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Academic Underachievement & Support Resources

By Don Emerson

August 14, 2017

Academic Underachievement

Symptoms

1. Repeated failure to complete school or homework assignments on time

2. Academic performance is below the student’s intelligence

3. Heightened anxiety that interferes with student’s performance during tests

4. Depression and low self-esteem that contribute to academic underachievement

5. Poor organization or study skills that contribute to academic performance

Possible Causes

1. Lack of self-discipline. Depression or low self-esteem.

2. Power struggle/Passive aggressive

3. Exposed to chaotic environment

4. Has become lazy. Has repeated school failures. Poor study skills

Goals

1. Demonstrate interest and motivation in academics to bring performance up

2. Remove emotional impediments or environmental stressors in order to improve academic performance

3. Parents implement intervention strategies to help student keep up with school work

4. Complete school assignments on a consistent basis

5. Reduce anxiety related to taking tests

How to Help

1. Refer the student for a hearing, vision and medical examination

2. Encourage parents to maintain regular (at least weekly) communication with teachers to help the student remain organized and keep up with assignments.

3. Set short and long term goals.

4. Discuss student’s negative attitude toward school. Focus on changing that attitude.

5. Ensure the student has the skills required to complete schoolwork. If not, try to assist in changing the level of the student’s work or help parents to get a tutor.

6. Direct the student to write the assignment for the day and have the teacher initialize it. Parents expect to see the notebook everyday even if there is no assignment. The student should write no assignment and the teacher still initializes it.

7. Teach test-taking skills.

8. Teach the student effective study skills (study in quiet places, develop outlines, highlight important details, etc.).

9. Monitor academic progress. Discuss accomplishments and setbacks.

10. Direct student to use planners to record school assignments and plan ahead for long-term projects.

11. Encourage parents to give praise and positive reinforcements for academic success

 

 

Academic Support Resources

Helping Your Child Learn

This publication series aims to provide parents with the tools and information necessary to help their children succeed in school and life. These booklets feature practical lessons and activities to help their school aged and preschool children master reading, understand the value of homework and develop the skills and values necessary to achieve and grow. In PDF so can be downloaded from this website. 

http://www2.ed.gov/parents/academic/help/hyc.html

 

How to Study.Com

A comprehensive website to assist students develop study skills that enhance academic success. 

http://www.how-to-study.com/

 

Testing

Some Things Parents Should Know About Testing A Series of Questions and Answers 

http://www.assessmentpsychology.com/harcourtparents.htm

 

Books

Active Questioning. Nancy Johnson. 1995, Dayton, OH: Pieces of Learning.

Creating the Thoughtful Classroom: Strategies to Promote Student Thinking. A. Udall and J. Daniels. 1991, Tucson, AZ: Zephyr Press.

 

Differentiated Instructional Strategies: One Size Doesn't Fit All. Gayle H. Gregory and Carolyn Chapman. 2002, Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Differentiating Instruction in the Regular Classroom: How to Reach and Teach All Learners, Grades 3-12. Diane Heacox. 2002, Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing.

Helping Your Child Learn

This publication series aims to provide parents with the tools and information necessary to help their children succeed in school and life. These booklets feature practical lessons and activities to help their school aged and preschool children master reading, understand the value of homework and develop the skills and values necessary to achieve and grow.

Telephone—1-877-4-ED-PUBS FAX—1-301-470-1244 TTY/TDD—1-877-576-7734

How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed Ability Classrooms. Carol Ann Tomlinson. 1995, Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Katie's Rose: A Tale of Two Late Bloomers

Written by Karen Gedig Burnett Illustrated by Laurie Barrrows

Leadership for Differentiating Schools and Classrooms. Carol Ann Tomlinson and Susan Demirsky Allen. 2000, Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Six Thinking Hats for Schools (book 2). Edward DeBono. 1992, Australia: Hawker Brownlow Education.

Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom: Strategies Every Teacher Can Use to Meet the Needs of the Gifted and Talented. Susan Winebrenner. 1992, Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing.

"Teach Me, Teach My Brain: A Call for Differentiated Classrooms". M. Layne Kalbfleisch and C. Tomlinson. Educational Leadership: November 1998, pp. 52-55.

Thinking is the Key. Nancy Johnson. 1992, Dayton, OH: Pieces of Learning.

The Unschooled Mind: How children think and how schools should teach. Howard Gardner. 1991, New York: Basic Books.

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