No parent wants to watch their children struggle, especially not in school. And for some, the academic rigor of private school takes some getting used to. But regardless of why your child is struggling in private school, there are many ways that you can support them and encourage them toward success.
1. Simplify Their Lives
Your children have varied interests which keep you scrambling in dozens of different directions. From soccer practice to piano lessons the busyness of life can start to weigh on your children just as it does you. If your child is struggling in school, or feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, take some time to really evaluate how they are spending their time. If extracurricular activities are getting in the way of your students academic and behavioral success, it may be time to sit down as a family and set priorities. This may be a hard discussion to have, but it’s also a great opportunity for you to model healthy priority setting for your children.
2. Connect With On-Campus Advocates
One of the many great things about private school is the access that you as parents have to the faculty and administrators at the school. Take advantage of that access and stay in regular communication with your student's teachers and guidance counselors. A frank conversation with the teacher may help you understand why your child is struggling in a particular subject or within a specific group of students. If your child is not the type to share openly, having his or her teacher on your team will ensure that you are aware of any issues before report card season.
3. Encourage Endurance
Children, like adults, have varying skills and personalities which lead each child to be successful in different areas at school. Whether the struggle in reading or math or aren’t naturals on the ball field, every child will encounter small failures they need to overcome. And as you know, they’ll continue to encounter failures for the rest of their lives. Encourage your child to practice perseverance by digging into the subjects they find most difficult. That may look like spending extra time practicing specific math skills or engaging a tutor to help with math homework. Either way, the lesson learned is the value of pressing through hardships instead of trying to avoid them.
We must mention of course, that there are also students who have specific diagnoses that require special intervention. If your child is struggling due to a condition - diagnosed or otherwise - we encourage you to ask your doctor for child-specific support tools.
And for all students, transitioning into a new grade or a new school isn’t always easy. So give your child some grace and ask plenty of questions. With supportive parents at home and a supportive private school community, your child can easily thrive. If you’d like more information about how to support your child through school, or you’d like to learn more about transferring your student to St. Barnabas, contact us today.