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How to Recognize When Your Student is Struggling with a School Subject


November 09, 2012
It's perfectly normal for a student to have difficulties from time to time with one or more subjects in school. Many students who did fine with basic reading, writing and math may experience problems as subjects become more complex. How can you recognize the warning signs before your student brings home a poor report card or becomes totally discouraged?

There are several red flags to watch for in subjects such as math or science:

Your student typically receives good grades, and you're seeing a sudden dip in one subject in particular-or more than one.

Struggling to gain traction on homework, or getting stuck easily.

Missing the same problem types over and over in math and/or science.

Getting stuck on one part of a problem and struggling to move past it to complete the problem.

Word problems are difficult because they can't separate the important and irrelevant information.

Math is becoming increasingly difficult to do independently because they struggle to understand the directions.

Multi-step math problems are difficult for your student.

Sloppy or unreadable homework

Struggling to interpret data provided for problem solving.

Despite genuine effort, your student's grade in a certain difficult subject is suffering.

The Alpharetta Huntington Learning Center offers subject tutoring for students in middle school and high school. "We offer one-to-one tutoring in all math and science classes and in other subjects, such as foreign languages. We work with students who want to improve a grade, those who are struggling to do homework, and everyone in between. If you suspect that your student is lost in class and could use individualized help, it's never too late to get started.

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