10 Reasons Why Your Kids Grades May Be Slipping

Slipping grades are looked upon as a sign of a student in trouble. Students with C’s and D’s are not necessarily ‘dumb’ but admission committees and employers rely heavily, if not solely, on High School grades.

The fact of the matter and a reality is that smart students sometimes end up with bad grades too. Straight “A” high school students have known to “bomb” at college and some even drop out. But bad grades don’t come unexpected, there are always some early warning signs you need to look out for. This is a good thing since students, parents and teachers by identifying these warning signs, often known as causes, may perhaps be able to get the student back on track. These causes are sometimes obvious; others are subtle and may not be that noticeable.

So here are the 10 reasons why a straight ‘A’ student may have fallen on some bad grades.

1. Bullying

The American Sociological Association in one of its 2011 studies reported that bullying may be a major factor when it comes to drop in grades. This is especially true for high school bullying and particularly applies to black and Hispanic teens. The study goes on to show that black students, who were bullied, saw their grades drop by 0.3 points. Hispanic students experienced a greater drop, 0.5 points.

The apparent explanation behind this is the stereotypes black and Hispanic students struggle with. They are not “expected” to perform well in school and therefore those black and Hispanic students who do not conform to these stereotypes get picked on, resulting in a possible drop in grades or even drop outs.

2. No, Depression is Not it

This may come as a surprise for many. According to a study published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, behavior problems and not depression, is linked to lower grades for students with depression symptoms.

“Adolescent Mental Health, Behavior Problems, and Academic Achievement” by Shawna Rohrman, Ryotaro Uemura and Jane D. McLeod, published in the journal’s December 2012 issue claims “Behavior problems including attention issues, delinquency, and substance use are associated with diminished achievement, but depression is not,”

3. Liquid Courage is a Culprit

News that teenage high school students drink, should not come as a surprise to many. Whatever the reasons may be behind their alcohol consumption, the Journal of Health and Social Behavior reported that alcohol consumption leads to increased social stress and poor grades.

“Drinking, Socioemotional Functioning, and Academic Progress in Secondary School” by Barbara Schneider, Aprile D. Benner, and Robert Crosnoe, published in the journal’s June 2012 issue, showed a correlation between feelings of isolation and declining grades.

4. Is Your Kid a Small Fish in a Big Pond?

Your high school grades are supposed to pave the road to your academic excellence in college. They don’t always do however. Many straight “A” high school students drop out of college due to “grade shock” or what sociologist Samuel Stouffer calls “relative deprivation”. Since highest expectations to excel are usually associated with the whiz kids, therefore they are the ones more prone to disappointment in college or university.

5. Wearing too Many Hats

Many high school students work odd jobs. Whatever the reason behind taking up a job (or two) may be, juggling two jobs at a time is definitely not as easy as it sounds. Not every teenaged kid is good at time management. A study by the National Sleep Foundation revealed that only 15% of teenagers sleep for 8 ½ hours, the standard amount of sleep. The rest are prone to limited ability to learn and concentrate.

6. Senioritis

Now that you’ve been accepted into the college of your choice, why bother studying for the rest of high school. The dangers inherent in this behavior are that some college admissions are conditional and as your grades drop, the college reserves the right to rescind acceptance.

7. Raging hormones

High schools students aren’t just growing mentally; they are also growing physically, acquiring new tastes and hobbies and discovering new things. They also start discovering the opposite sex, etc. These are all distractions, in one way or another and hormones are to blame if the grades start slipping.

8. Chronic disorders

Millions of children suffer from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is a chronic condition that often persists into adulthood. It is not unheard of children with ADHD to suffer from poor performance in school.

9. The “subtle” Elements

The reason why some students do not perform well is that they simply find it too easy. If a student is not being challenged, he/she might get bored and that would reflect in the grades. Sometimes it is the vision or hearing problems that bother students; not letting them fully concentrates in class. Some students simply rush through work to avoid having homework. This results in low-quality work, leading to poor grades.

It is often seen that students who like their teachers perform better in class than those who don’t. Having a good teacher makes all the difference.

10. Home Matters The Most

Students who have experienced death of a close relative are likely to pay less attention to their studies. Students from broken families; where parents often fight or are divorced are also likely underperformed at school/college.

This is not an exhaustive list of reasons why students perform badly or even poorly in school. What is important is that these causes are identified and help is sought in time, so that poor grades do not preclude students from seeking advanced level education and achieving their true potential.


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