Attend parent-teacher conferences

A child’s academic performance is influenced by a number of factors; teachers, parents, individual brainpower and motivation. Parents are key players in the development of a child’s character, confidence, motivation and personal responsibility — all of which contribute to a child’s academic performance. There are plenty of productive ways through which you can turn this into an exciting academic experience and strengthen her existing abilities to improve her grades.

Students who have trouble with some subjects typically have real strengths and weaknesses within their basic learning skills which need a boost from all possible sources. Since different types of activities are supported by different sets of learning skills, you should take time to examine your child’s academic strengths and weaknesses and find ways to capitalise on the strengths while striving to minimise the weaknesses. First, recognise how best your child learns and find study methods that best utilise her learning potential. If your child isn’t naturally gifted in a particular area, find out what she’s good at and help her to cultivate that interest even if it’s not math or science. This will motivate her to work hard and get good grades.

Secondly, attend parent-teacher conferences to build a strong relationship with your child’s teachers and collectively discuss strategies on how to help your child improve in the weak areas. Also, encourage her to join discussion groups with friends who do well in those subjects for more support and collaboration. And make available the use of the internet, online quizzes, and practice on topics that she doesn’t understand well.

Similarly, make sure your child has enough sleep, nutritious food, good hygiene and regular medical care. Train her to develop organisational habits that will teach her to be a self-managing and organised student, as these have great contribution to academic performance. Demonstrate to your kid the value of education by doing productive things like reading books and preparing presentations for work ahead of time. That will set a great example for her to be proactive. Switching schools can be challenging, especially when she meets highly competitive students in the new environment. The new study routine, teachers and methods will definitely have a toll on her already embattled academic performance. If she can offer to personally get committed to improving her grades, she will be well on her way to great academic success.

Their thoughts...

Ariane Ishimwe, University student

There are other alternatives you can consider if you can’t afford a tutor, for instance, encouraging your child to start revision with her classmates. It’s likely that some of your daughter’s classmates are good at the subjects that she is failing, so encourage her to seek guidance from her peers.
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Ivan Gatete, Graduate

Students always have revision groups in school, and it’s through those groups that they help each other understand lessons better. Those who are good in particular subjects help others who are weak to get better. Your daughter should make more effort and join these groups to improve.
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Francis T Stuart, Cricket player

If teachers say that they can’t help one student, surely they can make the time for a number of them with the same difficulties if they come together. My advice is that you encourage your child to prioritise her studies, find other students with the same problems, and form a group to seek teachers’ assistance.
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Gad Tuyishimire, Student

Teachers are her best bet if she is to improve in those subjects. They might not get the time to tutor her separately, but they can help her understand better in class. Advise your daughter to pay more attention in class and ask questions where she doesn’t understand. Teachers are always willing to explain further to students who ask questions.

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