My child is in third grade and has started to dislike school intensely. Her grades have declined sharply and I’m afraid that she may have some sort of learning problem. Her teacher keeps moving her to a lower reading group, but this hasn’t helped. I don’t want to annoy the teacher, but I do want to do something to help my child.
It is not unusual to see academic problems surface in the third grade. This is the year in which schools expect students to become more independent learners. Students are expected to apply time management to increasingly difficult work. The volume of schoolwork also increases as the teacher support decreases. During this transitional year, learning problems and attention problems become apparent or more pronounced.
Don’t think of yourself as annoying, but rather as a team player. You are the one who knows your child best, and is the most concerned about their well being. With that in mind, request a meeting with your child’s teacher. It is important that you prepare for the meeting in order to maximize the outcome. Gather work samples that your child has produced during the current school year, as well as previous years, including tests and report cards. Listen to your student read grade-appropriate material and take note of what you hear. Include your students’ after-school interests and activities in order to give a holistic picture of your child. Specify goals that you would like to see your child achieve during the current school year. With this analysis, you are ready to have a constructive conversation with the teacher.