Inconsistency in school performance can be baffling. Sally may be able to name every one of the sixty-three moons around Jupiter, but not be able to spell them correctly. Johnny may be able to charge through his nightly homework, but then consistently forget to hand it in. Your child may love to read, but then agonizes for hours trying to write a book report.
Every human’s mind is wired differently. As adults, we have already gravitated toward the things we do well, yet children are expected to excel in all areas. Sometimes a child’s struggles have less to do with “favorite” subjects and more to do with an underlying weakness in particular learning skills. Identifying and then properly addressing that unique weakness may be the best way a parent can boost their child’s performance as well as confidence in school.
She Can Build Computers But Can’t Master German
Children who are smarter than their grades frequently excel in some areas but stumble in others. If your child hates classes with long lectures, like English and social studies, or has a particular distaste for foreign languages, consider the possibility that he or she is struggling with audio processing skills.
He Hates To Read!
Not every child develops an enthusiasm for reading. But if your math-savvy child labors over math word problems, consider whether there are other indications of language comprehension skills, memory weaknesses, or even dyslexia.
The Agony Of Writing One Paragraph
Many students dislike writing assignments, even when they appear to understand the material. Small motor skill weaknesses could cause any child to hate the process, but there is also a learning disability called dysgraphia. Children with this LD often have poor handwriting, struggle with spelling, and have great difficulties in gathering thoughts and getting them on paper.
Focus and memory skills influence a child’s ability to master math, but if your child is also baffled by patterns, maps, or telling time, a visual processing disorder could be at the square root of the difficulties.
He’d Be An “A” Student If He Just Remembered His Homework!
Troubles with organization or forgetfulness may point to attention, focus, or other weaknesses that are generally termed “executive functions.” Focusing your parental efforts on those issues may do a world of good for your child’s academics, as well as for his future success.
Only a small percentage of students in the United States are formally diagnosed with learning disabilities. If you believe your child has an underlying, undiagnosed, or just-below-the-radar learning disability, consider arranging an educational assessment and evaluation by a licensed professional.