It’s worrying as a parent when you realize your child is significantly behind their peers academically. If your child is two years behind grade level, it indicates they are struggling and need extra support. The good news is that with early intervention and consistent effort, children can catch up.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Get your child evaluated for learning disabilities, provide extra academic support at home, communicate with teachers regularly, consider grade retention or summer school, seek outside tutoring, and above all, remain patient and encouraging.

Have Your Child Evaluated

If your child is struggling in school and falling behind, it is important to have them evaluated to determine the underlying causes of their difficulties. This evaluation can provide valuable insights into their learning abilities and identify any potential learning disabilities or challenges they may be facing.

Look into testing for learning disabilities

One option to consider is having your child tested for learning disabilities. Learning disabilities can affect a child’s ability to process information, read, write, or do math. By identifying these disabilities early on, you can provide your child with the necessary support and interventions to help them succeed in school.

Rule out problems like ADHD, dyslexia, etc

Another important step is to rule out any underlying conditions that may be impacting your child’s academic performance. Conditions such as ADHD or dyslexia can significantly affect a child’s ability to focus, concentrate, and comprehend information.

A comprehensive evaluation can help identify these conditions and guide you in seeking the appropriate resources and support.

Get professional recommendations

Once your child has been evaluated, it is essential to seek professional recommendations. This may involve consulting with educational psychologists, special education teachers, or other experts who can provide guidance on the best strategies and interventions to support your child’s learning needs.

These professionals can also assist in developing an individualized education plan (IEP) or a 504 plan to ensure your child receives the necessary accommodations and support in the classroom.

Remember, seeking professional evaluations and recommendations is a crucial first step in helping your child who is two years behind in school. By understanding their unique learning needs and providing the appropriate support, you can set them on a path to success and help them catch up academically.

Provide Extra Academic Support

When your child is two years behind in school, it’s important to provide them with extra academic support to help them catch up. Here are some strategies you can try:

Do light homework together each night

Sit down with your child each night and help them with their homework. Even if it’s just a few simple tasks, this regular practice will reinforce what they are learning in school and help them make progress.

Make it a fun and interactive experience by using colorful markers or stickers to complete assignments.

Read together every day

Reading is one of the most effective ways to improve your child’s academic skills. Set aside time each day to read together, whether it’s a picture book, a chapter from a novel, or an article from a magazine.

Encourage your child to ask questions and discuss the story to enhance their comprehension and critical thinking abilities. Additionally, make frequent trips to the library to expose your child to a variety of books and genres.

Practice key skills like math facts

Mathematics is a subject that many children struggle with, but regular practice can make all the difference. Help your child practice key skills like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Use flashcards, online math games, or even real-life scenarios to make learning math more engaging and enjoyable. Celebrate their progress and offer rewards to keep them motivated.

Get educational games and learning apps

In today’s digital age, there are numerous educational games and learning apps available that can supplement your child’s learning. These interactive tools can make learning more fun and engaging for your child, helping them to grasp concepts more easily.

Look for reputable websites or app stores that offer educational content suited to your child’s grade level and learning needs.

Remember, providing extra academic support requires patience and consistency. Celebrate your child’s progress, no matter how small, and provide a nurturing environment that encourages their love for learning. With your support, they can overcome their challenges and thrive academically.

Communicate Closely With Teachers

When your child is two years behind in school, it is crucial to establish a strong line of communication with their teachers. By keeping in touch with the teachers, you can stay informed about your child’s challenges and progress on a regular basis.

This open line of communication allows you to address any concerns and work together to find solutions.

Discuss challenges and progress frequently

Regularly discussing your child’s challenges and progress with their teachers is essential in helping them catch up academically. Schedule meetings or phone calls with the teachers to get updates on your child’s performance.

Ask specific questions about the areas where your child is struggling and what steps can be taken to improve their skills. By staying informed, you can provide the necessary support and guidance at home.

Implement teacher suggestions at home

Teachers are a valuable resource when it comes to helping your child who is two years behind in school. They can provide valuable insights and suggest strategies to support your child’s learning at home. Take their suggestions seriously and implement them in your daily routines.

Whether it’s practicing certain skills, using educational resources, or creating a structured study environment, following the teacher’s guidance can make a significant difference in your child’s progress.

Advocate for school-based interventions

If your child is significantly behind in their academic progress, it may be necessary to advocate for school-based interventions. This could include requesting additional support from the school, such as tutoring sessions or specialized programs.

Collaborate with the teachers and school administrators to explore all available options. Together, you can develop a plan to address your child’s specific needs and provide them with the necessary resources to catch up.

Remember, every child learns at their own pace, and it’s important to be patient and supportive throughout this process. With open communication, implementing teacher suggestions, and advocating for appropriate interventions, you can help your child bridge the gap and succeed academically.

Consider Grade Retention

Research the pros and cons

When faced with a child who is two years behind in school, one option to consider is grade retention. Grade retention refers to the practice of having a child repeat a grade level in order to catch up academically.

It is important to thoroughly research the pros and cons of grade retention before making a decision.

On one hand, proponents of grade retention argue that it gives the child an opportunity to master the necessary skills and knowledge they may have missed. It allows them to have a solid foundation before moving on to the next grade level.

