Four Reasons Why Children Are Behind In School
Factors that Affect School Productivity
The school readiness report from research conducted on teaching professionals shows that only 50% of school-age children are ready by the time they start school. That means, that the other 50% of the children are not ready and are underprepared to start their classes. Moreover, the same study also noted that preschool teachers and teaching aids spend more time assisting those children who are left behind in the lessons which affect the productivity of the whole classroom. Reigeluth and Beatty, in a published journal, cited four of the most common reasons why children are left behind in school.
- Children may have unmet needs that block or interfere with their ability to learn
- Lack of motivation to learn
- Some children may lack the foundation to learn, for example, comprehension and understanding, which may cause delays in learning
- Lack of quality instruction that’s easily understandable for them
For children to be happy and productive in school, their physical, emotional, and psychological needs should be met. These are basic needs of children, and should all be met for them to be productive in their learning. If these factors are unmet, it is evident that the child is less likely to be productive in school, and therefore is a contributing factor to why they are left behind by their peers in terms of their academic performance.
Another key factor to learning is motivation. Just like in any endeavour, motivation is your driving force to do the things that you do. When children lack the motivation to go to school and learn, proper support and foundation will not be enough. Most children a new school year excited, but eventually fade as the school year progress. Motivation has been found to have an impact on learning, comprehension, and attention, and it influences emotional participation (Schiefele, 1999 as cited by Clark and Phythian-Sence, 2008). To keep children interested in learning, try to give them learning materials that they can relate to. A study by the National Literacy Trust found that children show more interest in the learning material if it has a sense of personal relevance to them!
New knowledge is built on prior knowledge (Reigeluth and Beatty). Lack of learning foundation is another common reason why children are behind in school. Some children get a headstart in learning at home since it is in fact, the child’s first classroom. Having a reading habit at a young age affects so much how well the child performs in their academic years. Books are reliable learning sources which the child gets a lot of knowledge from. Moreover, the habit of reading also develops the child’s focus, concentration, and comprehension which are key factors in learning! That is why early childhood education professionals strongly suggest building a reading habit in children. Choose reading materials that the child is interested in, like a personalised book with personalised elements that have personal relevance to them. In a personalised book, your child gets to see himself in a published book, read his name as the hero of the story, and see an illustrated character in the book that resembles his physical features! All these personalised elements make the book feel special and personal.
Lastly, lack of quality instruction greatly affects the child’s ability to learn. Instruction may come from different sources, like an educator, a caregiver, a parent, reading material, or a computer. Inadequate instruction makes learning difficult even for the most prepared learners (Reigeluth and Beatty).
The child’s brain, in their learning years, absorbs so much information, like a sponge. But, if these four factors to learning are not met and addressed in every classroom, the learning opportunity is lost for the child and they will continue to be left behind!
Four Reasons Why Children Are Behind In School: What You Can Do
For a child to be ready to learn, his/her emotional, physical, and psychological needs should be met. This means, that children should come to class well-dressed, well-groomed, healthy, and happy. The child should also come from a happy disposition before going to school, free from any forms of abuse. If these basic needs are not met, the child will most likely be left behind by their peers in school.
Without motivation, even a proper foundation and preparedness to come to class will not be enough. Children are most likely to lose motivation and get distracted towards the middle of the school year. Learning requires the child to exert effort in school, thus, they need to stay motivated and excited to learn throughout the school year. Educators also play an important role in making sure that the child gets diverse teaching methods and interesting learning materials that will keep them happy and excited to learn. Personalised books are reading materials to keep kids interested and excited especially when it comes to reading!
Foundations to learn such as comprehension and understanding are also important factors in learning. Skills are built on each other, so it’s important to equip the child with the necessary skills that give them a headstart in their academic years. These skills are teachable at home, bedtime reading is a great way to start kids in their reading journey. Frequent reading also improves the child’s comprehension, which is also an important skill in learning.
Support is the final piece of the puzzle. Without proper support, all of your other efforts to get the child ready for school may be compromised. Learning is difficult without the right support and instruction. Even if the child is well-motivated to learn, he/she will not achieve maximum learning without adequate and quality instructions.