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4 Tips to help kids who hate school

Julia Christensen is an experienced tutor and professional writer for Varsity Tutors, a live learning platform that connects students with personalized instruction to accelerate academic achievement.

If your child is talking vaguely about hating school, you need to find out why

"But I don't like school."

Is this a common statement in your home? It's common for children to occasionally say they dislike school because it interferes with fun, or takes them away from the comfort of home. But if your child repeatedly expresses a dislike for school, you should investigate.

As a parent, you want to do whatever you can to make her feel OK, but since some young children won't give specific examples of their problems, it can be hard to address the issue. You need to pinpoint the cause to fix the problem.

Four tips to decipher vague conversations about problems at school

  1. Check for social issues.
  2. Is she in a fight with her best friend? Are other students bullying her? Try asking your student about her social life at school. If she's in the middle of a tiff with a friend, this may be a great time to discuss conflict resolution, apologizing and other keys to social success. If you think a larger social issue is to blame, like bullying, speak to someone at the school immediately.
  3. Look to her studies.
  4. Confusion can be very frustrating. If your student is having trouble keeping up in class, a dislike for school makes perfect sense. Look over her homework and report cards to spot any issues. Ask about her current assignments, upcoming projects and work styles. Perhaps she cannot see the board from her desk, or she is nervous about a requirement to speak in front of the class. Working with the teacher to make minor accommodations, finding outside academic assistance or reviewing assignments together at home may help ease academic issues.
  5. Ask about her teacher.
  6. Not everyone gets along. From disliking a certain teaching method to feeling ignored by the teacher, your student may dislike attending school because of who leads her class. The issue can likely be fixed easily, such as reminding your student to raise her hand if she wants attention from the teacher or telling your student that despite personal opinions the teacher is still in charge. If the problem seems more serious than that, you can bring it up at the school with a calm, level-headed approach.
  7. Talk to the appropriate person at school.
  8. After you have determined the cause of the problem — or after you have tried with no luck — talk to the appropriate person at school. If you think she dislikes attending class because of other students or academics, ask for a one-on-one meeting with her teacher. If you believe there is an issue with her teacher or serious bullying, try talking to the instructor or principal to find out more information — or look into the possibility of a class change.

For more tips and strategies to help your student succeed in school, visit varsitytutors.com.

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