Now the Autumn term has begun, it usually means parents' evenings are around the corner, which means it’s a perfect time to discuss with your child how they have found the school year so far and what they can do to achieve their goals by year’s end. Are they struggling in some areas? Do they need to be challenged more? Let your child know that you’re ready to help them figure out what they need for a rewarding rest of the school year. Here are some tips to help you put your progress monitoring to work:
1. Get Your Questions Answered
In the run-up to parents' evening, have discussions with your child to make sure you understand how they feel they are doing in maths, especially if they are struggling with homework or basic concepts in certain topics. If it appears they are, it could be that you need to raise it with their teacher. Parents' evening is an opportune moment for this and understanding your child’s challenges sooner rather than later will enable you and them, to advocate for additional support and give them the confidence they can achieve academically.
2. Make a Plan
Sit down with your child and explore ways for them to either stay on track in their classes or catch up to where they need to be. Or, if they’re already ahead, discuss what it will take to keep them interested in the subject. Encourage your child to advocate for themselves, to ask their teacher for help when needed. This is also a great time to connect with programmes that can help them get the support they need, such as supplemental tutoring. And remember to keep a long-term perspective. The key is for your child to stay focused and not lose sight of their goals. Be sure they aren’t overscheduled with extracurricular activities or feeling so worried about results that they don’t enjoy the learning process. A successful school experience involves gaining knowledge, thinking independently, asking questions, and developing confidence.
3. Speak in Positive Terms
Sometimes parents’ evenings can create anxiety in a child, especially if they believe that by underperforming, they’re letting someone down — whether it be their parents, teachers, or anyone else who wants to see them do well. Assure your child that learning is a process with inherent ups and downs and that there are ways to work through any academic issues they’re having. Show them that you are confident they can get to where they want to be. Encourage them to discuss with you their strengths — both academic and otherwise — as well as areas where they may have difficulty. Help them understand that our strengths and weaknesses are what make each of us unique and that there’s nothing wrong with needing or getting extra help. In fact, seeking that help — whether it be tutoring or another after-school resource — is one of the best ways to empower your child with the essential tools to thrive in the classroom.
4. Avoid Comparisons
You’ll go a long way in gaining your child’s trust and willingness to discuss their progress by keeping comments off social media and out of conversations with friends. Letting your child know that you’re proud of them for the work they put in at school will be worth much more to them, emphasising the knowledge, skill or ability they have obtained. You don’t want them to be so focused on any test results, that they overlook the importance of what they’re learning. When the foundational knowledge is gained. For example, the ability to use critical thinking in solving maths problems and applying learned concepts will always extend beyond just one test.
5. Seek Help Where Needed
When parents know how their kids are doing academically, they’re more likely to take advantage of the tutoring programmes and other resources that are out there. Through progress monitoring and advocating for your child, you’ll be giving them the opportunity to reach their true potential by getting them the help they need. It has become clear through several studies that a good tutoring programme – whether in-person, virtual or hybrid – works well in catching kids up to where they need to be. It might even give them that extra push to excel beyond where they currently are. Look for a programme that teaches them in a way they understand and that focuses on a student’s individual needs and learning patterns.
At Mathnasium, students are provided with a customised learning plan and the personalised instruction they need to accelerate their maths skills and take on the rest of the school year with confidence. Whether your child is looking to catch up, keep up, or get ahead, Mathnasium’s highly-trained instructors meet them where they are and guide them to where they need to go. And if your child is working beyond their current year group level, they’ll learn to master more complex concepts through an accelerated programme. The goal is for students to not only improve scores but also to learn how to solve problems and work independently — tools that last a lifetime.
To get your child started at Mathnasium, call or visit your local learning centre today!
Jessica Lahey, How to Help Your Child Succeed at School, New York Times, September 10, 2019.
Jenny Anderson, Many American Parents Have No Idea How Their Kids Are Doing in School, Time, August 28, 2023.
Amna Nawaz, Study Shows Parents Overestimate Their Student’s Academic Progress, PBS News Hour, April 6, 2023.