Factors that Affect a Child's Academic Performance
Whether a child does well or not in school depends on several factors. Normally, when grades aren’t up to par, parents and teachers tend to blame the student. However, education is a process that involves a number of circumstances and participants.
Among the circumstances that affect academic performance are those that are inherent to the child. For example:
- Intellectual capacity
- The way the child has been raised.
- The child‘s willpower or desire to accomplish tasks and excel.
As for external factors, we can mention socioeconomic status, the teacher’s abilities and the infrastructure of the school or school system.
Main factors that determine academic performance
- The child’s maturity level: Some children are more prepared than others to begin their academic career. This has to do with the unique development of each individual. Over time, the child will get used to the new environment and adjust to the new rhythm.
- Personality and emotional state: Children who have more emotional stability demonstrate a greater ability to face the demands of school and adapt better to the environment. They behave in an easy-going, respectable and friendly fashion. Children who show signs of anxiety, aggression or depression have greater difficulty in obtaining good results.
- Parents: Children are a reflection of the example their parents have given them their entire lives. If children observe responsible and persistent attitudes and behaviors, they’ll most likely imitate them. The preparation that takes place before a new stage at school is also a powerful tool that parents can give their children. Authoritarianism, however, doesn’t help.
- Teachers: A positive and respectful relationship between teachers and children is key to a child’s academic success. So is, of course, the teacher’s ability to impart knowledge. As a parent, you should avoid making negative comments in front of your child regarding his or her teacher. This can result in a lack of respect on behalf of your child towards the educator. At the same time, your child may end up feeling confused regarding two of his most important authority figures: mother and teacher.
Other secondary factors that play a role in academic performance
Besides the factors mentioned above, there are other elements that also play a small role in the complex process of a child’s education.
First are the socioeconomic conditions in which the child has lived. Unfortunately, inequality is still a major problem in this day and age, and this has repercussions in people’s lives.
Children who grow up with more support and greater possibilities in terms of nutrition, rest and learning tend to be more successful academically.
“A teacher is a compass that activates the magnates of curiosity, knowledge and wisdom within her students.”
Just the same, these factors are reversible. There are many parents who sacrifice themselves for the good of their children. Also, a variety of non-government organizations work to give children access to a better education in even the neediest of countries.
Another factor that affects a child’s academic success is the education system within a community, region or country. The pedagogical tools that a school possesses also come into play. When an institution has access to more and better resources, the task of teachers is easier and children learn more.
How to help children in the educational process
There are certain things we can do on a daily basis to help our children in their education:
- Accompany them. Read, incorporate math into everyday situations, and help your children with their homework. This will help them better understand what they’re learning. At the same time, it will boost their autonomy to do things correctly, on their own. This also helps them establish responsible routines. You can also participate in school events and activities to show your child even more support.
- Encourage, but don’t pressure. Show your children that you trust in their abilities and expect the best from them. However, be careful that this doesn’t turn into a burden for them.
- Don’t punish your children if they aren’t doing well. If you notice that your child is making an effort but still isn’t achieving expected results, don’t get angry or punish your child. Speak calmly and try to help your child find solutions. Study along with your child or look to a tutor to reinforce the concepts he or she’s having difficulty with.
- Don’t abuse the use of external rewards. Rewards can be effective, and it’s okay for children to receive recompense for their efforts. However, this shouldn’t become the rule. Children need to understand that school is one of their first obligations in life. Therefore, they should try hard at school for their own good – not just for a reward.
And lastly, remember that a child’s life shouldn’t focus 100% around schoolwork. If academics are everything, then your child will think you only care about grades, and not about emotions or other possible difficulties.
While school is important, so are sports, family, recreation, chores, friendships, etc.