Children and factors affecting their academic performance is what has struck my thoughts in the last few weeks. If you are just joining this series, welcome on board. To play catch up, read my two previous write ups on the issue of children attaining academic excellence here and here. Today I want you to look at this topic from another perspective. A perspective that will enable you to understand, identify and tackle any arising academic matter in a child’s life, so let’s dive into the business of the day.

Factors That Can Hinder The Academic Performance Of A Child Fall Into 4 Major Categories.

STUDENT FACTORS- These are factors that stems from the child. For example, the child’s personality. Just like adults, children come in different personalities. Some children have a calm personality while some tends to be jumpy and a bit on the talkative side. Some get easily distracted therefore require more attention than others. You need to relate and assist with your child depending on their personality type.

FAMILY FACTORS- Home atmosphere has the strongest relationship with student achievement. How a child is spoken to, assisted, monitored, nurtured etc. has extremely strong impact on the child’s performance. I had to learn this myself. Many years ago I read about different personalities (sanguine, melancholy, choleric). When I started having children and they began to manifest their different personalities, it took me a little while to realize that I needed to translate what I read for adults to children as well and to take a step further, I needed to learn and master how to relate with each child based on their personality. This is a journey I am still currently on and teaching myself. You might have to do this to enable your child excel academically.

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Parent’s marital status (if not properly managed) is another factor that can also have impact on a child’s academic performance. Poverty is another factor. If a child lacks the basic resources to perform school work, there is little or no magic that can be performed.

SCHOOL FACTORS- I mentioned this in my first write-up that the type of school a child attends is very important. Schools that have good academic curriculum and programs. School demography is also very important. For families that live in the western world, you need to look at the racial distribution in your child’s school (i.e. % of Blacks, Whites, Hispanic and Asians). You don’t want your child to come home asking why he or she is the only black in the class because they will. Or ask “mommy, why is my hair different from everybody’s hair”. This will only make the child to be self-conscious at school and will eventually affect their ability to focus which is key to learning (topic for another day)

PEER FACTORS- This is a factor that we are all aware of especially for children in the teenage years. This is such a huge factor that parents have to be careful. Peer factors can either be positive or negative influence on a child. You want to be sure the child is with the right group of friends so when a child has to copy or do what his friends are doing, you will be rest assured that he/she is copying a good behavior and not a bad one. Please parents, take it a step further to get to know your child’s friend’s parents. If your child is in a wrong group, systematically sever the relationship.

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If you find your child being challenged over and over again, check these factors and see if you are able to narrow it down to any of the above stated factors under any of them. To share with you a true life experience, I have a friend who has two children (a boy and a girl). They both attended public school. The boy (who is the older of the two) is a child that does and gets everything right. He is calm in nature and focused (personality-student factor). He is what you can call “a perfect child”. He eventually became his class valedictorian, got admitted into an Ivy League. But the girl on the other hand, she is an extrovert. She is a lovely girl but also the type that gets easily distracted (personality- student factor). Her group of friends when she was in public school (peer factor) were always talking about boyfriends and the lasted fashion in town. These obviously affected the child’s grades. The good thing was that the mother realized this early and withdrew her from the public school. She knew it would be difficult to separate her from her friends so she withdrew her from the public school and placed her in a conservative private school where distractions were reduced and things were more organized and calmer. Now the girl is more focused and her personality is being channeled and tamed towards the right direction. She also found herself having friends that are serious minded and focused. For this girl, factors that would have hindered her performance would have been student factors and peer factors. Looking at these two children, they are blessed to have parents that were able to identify the root cause which were their personalities at an early age. Another factor that worked in favor for my friend’s daughter is her parents’ financial status (home factors). They were able to exercise their financial muscles to positively influence their daughter’s academic performance. If per adventure, you find yourself in a position like my friend but you are unable to relocate your child, then you have a lot of leg and home work to do. Believe me it is still possible but you just have to be ready to put in the hard work.

Phew!!! Right? 🙂 ….that was something…..I know. So much to learn and do to help our little ones. But God’s grace is always sufficient. 😉

I’ll stop here for today. Even my fingers are beginning to ache from typing (…..just kidding 🙂 ). We’ll continue this topic again next week.

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