As teachers and parents, we can sometimes feel completely at a loss when a student or our child is not progressing the way that we would like. There are many different reasons this could be happening, and plenty of possible answers; but at the end of the day, you are the one who knows your child best. So advocate for them, do your research, and encourage them, and it will all be ok.
Whether you are homeschooling or your children are in public/private school, you want them to do well, to progress and not fall too far behind. First, I want to talk about a few of the reasons your child may not be progressing, then I will go into a few "next steps" depending on your schooling situation.
A very common occurrence that I witnessed over and over again while teaching in public schools since 2020, is the amount of skills that children, especially elementary aged children, missed out on. Sometimes it was because they didn't have access to wifi at home and couldn't access virtual school, or their parents weren't around to make sure that they did it. Either way, so many children across the globe essentially missed out on an entire grade and were expected to just keep on going. I have noticed that the children who missed Kindergarten and/or 1st grade are struggling the most now that they are getting into testing grades, but barely know how to read.
Another reason your child could be struggling is because they have some type of learning disability and need a little extra help here and there. Sometimes all a child needs is those accommodations such as extended time or having the questions read to them to be able to catch up academically. "A specific learning disability (SLD) is a disorder that interferes with a student’s ability to listen, think, speak, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations. Students with a specific learning disability may struggle with reading, writing, or math."
But what if my child is already identified as having a learning disability?
If your child has an IEP or 504 Plan and there has been absolutely no growth in at least 9 weeks, then that is when a meeting with the entire team is usually called to go over data and possibly change the current goals. The special education teacher will usually reach out if they notice there isn't any progression, but parents need to be aware of what the goals are and how close they are to meeting them. (Most schools send goal reports out each 9 weeks with report cards.)
So what can you do to help your child grow?
Some children were held back a grade after Covid so that they had the chance to learn everything from the year they missed. This is easier at a younger age, however some schools didn't want to do this and just moved everyone along, and some parents didn't want their children to be "behind."
Other parents pulled their children out to homeschool them because they just kept falling further behind and at home, it is easier to go at the pace of the student. Obviously this is not an option for a lot of families, especially in this economy, but some parents have made that leap over the last few years.
Private tutoring is also an option, whether or not your child is in public school or schooling from home. This is the whole reason that I started Inspired Tutors. I wanted to meet children where they are at, no matter the disability or loss of instruction, and help them grow at their own pace, the way that they learn best.
Make sure to keep in contact with your child's teachers if they go to school. Teachers have a lot going on all the time, but when you are a team and all you both want is for your child to be successful, then that alliance can be a powerful thing.
Don't be afraid to ask for a meeting about your child's progress. If you homeschool, don't be afraid to get your child tested if you think there might be an underlying cause as to why they are struggling.
At the end of the day, you do your best, and you advocate for your child. Everything will work out in the end ;)