Smart Kids,Poor Grades

-Prity Shrestha Rajbhandary

If grades were the sole indicators of how far a person will go in life, Albert Einstein wouldn’t have amounted to much. And yet, several decades later, Time magazine rated him as the person of the millennium.
Grades are just one of the many ways to measure human potential, and does not, by any means, cover the full range of what it is to be a human being. But, it is still an important indicator of the level of understanding of the subject materials covered in schools. Now, consider the situation whereby you think that your kid is smart, but she is not doing really great in terms of grades. The most likely causes for that are the following:

1. She is not getting enough academic support
If you have ever worked as a teacher—I have—you would be surprised how time-pressed teachers are at schools. The fact that each class would have about 30-40 students, and they need to teach five to six such classes a day, does not leave them much time for individual interactions with students. If you feel that your child is not getting enough educational support at home, then perhaps you need to hire a tutor until her grades improve.


2 . She is not motivated
Sometimes, students, especially young ones, cannot

see the link between their current academic courses with their future goals (that is, if they have any goals). It is here that you would need to talk to your child, and help her make that connection. If she wants to become a pilot, you could explain to her in greater detail how her putting a bit more effort in mathematics will help her reach that goal.

3. She has learning disabilities
In some rare cases, children may have medical learning disabilities that may not have been obvious to the parents. In this case, they need to be evaluated by a medical professional, and treated accordingly.

4. She is going through a psychological ordeal
Being a student is not an easy task. So, talk to your child to see if she is being bullied at school, or is being physically or sexually abused by anyone. In addition to that, your relationship with your spouse also makes a big difference on her wellbeing. If you always shout and scream at your spouse, your child, who is witnessing all these things, isn’t going to be able focus on her studies, no matter how smart she is.

5. She lacks discipline
No matter how smart a child is, if she is not putting in enough hours of regular studies every day, she is not going to do well in school. It is not surprising that many kids spend more time watching TV, playing video games, or on the internet, than actually revising what they studied in class. In this case, the most obvious course of action is to limit such extra diversions, or if the situation demands, totally eliminate them until grades improve.

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