Confidence is Critical to a Child’s Success in School
Jan 25, 2019
For many children who are struggling in school, the problem may be self-evident – they may have poor study skills, they’re not strong in math, or they don’t spend enough time on their homework. In each of these examples, the problem could be solved with a more diligent and structured approach to schoolwork. For other children however, it may not be clear what is causing their grades to spiral downward. At the same time, they may withdraw from conversations about school and other aspects of life. What causes this? It could be a child’s lack of confidence in his or her own learning ability.
Poor performance in school can drag down grades, but ongoing trouble can undermine a child's whole academic experience and his sense of self-esteem. Lack of confidence can lead to many problems – failure to participate in classroom discussions, failing grades and unwillingness to talk to teachers or parents are just some examples.
Sylvan Learning, the leading provider of tutoring to students of all ages, grades and skill levels, offers study skills training as well as specific subject tutoring for students whose lack of self-confidence begins to affect their learning ability. By improving studying and test taking skills, it not only benefits a child in all his or her subjects, it builds confidence as well.
Brandon “Randy” Akers, an active high school musician, began showing signs that he was struggling in his math classes when he was in sixth-grade. He received extra help from his teachers but was unable to get the help that he needed once he entered high school. As a result, Randy became very frustrated, and his Algebra grades suffered tremendously. He excelled at many other subjects in school, but lacked the basic skills to progress in Algebra.
“I felt like I had been defeated, and I really didn’t have confidence in myself,” says Randy. With the help of his parents, Randy decided to enroll in Sylvan Learning’s basic math program. He worked very closely with the Sylvan teachers and immediately began building his confidence level and no longer felt frustrated. “The Sylvan teachers encouraged me to keep trying when I didn’t understand something and were the first to congratulate me when I overcame obstacles,” he says.
The vast improvements seen in Randy’s attitude and ability are also seen in his high school math class where he recalls, “I got into trouble one day in class because my teacher said that I was not giving the other students a turn at answering the problems.”
Denyse O’Connor, Sylvan director, believes that Randy always gives 100 percent and is impressed with his new level of confidence. His dedication and enthusiasm have really inspired her.
With a little help and a lot of encouragement, Randy now excels in math and most recently received the second highest grade in his high school Algebra class.
Sylvan Learning bases its instructional services on a proven process and the “mastery learning” concept. It starts with a Sylvan Skills Assessment®, which identifies the child’s personal skill gaps. Sylvan’s personal instructors then begin to develop those skills by reinforcing the child’s existing skills and building on them until the new skills have been learned and mastered. Sylvan also builds confidence in students by offering rewards for performance and attitude. As a result, the child’s level of self-esteem begins to grow, which helps build confidence in overall learning.
Sometimes, it may be necessary to go back years in the curriculum to get at the root of a child’s individual skill gap. Although, Sylvan supplements – not re-teaches – what is learned in the child’s school classroom, in order to develop the skills, habits and attitudes needed for lifelong success. The reward is seeing a child begin to understand what he or she is learning and the student’s confidence beginning to soar.
For more educational resources for children in grades pre-K through 12, visit www.SylvanLearning.com.