How to Help a Teenager Struggling in School: A Detailed Guide


Your teenager’s performance in school often explains a lot about their lives and the direction they’re headed. 

Watching them struggle in school can be alarming and a pain point in your household. Figuring out how to get them back on track can be helpful both now and for their future. 

So how can you get the most from your teen’s education? We’re happy to give you some tips. 

Keep reading when you’d like to learn how to help a teenager struggling in school.  

Have a Conversation With Them About Why They Think They’re Struggling

Getting bad grades is often about a lot more than school.  

We all remember high school problems and how they made us feel. Perhaps these issues cut deep enough to still affect you to this day. 

Your teenager is now likely going through much of the same — peer pressure, anxiety, depression, finding a way to fit in. Any number of issues could be making school difficult for them. 

This doesn’t even address life issues that we all go through or traumas that may have befallen your family. 

Sit down and have a discussion with your teen in a non-accusatory manner so that you’re able to find out if they’re dealing with any sort of issue that is hurting their academic performance. From there, you can figure out what kind of resources you can give them to help. 

Finding your teenager a mentor might help. Research the benefits of a teen mentor and scour the area for leads. 

Rule Out Any Issues That Need Professional Assistance

You should also consider getting professional help that your teenager might need. For instance, mental health counselors can be useful if they’re going through depression, anxiety, or other issues. 

If these problems aren’t at play, you might need to get your teenager tested for learning disabilities like dyslexia or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Always rule out these sorts of issues first so that you can provide your teenager with professional assistance that will provide new learning strategies so that they can keep up and excel in school.  

Speak to All of Their Teachers

Take the time to discuss these issues with all of your teenager’s teachers. They’ll offer you their perspective, and will give you detailed reports on grades and how they’ve performed on each quiz, test, and assignment. 

This way, you can learn whether it’s an issue of poor performance, not turning assignments in, or failing to apply themselves. The teacher will also update you on whether or not there have been behavioral issues or other problems. 

Once you understand the landscape of what you’re dealing with, it becomes far easier to lend a helping hand. You might also find that the teachers are willing to let your teenager redo assignments or get extra credit to assist with their falling grades.  

Help Them Set Up a System of Organization

Struggling students are often just unorganized. One of the main tips on how to get better grades is to clear up the clutter. 

Start by making sure they clean their room and have a comfortable desk to work at when they have homework or assignments. Invest in a large three-ring binder with multiple subject dividers. 

Make sure they have an agenda book and calendar that allows them to write down each assignment with the deadlines. They should organize each section of the binder by date and make sure that they dispose of any old papers or assignments that are taking up space. 

Decluttering in this way reduces stress and allows them to have an organized location for everything that they put their hands to. This is half the battle when it comes to building quality academic habits.  

Provide Them a Set of Tutors That Can Help

Consider finding tutors that can provide quality high school help for all of their classes. Hire these tutors as early as possible before they fall too far behind in their coursework. 

A tutor will not only go over the subject material that they’re working on now but will build foundational principles that will strengthen their grasp on the entire course. These tutors can even help your teenager work ahead so that their actual school days become easy and stress-free.   

Tutoring services might cost you about $15 per hour and up.  

Assist Your Teen in Learning Their “Why”

Your teenager might also be struggling in school because they don’t see the point of it all. Help them begin wrapping their mind around potential career paths and exploring subjects that they enjoy the most. 

A little bit of motivation can go a long way in this regard and will motivate them to give more effort and focus. Check in daily on school assignments and syllabi and continuously relate it to the bigger picture. 

You can also begin to book some college tours or speak to military recruiters in order to give them a feel for what the next stage of their life can look like.

When you can spark interest, much of the rest of the work becomes much easier. 

Learn How to Help a Teenager Struggling in School

The tips above are helpful when you’d like to learn how to help a teenager struggling in school. Put these points to use and your teen is just a few steps away from turning everything around.  

Look around for some of our other articles related to family and relationships.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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