How Do I Know When My High School Student Needs Help?

By The Study Hall | Sep 26, 2017

Parents may not recognize when a son or daughter is starting to have trouble with high school classes until it is very obvious and a student is in danger of failing. What about missing a homework assignment or two, or failing a single quiz? Does that mean it is time to get help? Or is it not really urgent until he fails a test, or gets an F for an entire quarter?

High school classes are structured to cover a subject in one semester or one year, and the material you learn early on is needed as a good foundation for the learning you will continue to do for the next six to nine months. If a student tries to gloss over difficulties in the early part of a course, it will become apparent later on.

A tutor who is familiar with the high school curriculum can tell if a student really knows how to proceed on his own, or whether he needs help. A tutor can spend the time needed to make sure the student has a good foundation. For example, Algebra is a subject that builds on itself, slowly adding more and more complicated expressions and ideas. A good tutor can tell, within a short time, if a student really understands how to handle numbers and variables, or if he is just “going along” trying to apply newer concepts without understanding the basics.

Parents can check for these warning signs:

A student skips homework assignments or receives a failing grade on one or more assignments

A student can only do a problem one way, and is easily confused if tiny changes are introduced

A student does not spend time reviewing for a test because he is still doing the homework for the unit the night before the test

A student fails a quiz and does not go to the teacher for explanations or help. After any quiz, a student should be able to take the quiz again and get everything right. If he can’t, he has not studied his errors enough.

A student fails a test and does not spend time learning what he should have known

These are all signs that a student is not taking enough time and effort in a class. It takes TIME and repetition to learn something. A student who quickly claims, “I know it. I just bombed the test” may not be admitting how far behind he has fallen or how little he really understands.

The Study Hall has tutors who have worked with the local high school teachers and classes for 12 years. They can quickly assess what your student needs. Don’t ignore early signs of trouble. Make sure your student keeps up to date and learns everything s/he needs to be successful in high school. Call The Study Hall today at 236-3949 or visit for more information about our tutoring programs.

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