Helping Your Child Develop a Game Plan to Raise Their Grades Before the End of the School Year

By Huntington Learning Center

By February, the end of the school year is in sight—and for many students, that means a stark reality check about their grades. If your child isn’t where they should be by now, it’s time to develop a game plan to raise their grades before the last school bell of the year rings. Over the past two school years, many children have suffered big learning loss, which is especially problematic if they were struggling in school before the disruptions of the pandemic.

It’s not too late to get back on track, but we advise students to do so with a specific plan in place. Too often, students say they want to raise their grades but don’t know where to start. We advise that students approach their grade turnaround efforts in a focused, intentional way. That’s likely to make the biggest difference in helping them make up those losses.

So, what can you do to help your child use the rest of this school year wisely and start moving those grades in the right direction? Here are several tips:

  • Assess the study skills. Does your child actually know how to complete homework in an efficient, effective manner, with good time management? Did the on and off of remote learning squash their good school habits and routines? Do they have good study methods when preparing for tests? If not, go over the basics: studying at a time of day when your child is most alert, avoiding distractions and procrastination, settings that work best for staying focused and prioritizing their work.
  • Get organized. If you feel the thing hurting your child most is losing track of papers and deadlines, it’s worth going over the organizational system. Have your child show you what they do, and if they need a refresher on best practices, talk about how to update the planner (or have them download a planner app), maintain a filing system, organize binders and spend a few minutes each evening tidying up the workspace. Make sure your child understands the importance of good habits (and how poor habits can hurt them).
  • Meet with teachers. After talking at home, you and/or your child should reach out to teachers to discuss their academic performance. There could be several issues at hand and the teacher will have insight. It’s possible that your child is missing key skills that are making it hard to progress, is confused about difficult topics or something else. Poor study habits and time management could also be issues.
  • Get the help of a tutor. It’s unlikely that your child will be able to improve low grades if they’re only guessing what is wrong. Meeting with the tutors at Huntington Learning Center is the best starting point. For most children, it’s very possible that they are still feeling the impact of COVID-19 learning loss. We will talk with your child about whether they don’t understand something, have not been studying effectively or have not been putting in their best efforts—and then we’ll assess their skills and knowledge. That information will give us a starting point. Then, we will develop a customized, one-to-one program of instruction to help them get back to grade level or even excel.
  • Set goals and milestones for each. Your child’s motivation might be extra low if they’ve been struggling in school, so try setting goals and creating smaller tasks to work toward each one. By taking small daily steps, your child will start to feel successful again and rebuild their confidence and self-esteem. Goal setting will also help your child finish the school year where they need to be to succeed in the subsequent grade.

Setting goals to address specific school challenges makes sense only when you know what’s wrong and how to help. Figuring out first steps is the hard part. We help children all the time in situations where they want to raise their grades in the final few months of the school year and have fallen significantly behind but feel overwhelmed about how to do so. An academic evaluation is where we begin. We’ll figure out where your child is having the most trouble and develop a precise plan of action to raise those grades one by one.