an academic intervention to receive the appropriate support in their learning. 

Defeat

After consistently trying to pass quizzes and exams and giving their best shot to overcome their academic challenge. Your child’s spirit to learn has been crushed by defeat. As hard as they try there seems to be an increase of anxiety when approached with a test or quiz. What tried your best and learn from your mistakes. Has defeat won?  Fortunately, defeat is not the new normal for your child, this is an opportunity to receive academic intervention support for your child to learn how to cope with test anxiety and to rebuild your child’s self-confidence level. 

Roll Up Your Sleeves

Parents play a key role in their child’s academic success. Here are helpful tips to provide your child with academic support in an online learning platform.  You can do this!

Your Child’s Data

Assessments, work samples, and weekly quizzes are important indicators to identify if your child is mastering concepts learned. The data does not define your child, but it provides insightful information on your child’s strengths and content areas that may need to be practiced.  

Consistent Routine

Children thrive from structure and a predictable routine. This increases self security if the child is “in the know” of what to expect in their learning environment. Set a physical schedule on the kitchen refrigerator with times to log on, meetings with teachers and independent reading. 

Communication is Key

Encourage your child to take initiative by emailing their teacher for questions on assignments or help with a writing project.  Self advocacy is a life skill, a teacher will always appreciate which. Be an advocate for child 

Build on the Positive

Incentives motivate children over consequences. Start with small attainable academic goals for your child to give the taste of victory in learning. As weeks progress,  increase the learning goal in small increments to create stamina in learning. Be consistent and follow through with the rewards. If you worked full time and your boss never gave you a paycheck, you would quit right? 

Ready, Set, Goal! 

Build student confidence by recognizing their strengths and approach their areas of improvement with the same thread of  confidence. This will reduce your child’s anxiety when they face challenges. In small victories, children can overcome their anxieties through attainable goals.  

Tap In

You’re not alone facing your child’s academic challenges, investigate  and research your school’s resources for academic support. Are there study halls? Teach Squad? Your school has a wealth of resources to assist your child. Investigate your school tiers to intervene and targeted direct instruction sessions. 

 

Bridge

Parent and School communities collaborate to provide support as a bridge for the child’s success in learning. We individualize academic intervention plans based upon each student. Data and other helpful online learning tips can be useful in guiding parents to identify when and if there is a need of academic intervention. Take a big breath, you’re doing your best to provide your child with quality learning.

 

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Sabrina Godshaw
Sabrina Godshaw
Sabrina has attained her B.S. degree in Child Development emphasis of Elementary School Teaching and a multiple subject teaching credential from National University. Sabrina has years of experience working as a teacher as well as a lead academic advisor for Orange County schools. Her versatile experience in and outside the classroom has given her leverage on how to build student interventions, encourage academic growth, and promote challenge for high achievers. Sabrina enjoys collaborating with parents to build a community between home and school for the success of student learning. Sabrina enjoys spending time with her husband, two energetic sons, and her lazy yet adorable dog. Her hobbies include traveling, hiking, water sports and having BBQs.
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