How to Motivate Your Child Whose Grades Have Dropped

By Dr. Raymond Huntington

The pandemic took a toll on many students and the current reality is many who have fallen behind and lost motivation. Falling grades are problematic, but an even bigger issue is when your child seems uninterested in turning things around. What can you do to help your child who seems apathetic about school and whose As have dwindled to Cs? Here are several tips:

Have an open conversation. Without judgment or frustration, talk with your child about what they’re feeling. When did problems start? What subjects have been especially difficult? Let your child know that you want them to find success in school, but more importantly, you want them to feel good about themselves going into this new year.

Discuss the importance of effort. Sometimes, school is difficult. This past year proved that things can change suddenly, and for many students, that’s not ideal. Your child needs the reminder that hard things require significant effort. Not every subject comes easy and your child might not always like what they learn. But in the end, the achievement is worth the struggle. Tell your child to take pride in their accomplishments.

Make sure your child is challenged. Remote learning was fraught with problems and led to not only a loss of skills for many students, but also a loss of interest. As you head into this new school year, make sure your child spends time setting goals and laying out the steps to achieve those goals. Talk about what aspects of the school year are exciting and what they are hoping to learn and do during this new year. Sometimes, a little effort toward thinking about these things helps students refocus.

Work to rebuild their academic stamina. With many students learning remotely for much or all of last school year, chances are high that your child might have lost some of their fortitude to study and persist through challenging school work. Set high but achievable expectations. Express confidence in your child. Remind them to view learning as continuous so that they develop a growth mindset (rather than a fixed mindset). And ask their teachers for suggestions on how to reestablish good habits.

Focus on time management. For many students, the chaos of last school year led to many bad habits. Get your child back on track with a few best practices: planner use, planning out every homework session so that they minimize wasted time, good homework routines and the use of timers and reminders. This keeps your child on track and deters procrastination. It can also help with the child who avoids homework by simplifying what they have to do.

Understandably, many children have experienced negative feelings about school in the last year and a half. This coming school year is likely to be a year of refocusing and rebuilding. If your child seemed unmotivated at the end of the last school year and their grades showed the same, call Huntington. We can investigate the problem and identify exactly what is going on, then develop a customized program of instruction. Our approach is effective and will help your student turn things around quickly! Call 1-800 CAN LEARN today.