I've tutored children of all ages for the last thirty years. Oftentimes, grades are affected by stressors either at home or school. Sometimes, children just need a little boost by one to one tutoring. It is so much easier for a person who is observing a child in a one to one setting to see learning problems and then intervene, so that a child has a good day most days at school. What I recommend to parents is to be always vigilant to what's happening in a child's daily life. Do not wait a few weeks or a month to intervene if there is a problem at school, especially at the beginning of the year. It doesn't take long for a child to fall behind. Look at every paper sent home each day. Make use of the school's website "Harmony" to keep abreast of grades, discipline, and attendance. It is a very user friendly site.
If your child is acting differently, talk with him or her, consult with the teacher, or ask their best friend what is going on during the day. As a parent, you need to find out if something could be troubling your child. Solving the problem may be as simple as a visit with the teacher.
As a parent, you can do much for your child by keeping some structure during the evening hours. After checking their papers, a snack and some free time to play. Then supper and some winding down time. Homework before it gets very late. Some family time and a routine bedtime. Kids need a good night's rest. Keeping to this routine will help everyone in the family have a successful and happy school year.
Tawni is a former Linton-Stockton Elementary School teacher and a part-time staff writer for the Greene County Daily World. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.