Helping your child experience academic success

Supporting your child to be the best version of themselves is one of our top priorities as parents. The world is becoming increasingly focused on academic success, and parents often feel pulled into a rat race of preparing their child earlier and earlier to meet the demands of the classroom.

As human beings we each have our own strengths, and our own personal weaknesses. We all differ in our abilities, and thus we do not all learn in the same way. Each child is unique and has their own innate strengths. If we are aware of these and use them to our child’s advantage, they will be happy and confident individuals because we are building on who they are, rather than forcing them to fit the mould of what society expects.  We all want our children to reach their full potential, yet this requires us to be not only aware of their strengths but also be mindful of their personal weaknesses, so that we know which areas they need support in, and how best to do so.

A scholastic or academic assessment aims to explore all areas of functioning that affect a child’s performance academically. It is therefore important that a full scholastic assessment considers not only the child’s current level of functioning with regards to academic areas (reading, writing, spelling and mathematics) but also considers their cognitive abilities, physical skills that affect learning, memory, verbal and nonverbal abilities, concentration, and emotional functioning. All these areas are strongly intertwined, and all affect the learning process. It is therefore important that all these areas be assessed as a whole, to identify how best to support the learner.

An academic assessment can assist a child who is not reaching their full potential; a child who is gifted and needs to explore ways to ensure they are stimulated and challenged; and it can guide a child with a potential learning difficulty with regards to how best they learn, and thus how they need to be supported.

When parents, teachers, health professionals and of course the learner themselves have a better understanding of their strengths, weaknesses and unique styles of learning, then they can all provide the necessary changes to bring about the most effective learning. Changes in approaches to teaching, tools used in the classroom, seating arrangements, instructional methods, accommodations with assessments and any other additional support required can make a large difference. When those working with the learner are simply aware of how the learner learns best, and what factors are affecting their learning process, a shift in attitude often occurs, which alone can produce wonderful results.

Thanks to lockdown many of us have time to contemplate life. Contemplate life before the pandemic and contemplate what possible changes we want to make when we are able to resume our “normal lives”. This time is a wonderful opportunity to explore how we can better assist our children to become all they are meant to be.


“Children do well if they can, if they can’t we need to figure out why so we can help” – Ross Greene