Learning Coach 101: Helping Your Student Overcome His Struggles in His Online Studies

Posted on July 08 2013

Is your child struggling with his studies? Do you see you and your child on a tug-of-war in order to get online high school assignments done? As your child’s learning coach, you can help your child achieve his full potential while staving off poor academic performance and endless protests. The key is to discover the reasons behind his struggles and his attitude and addressing them.

Here are some possible reasons behind a child’s negative attitude towards schooling:

  • He is performing over and above his abilities. When one feels he is in over his head with the tasks at hand, he may just give up out of frustration. Your child may need additional help in grasping concepts in subjects where he feels he is weak. For instance, if you see your child struggling with his math lessons, ask if he needs additional guidance. The online teachers at The American Academy are on hand to provide support where it is needed. The advantage of being on an online high school program is that you can adjust the pace of the school day so that you can allot more hours for subjects that your child has difficulty with.
  • He is learning via a learning style different from his own. At the onset, it will be useful to discover your child’s learning style. Is he a visual learner – one that learns best with visuals such as videos, diagrams and charts? Is he an auditory learner – one who thrives by just listening to information being presented? Is he a tactile learner – one who needs to move around, to touch, feel and experience the material he’s learning? Learning your child’s learning style will make you more conscious of how you can aid him to understand a certain lesson.
  • He is bogged down by distractions. Perhaps your child’s attention is every which way – the game he has on his tablet, his online high school math lesson, his friends calling him up over his cellphone. Make sure that distractions are minimized within his “school day”. Set up a study area where there is minimal traffic and your child can study without disturbance. Teach other family members and visiting friends about cutting down on noise and calls during study hour.
  • He is unmotivated or has a negative attitude towards his studies in general or a particular subject. The lack of motivation can be a major barrier towards success, particularly in an online learning environment. Learning coaches/parents can help by being proactive in coming up with motivational strategies to keep their online high school students on track. Create a progress chart that will help you and your child keep track of how far he has already gone. Motivate through a rewards system for progress achieved. It does not have to be material. It can be a trip to the museum, arcade or somewhere you know your child will enjoy. It can be 2 free hours where your child can do an activity of his choice. It can be his favorite dessert. Big or small, progress and results (including completed lessons) should be celebrated. It is also important to keep a positive environment, where loved ones provide their support and encouragement to your learner.
  • He is bored and needs more stimulation or challenge. There are also instances where a child struggles to perform because there is not much challenge in the current lesson or if he is overexposed to a certain task. For instance, if the bulk of the term is concentrated on Math exercises, boredom may set in. Be observant and see whether this is the case for your child. If it is, you can inquire with the online advisor to see what activity or challenging lesson you can give to your child to spark his interest in his online classes.
  • He feels isolated and lonely. The common struggle in an online high school program is that there are few opportunities to socialize. However, this is more a misconception, rather than the reality. There are plenty of opportunities for your child to socialize, not just with his peers but also with other people from different walks of life. Encourage your child to interact with his online teachers and classmates. Encourage him to join in community activities or clubs.