What happens when your child cannot catch up with the curriculum

April 19,2017

In a study done by a testing group in the US, students who struggle early rarely catch up. Even at high-performing, wealthy high schools, students who have fallen far behind academically in 4th and 8th grade have less than a 1 in 3 chance of being ready for college or a career by the end of high school. More importantly, they found that only 1 in 10 students who were “far off track” caught up with the benchmarks a few years later, suggesting that academic gaps start early and never close. Although this study was done in the US, we can still take note of the implications of these findings for students in general – the needle of academic achievement moves slowly, because essentially you are building knowledge and skills that develop over time.

Besides falling behind academically, the constant struggle to perform—despite putting in effort—can result in lower confidence in oneself.

According to various studies, struggling learners might face difficulty organising themselves and their work environment, and will often feel overwhelmed by work tasks. Over time, all these can erode and impair their social and emotional skills. As the saying goes, ‘Nip the evil in the bud’. It is important for parents to always communicate with their child and recognise the symptoms early, because if a child is a year behind the rest of his class, he is certainly not going to catch up to the other students in two or three months’ time.

There are various ways that have been suggested to help students that are lagging behind. Most, however, are based on unfounded assumptions and can do more harm than good. One ill advice is to load them with more assessments and homework. This can be very detrimental as the struggling child might be overwhelmed by even more information that he cannot grasp and understand. What parents need to do is find ways to present the material in a variety of ways, and in small chunks. 

At Making Sense, we offer crash courses for students who want to catch up with the curriculum. Complicated concepts are broken down and simplified into “layman’s” understanding. Award-winning tutors, William (A level) and Jeffrey (O level), will also skillfully engage students with auditory, visual, tactile/kinesthetic experiences and interpersonal activities, all of which are proven to improve the student’s learning abilities. In the unlikely event that the student feels that the crash course was a complete waste of time, there will be a 100% refund of your fees – that is how confident, and how beneficial, we think the crash course would be.

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