6 ways to tell if your kid is struggling at school.

And how you can help them.

Chances are you took a period of maternity leave (short or long) when your child was a baby, but surprisingly, once they hit primary school they need you more than ever before. Sure, you’re not needed to wipe their bottom (here’s hoping) but psychologically, emotionally and physically you’re needed every step of the way.

If you have the feeling your child may be struggling in school, they’re probably not going to come right out and admit it. Here are six signs they may not be coping – and what you can do about it.

1. Their grades are dropping.

One giant red flag here is that a usually academically sound child has started failing. A once off could be a sudden lack of interest in that subject – or something more serious. Your first point of call should be discussing it with their teacher.

Your kid may be feeling like this.

2. ‘I just don’t get it.’

If your child expresses frustration and gives up easily on homework by saying that they ‘just don’t get it,’ they may have lost confidence in a class of full of whizzes. Engage their interest with an educational app such as Splash Math, which covers Year 1 to 5. The challenge is to add new fish to their virtual aquarium each time they answer a question; they won’t even remember it’s not meant to be fun.    

“I send my son to private school. The last thing I am is selfish.”

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by HP’s new Stream family. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.

3. They don’t want to talk about school.

Almost every child goes through a phase (for some it lasts their entire schooling career) of not wanting to talk about what they did at school. But if your usual chatty child completely shuts down and displays depressive behaviour, it could be a sign they are having difficulties at school. From having trouble making friends to potentially being bullied, this is one you want to get onto sooner rather than later.


4. Homework time becomes a drama.

If homework is becoming a huge deal every night, and it’s more than just an ‘I’d rather play with my friends’ frustration, it could be attributed to poor concentration or memory skills. Change up their study area, and encourage better learning and memory recall by the use of brain-training apps. Try getting your child their own device, such as the HP Stream laptop, that can help make learning fun, or Cogmed Working Memory Training, which is aimed at children 5+.

Because these days are over.

5. They become clingy.

Remember when they literally clung onto you for dear life on the first day of school? Well, another sign that all is not well at school is sudden neediness in a usually happy and independent child. Keep the lines of communication open so that they feel comfortable talking to you about what is going on. Again, chat to their teacher if you’re not getting any answers from your child.

One mum’s justification for why we should ban homework.

6. Anxiety over going to school.

If your child is faking illness or procrastinates to avoid getting ready for school, before you rouse on them, first take stock that there isn’t something else behind their snail-paced efforts. If there’s no external issues that’s classmate related, one thing you could look at is the way they learn. They may be suffering from a learning weakness, which could be helped by a tutor, testing their cognitive skills or speaking to their after school carer, if you can’t be there at homework time.


What are some of the struggles you have when trying to encourage your children to study at home?

Do these sound familiar?

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Hear from Mia Freedman as she discusses why you don’t need to share your laptop with the kids anymore at

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