By Barbara Dianis
Daily over 7,000 students across the nation choose to drop out of high school. Each year averages of 2.5 million students become high school dropouts according to the Educational Database 2013. In a country where a high school diploma or GED is a requirement for nearly 90% of the United States jobs one can’t help but wonder why are so many teens succumbing to educational hopelessness and dropping out of school.
One key reason teens dropout of school is” lack of parent engagement and teens whose parents communicate with the school are less likely to dropout” according to the (Bridgeland and Morison Study 2006). Therefore, parents can help their keep their teenager in school by being emotionally supportive of their student and improve their communication with the school.
Each school year parents can help keep their teenager in school by communicating with the school and attending parent meetings. Instilling the value of education in children and teenagers and the importance of graduating can help decrease the dropout rate. Parents can help demonstrate to their child and teen; they are interested in their education by checking their student’s grades online with them several times a week. Another effective way to show academic support is to weekly help review testable and quiz material with their child or teenager. The parent and student review time doesn’t need to go on for endless hours, but the time spent sends the message that education is important.
Another key reason cited for dropping out of school is the teenager has missed too many days of school according to the National Center for Education Statistics. High school students who have been absent for over 45 days of school often find catching up in their classes or repeating the grade to be too overwhelming. Absentee teenagers generally report their parent(s) are unaware of the multiple days of school missed thus adding to the argument of the lack of parent involvement.
Student dropout rates are impacted by teenage students feeling they are too behind in their classes, or they grades are too low to pass. Therefore, as soon as a student begins to slide academically educational solutions should be applied to help the teen overcome their academic obstacles. All too often educational slides are not addressed promptly enough because the parent may feel it is a problem that will correct itself. It is generally better to address the academic difficulty early on before their teen’s grades begin to spiral downward.
Teenagers may find admitting to their parents; they are having problems academically to be a difficult conversation to initiate. Therefore, parents can address their student’s academic challenges openly and provide educational solutions such as the implementation of upgraded study techniques. Parents may help defuse the conversation by relating a time when they had some type of difficulty during their educational years and how they worked to overcome their struggles.
Numerous teens who dropped out of high school cited they felt their classes to be boring and uninteresting according to the NCES. Lack of interest in high school level studies can be addressed through conversations with the teens regarding the economic consequences the teen may face during their adult life to provide financially for themselves and their potential families. Teenagers typically, don’t want to live below the poverty line and desire higher paying jobs. Unfortunately, adults without a high school diploma or GED may be setting themselves up for years of financial struggles because they were bored in school. Additionally, the teenager may be using the reason of school boredom to mask their feelings of low academic self-esteem.
Educators and parents may find it beneficial to point out to the student considering dropping out of school, “in the current global economy, having at least a high school diploma is a critical step for avoiding poverty,” according to the NCES. Teenagers are still developing their abstract reasoning skills and still lack adult level thinking skills. Therefore, teenagers may be making adult decisions without their brains’ abstract reasoning skills fully developed. The statistical argument for avoiding poverty can be a very effective one to help encourage students to graduate from high school or earn a GED.
As an Educational Specialist, I have determined through years of instructing academically low achieving students to learn how to overcome their scholastic challenges that teens typically want to be a graduate. Generally, the teen doesn’t know how to alleviate their educational struggles without some form of academic intervention. As students are provided with motivations to learn along with effective academic strategies, they can learn how to reach their scholastic potential.
The teen contemplating dropping out of school may need to spend some time going back through challenging scholastic material and relearning key concepts. Struggling students generally have gaps in their understanding of core concepts, and the gaps are the catalysts of their current educational difficulties. As the lower achieving student’s learning gaps are closed, often they find their grades improving. As the student’s grades begin to take an upturn so does their academic self-esteem and motivation to stay in school and graduate. Parents if your child or teen appears to be falling behind scholastically, please help them find new ways to study and overcome their learning challenges. The sooner educational intervention is provided generally the brighter scholastic the outcome.
Barbara Dianis, MA ED overcame dyslexia in her own life using self-taught strategies and techniques. She went on to earn a BA Degree in Education and a BA in Special Education, as well as a Master’s Degree in Education, Special Education Pre-K-12th, and Language Learning Disabilities, as well as a Master’s Degree in Psychometry. As CEO and Founder of Dianis Educational Systems, LLC, Dianis has influenced society to view students with various learning issues as capable students who can overcome their issues if taught properly. She has counseled parents for 21 years, teaching them to assist students in implementing effective learning techniques during homework and study time, and has also run an educational tutoring business for the past 20 years, helping thousands of students with Dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, Learning Differences, and Struggling Students achieve enormous scholastic and professional successes. In 2010, Dianis was awarded The Biltmore Who’s Who VIP in Education and the Executive of the Year award, as well as the Remington Registry of Outstanding Professionals in 2011, for her continued leadership and achievement in the field of education.
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