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Avoid the 3rd/4th Grade Slump

Often, 3rd or 4th grade is when parents start to realize that the education their child is getting is inadequate.

The 3rd/4th grade slump is when students that seemed to be doing fine start to experience a drop in performance that sometimes becomes permanent.

At this age, lessons and reading assignments transition from “learning to read, to reading to learn.” Students are now expected to be able to read about history, science, and other subjects and do it with fluency.

(Speed + Accuracy = Fluency)

Learning gaps aren’t limited to only reading, we also see it occur in math and other subjects. Often parents are told not to worry that their child is fine or that math “just isn’t their thing.”

The culmination of gaps in learning/teaching from prior years leads to students not being ready for these transitioning grades.

We see a variety of issues at this age with new students coming from other schools:

  • The student learns quickly and is not being challenged. Their previous school targets the teaching at a level just below the average level of the class. Children aren’t challenged and wallow in boredom.

  • A student falls behind because they are not being taught effectively. Large class sizes greatly reduce a teacher’s ability to be effective.

  • Often teachers don’t have the freedom to teach effectively. At some schools, teachers are limited to only being able to teach what is on the SAGE assessment test.

  • At this age, we see students switching away from language immersion programs because they are falling behind in academics.

  • A child is unhappy.

When we have a new student start at Arches Academy, we assess where they are at in their learning. We use leveled learning which allows us to put students in the group best aligned with their current level. If your child is ahead, they are allowed to move forward. If your child has a gap in a subject, they are helped to fill the gap -- we don’t push them on to the next level perpetuating the problem. A child may be ahead in reading and have a gap in math -- leveled learning addresses that type of scenario.

Often parents can’t pinpoint exactly what isn’t working in their child’s education but their gut tells them something isn’t right, things aren’t going well, and often their child hates school.

We invite you to come check out Arches Academy. Schedule a tour and then schedule a free trial day. 801-374-5480


We’ve previously touched on related subjects in the following posts:

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