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by Renée Smith/j&R Tutoring Academy of Indiana

Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results – has been applied to numerous situations. Could it also be applied to education?

In a prior blog I noted some possible signs that your child may be having trouble in school: reluctance to get ready for school, hides papers, feels “sick” a little too often, or your formerly outgoing child has begun to withdraw. Other possible indicators are poor homework, waning self-esteem, test anxiety, and/or declining grades. Perhaps your child has hit a plateau.

If you or your child’s teacher have noted any of these, what action was taken? Did the teacher assure you that your child would “catch up” or that it was too early to worry? Teachers have 20 to 30 students to monitor. They do a masterful job, but the reality is that the students who struggle the most are the ones who garner the most attention.

A child who is slowly slipping may get lost in the everyday activities of the classroom.

According to Peg Tyre, education journalist and the author of The Good School: How Smart Parents Get Their Kids The Education They Deserve, “Kids who are not reading at grade level in first grade almost invariably remain poor fourth grade readers. Seventy four percent of struggling third grade readers still struggle in ninth grade …”

Ms. Tyre’s statement should be a wake-up call to parents. As soon as a parent feels something is not right, action should be taken. Potential learning problems can be everything from a simple personality conflict between student and teacher to some type of learning disability.

Ms. Tyre recommends the first action is to meet with the teacher and/or specialist. Here is where the insanity definition comes into play. If your child is having trouble in school, doubling down on him or her to “pay attention” or “do extra worksheets” or anything similar to what is already happening in school, will not change anything!

The early school years are so critical to learning. The early elementary years are your child’s foundation for all learning. Problems not addressed do not improve on their own. Better to find out early than wait until there is no question (about the existence of a problem).

Of course, I’m going to suggest tutoring. A tutor has more time to focus on the child as an individual. At j&R Tutoring Academy we do a very thorough diagnostic that generates a nine to eleven page report, depending on the child and the potential problems. We also screen for preferred learning style. Sometimes the solution may be as simple as rebuilding self-esteem.

Just because there is a problem does not mean it will be difficult to resolve. The key is to recognize the situation and act upon it. Stop the insanity!!!


Upcoming Events | Springtime in Indiana, Art, Craft and Gift Showcase
Please visit our J&R Tutoring Academy booth at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds in Noblesville, IN
Saturday March 16 – Sunday March 17
Admission to the show is only $3.50 and includes ample free parking. Children 12 and under are free.