These are the words I hope you never have to read. I hope you never…
With so many disruptions to school and learning in 2020, many parents are beginning to wonder about learning gaps that may be created for their child.
Learning gaps, especially in English and maths, can dramatically affect a student’s confidence all the way through high school and beyond.
Children silently struggling in class or with schoolwork at home can begin to show signs of unease. Parents might see changes in mood, self-esteem, or academic results. Parents noticing the signs are then faced with three options: hope that the child improves on their own, attempt to teach the child at home or seek support from a professional tutor.
Unlike ‘homework help’, professional tutoring is highly focused teaching that can identify gaps in learning. Qualified tutors have the time and skills to teach a student the concepts they have missed before helping them catch up and keep up in class.
Five signs your child may have learning gaps
Reluctance to discuss schoolwork
If your child becomes fidgety, frustrated, or changes the subject when asked direct questions about a class subject, this may be cause for concern.
While a child who enjoys learning is happy to discuss school, a child struggling in class may find it uncomfortable to talk about.
Changes in behaviour or confidence
While your child is still learning how to manage emotions and develop self-control, it is important to observe when flare-ups occur. Regular, inexplicable changes in mood around schoolwork is a red flag.
If your child was previously a happy, independent learner then suddenly starts losing confidence with homework, it may be be time to seek a learning assessment. Simply not understanding or misunderstanding a key concept can effect a student’s learning confidence with long lasting effects:
“If a student skips some of the building blocks in the learning process, they struggle to get the solid foundations they need for high school, tertiary education, and beyond. Early intervention is key” explains Storm McGrath, CEO at Kip McGrath Education Centres.
Taking excessive amounts of time to complete homework
Most parents will experience push-back from their child about homework at some point. If it is persistent, it can be a problem. If your child has been prescribed 15 minutes of homework each night by his or her teacher but they need 60 minutes to complete the tasks, this should be a signal to you that they are struggling with the work.
Speak to your teacher to confirm your instincts that something may be amiss or contact a professional tutoring service like Kip McGrath Canberra for a free learning assessment.
Disruptive in class
Students struggling with learning gaps might respond to being overwhelmed by being disruptive in class. Children and teens often find it difficult to admit they are uncomfortable with the workload in front of them.
They may react with frustration, anger, or emotional outbursts. If your child is usually well-behaved and has been recently acting out, it is important to discuss their behaviour, and progress with schoolwork, with a trusted teacher.
Low grades or teacher concern
While poor grades may seem like an obvious sign that a student needs tutoring, some parents struggle to accept that their child is, in fact, falling behind. If a student has missed a key concept and is falling behind, it can have a compounding effect; the longer it takes for a parent to take action, the harder it becomes for the child to catch up with his or her peers.
What can parents do to support their child?
If your child is showing signs of frustration at homework time, changes in confidence or behaviour, avoiding schoolwork, or admits they simply “don’t get it”, take action by reaching out for help.
Kip McGrath Canberra offers free English and maths assessments for school-aged students, conducted by qualified teachers. The assessment provides a true snapshot of the student’s current abilities as well as identifying any learning gaps. A tailored learning programme is developed for each child specific to their needs to help them catch up and keep up in class.
The Kip McGrath network delivers its proven method of professional tutoring to over 50,000 students each week. The method focuses on quality teaching in a small group setting, while providing one-to-one attention either in centre or online. With a purpose-built tutoring platform, parents can now have the same quality tutoring experience from the safety and comfort of home.