Signs your child might be a struggling learner

Is your child a struggling learner?

Starting school is an exciting but also stressful time for children. They have to adjust to an entirely new routine, make new friends, navigate the playground hierarchy and start to learn the skills that will build the foundations of their education.

It can become apparent early on if you have a struggling learner. Our education system is, after all, a one-size-fits-most system. There are always going to be children who sit on different sides over the average and kids that are sitting below it might need a bit of help and support at home to meet their educational milestones.

Signs your child might be a struggling learner

1. Your child’s behaviour changes

You child might begin to act out, either at home or at school. They might be frustrated with their tasks or with themselves and it can manifest in feeling angry, sad or even withdrawn and quiet.

2. Homework tasks take far too long to complete

If homework is taking a really long time to do, it might be that your child isn’t coping with what is expected. Are they avoiding the work? Making excuses? Needing a lot of support to complete it?

3. Your child might try to get out of going to school

Sudden illnesses that appear out of nowhere and disappear soon after might be an indicator that your child is avoiding school Lots of children will try to get a day off at some point or another, but if you notice this happening more frequently, it could be a sign that something isn’t going well at school.

4. Reluctance to discuss school

Communication is always a key factor in problem solving. If your child is getting defensive, upset or angry when you raise the issue, there could be more to it.

You may also like: Other articles by Amy

If this describes your child, what can you do?

1. Talk to their teachers

Make an appointment for a chat about what you are observing at home and ask how your child is going in class. It’s a good idea to take note of any issues the teacher or school support staff raise with you. Teachers are the experts when it comes to education and their experience can give them keen insights into the barriers to learning. They may assist you in coming up with a plan for home as well as at school, or they might suggest you seek outside assistance.

2. Rule out physical issues

Sometimes, a perceived learning difficulty is actually a physical issue that is easily managed. A check up at the doctor’s office can help asses if further testing is required in any of these areas.

3. Investigate possible learning disabilities

You child’s teacher might suggest there are further issues to be investigated. Things like dyslexia or ADHD, for example, can make learning difficult. Children living with these conditions might need to help them find a style of learning to suit their needs. Your GP can refer you specialists if needed.

4. Be flexible!

Focus on what your child can do. You know them better than anyone else and sometimes what they are capable of may be more important than what they are supposed to do. This might mean letting their teacher know they will not be completing certain homework tasks or reading to them rather than trying to get them to read aloud.

5. Find opportunities for success

Help your child to find something they enjoy and can do well away from school-based learning. Things like joining a sports team, taking up dance or athletics, learning a musical instrument or taking an art class. Success in other activities can help build your child’s confidence immensely.

6. Encourage them!

It’s easy to find yourself singularly focused on helping our children reach learning milestones. Don’t forget to keep up the encouragement along the way. Recognise their progress and don’t forget to take time out from learning for family time, relaxation and enjoyment.

Amy Ahearn


Amy Ahearn

Amy is a shift-working mum and step-mum of a combined total of 4 children. Her hobbies include drinking hot drinks, watching television shows that include dragons and sword fighting, hiding in the bathroom to write things and visiting cafes in search of the perfect Eggs Benedict. Her children (begrudgingly) admit that she is a cool mum, not like those other mums.

Read more
Contact Us

If you have any questions or would like to obtain more information about Little Red Compass' services, please contact us by completing the form below.

Red Compass Pty Ltd

ABN 47 136 980 777
PO Box 516, Roseville NSW 2069, AUSTRALIA

Message sent, we'll get back to you soon!

Forgot your password?

Don't have an account with us yet? Please register now
Member Registration

Contact details


By signing up, I agree to the terms and conditions set out in the Registered Member Agreement.

Already registered?

Advertiser Registration

Contact details


Business details

By signing up, I agree to the terms and conditions set out in the Registered Advertiser Agreement.

Already registered?

Join Little Red Compass...

Already registered?