University of Illinois Extension

Getting Extra Help

There are times when parents may consider seeking extra help for their children. Specific behavior happening regularly indicates extra help is needed. Everyone has those days when it is difficult to concentrate so look for the behavior to show consistent patterns.

Some kids are easily distracted by other things going on around them. It is difficult for them to remain focused. Noise, movement and scenery demand their attention. They are more interested in what is going on around them. They may not be able to resist day deaming. At break time, schedule a day dreaming break.

Little Joey may like to talk to anyone and everyone around him. His report card always says he talks to others too much. It is often easy to spot the disruptive child. This is the one who talks to their friends, teases everyone, squirms in their seat, or finds every excuse to get up and walk around. Cory also has a short attention span but moves a little slower. He quietly watches the bird build a nest out the window, or daydreams about the ball game later in the day.

Memorization, reading slowly, and not doing well on tests are other indicators that extra help may be beneficial. This child may be able to discuss the material and may know the topic but can't retain the information.

If the child regularly complains of stomach aches before going to school or is easily frustrated when it is time to do homework, parents will want to look for the cause.

Children learn social skills while in school as well as academic skills. While not every child needs dozens of close friends, every child does need to learn how to get along with their peers.

When you have questions about getting extra help, talk with the teacher. Parents and teachers teaming together creates an environment for the child to learn best. Sometimes a tutor can provide the individual help that a child needs.

Difficulties may be caused by physical reasons. Vision and hearing problems may be causing the child to be restless or distracted. There are many other reasons that the physician might diagnose for school difficulties.

In other cases, parents can find activities that the child can excel in to build self-confidence in their ability. It isn't necessary for every child to turn in a perfect spelling paper, but it is important for every child to believe in himself.

Understand your child's learning style. You can then provide learning experiences in the method that is best for your child.

Finally, be patient. Improvement is a process. Develop a team attitude between your child, their teacher, and you.