Go back through old tests and homework assignments. Look for a common theme.
Some things to look for:
• Concepts your child may not have learned. Say a science lesson earlier in the year included learning the way electricity travels. But your child never mastered that. If further lessons assume he has mastered it, he will probably have trouble with those.
• New ways to illustrate the lesson. Has the teacher started using a new type of graph, chart or diagram? It’s important for your child to understand these.
• Spelling and neatness. Even if your child knows the lesson down cold, he is still going to miss questions if the teacher thinks he meant to write something else. Invest in a pocket dictionary if spelling is a problem.
• Blank sections. If your child is leaving work undone and test questions unanswered, he may need to put more time into studying this subject. If he really has tried that but it has not worked, consider a tutor—perhaps an older student who did well in the class.
If that’s not possible, talk to his teacher about ways your child can study more efficiently. He may need help figuring out which concepts are most important.
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