Additionally, it provides extra time for the child to develop their academic skills and catch up to their peers.

On the other hand, critics of grade retention argue that it can have negative effects on a child’s self-esteem and motivation. Being held back a grade can be emotionally challenging for a child, as they may feel ashamed or embarrassed.

It may also lead to social difficulties, as the child will now be a year older than their classmates. It is important to weigh these potential negative impacts against the benefits of grade retention.

Think about social-emotional impact

When considering grade retention for a child who is two years behind in school, it is crucial to think about the social and emotional impact it may have on them. Grade retention can affect a child’s self-esteem and overall well-being.

They may feel like they are not as capable as their peers or that they are “stupid” because they are being held back. It is important to provide emotional support and reassurance to help them navigate these feelings.

Additionally, grade retention can impact a child’s social life. They may have to say goodbye to friends they have made in their current grade and start over with new classmates. This can be a difficult adjustment for a child and may affect their social skills and relationships.

Parents should consider whether the child has a strong support system in place to help them through this transition.

Don’t delay if recommended

If grade retention is recommended by the child’s teacher or educational professionals, it is important not to delay the decision. The longer a child continues to struggle academically, the harder it may become for them to catch up.

Grade retention can provide a structured and supportive environment for the child to focus on building their skills and knowledge.

However, it is essential to have open and honest communication with the child’s teacher and educational professionals before making a final decision. They can provide valuable insights and recommendations based on their expertise and experience.

Ultimately, the decision should be made with the best interest of the child in mind.

For more information on grade retention and its impact on children, you can visit They provide research-backed resources and articles on various educational topics.

Look Into Tutoring and Summer School

Tutoring can target weak areas

When your child is struggling in school and falling behind, it’s important to address their weaknesses head-on. One effective way to do this is by enrolling them in tutoring. Tutoring provides personalized attention and allows your child to focus on the specific areas where they need improvement.

Whether it’s math, reading, or any other subject, a qualified tutor can provide the extra support and guidance your child needs to catch up.

According to a study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research, students who received one-on-one tutoring showed significant improvement in their academic performance compared to those who did not receive tutoring.

The study also found that tutoring had a positive impact on students’ self-confidence and motivation.

Summer learning prevents summer slide

Summer break can be a challenging time for children who are already behind in school. Research has shown that students who do not engage in any educational activities over the summer can experience a phenomenon known as “summer slide,” where they lose some of the knowledge and skills they gained during the previous school year.

Enrolling your child in summer school programs can help prevent summer slide and provide them with opportunities for continued learning. These programs offer a structured environment where children can reinforce their existing knowledge and acquire new skills.

They also provide a chance for your child to interact with peers who may be facing similar challenges, creating a supportive and encouraging atmosphere.

Even a few hours a week can help

If enrolling your child in a full-time summer school program is not feasible, don’t worry. Even a few hours of tutoring per week can make a significant difference. By dedicating a small amount of time each week to focused learning, your child can continue to progress and bridge the gap between their current level and where they should be academically.

Many tutoring centers and online platforms offer flexible scheduling options that can accommodate your child’s summer activities. Whether it’s a couple of hours in the morning or a few afternoons a week, finding a schedule that works for your family can ensure that your child receives the support they need without overwhelming their summer break.

Stay Patient and Encouraging

When your child is two years behind in school, it can be a stressful and challenging situation. However, it is important to stay patient and encouraging throughout the process. Your child needs your support and belief in their abilities to overcome the obstacles they are facing.

Here are some tips to help you stay patient and encouraging:

Praise effort over results

Instead of focusing solely on the grades or academic achievements, it is important to praise your child’s effort and hard work. Recognize their dedication and persistence in trying to catch up. By emphasizing the process rather than the outcome, you are teaching your child the value of perseverance and resilience.

Celebrate small successes

It is important to celebrate even the smallest successes your child achieves along the way. Whether it’s improving a grade, completing an assignment, or understanding a difficult concept, acknowledge and celebrate their progress.

This will boost their confidence and motivate them to keep working hard.

Avoid criticizing or showing disappointment

While it’s natural to feel frustrated or disappointed when your child is struggling academically, it is crucial to avoid criticizing or showing disappointment. Negative reactions can demotivate your child and make them feel even more discouraged.

Instead, offer support and reassurance that you believe in their ability to succeed.

Let your child know you believe in them

One of the most important things you can do for your child is to let them know that you believe in them. Remind them that everyone learns at their own pace and that with hard work and determination, they can catch up.

Encourage them to have a positive mindset and remind them that setbacks are a normal part of the learning process.

Remember, every child is different, and progress may take time. Stay patient, be supportive, and provide a nurturing environment for your child’s academic growth. With your help and encouragement, they can overcome their challenges and thrive in their education.


Having a child lag behind in school by two years is a difficult situation, but with a proactive approach, dedicated effort, and belief in your child’s potential, it is possible to help them catch up to grade level.

Get the ball rolling with evaluations and support right away, and stay realistic but hopeful. With you in their corner encouraging them, your child can gain the skills and confidence to succeed.

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