Top Signs of Trouble for Grades K-8

Sponsored

ABC Mouse Banner

by: FamilyEducation Staff
Do you know what's expected of your child this year at school? Find out what skills and knowledge he'll need to succeed in his grade level at school, and look for red flags that may indicate he's not quite prepared academically or developmentally. For skill-building practice for any subject area and all grade levels, visit our Printables Center.
StrugglinginSchool,TeacherComfortingCryingKindergartenBoy
Top Signs of Trouble in Kindergarten
Your child may have trouble in kindergarten if he isn't able to:
  • Be happy away from home.
  • Communicate effectively with teachers and classmates.
  • Follow directions and rules.
  • Cut and paste with some degree of skill.
  • Handle his personal needs (go to the bathroom, put on a coat).
  • Get along with his classmates and teacher.

Quiz: Do You Know What Your Kindergartner Should Know?

More on Your Kindergartner

StrugglinginSchool,TeacherHelpingFirstGradeGirlsRead
Top Signs of Trouble in First Grade
The major problem for first-graders is a failure to catch on to the basic skills needed for reading. If your child is having problems with reading, seek help immediately. Reading problems don't just go away.

Your child may have trouble if she isn't able to:

  • Listen and follow directions.
  • Concentrate long enough to complete a task.
  • Work independently.
  • Recognize letters of the alphabet.
  • Read on grade level.
  • Verbally express her opinions, feelings, and needs.

Quiz: Do You Know What Your First Grader Should Know?

More on Your First Grader

StrugglinginSchool,SecondGradeBoyWritingwithPencil
Top Signs of Trouble in Second Grade
Second graders are expected to improve their reading and writing skills, and expand their math skills.

Your child may have trouble if he isn't able to:

  • Read fluently enough to comprehend materials.
  • Print legibly.
  • Spell frequently used words correctly.
  • Add and subtract single-digit numbers without hesitation.
  • Participate within a group.

Quiz: Do You Know What Your Second Grader Should Know?

More on Your Second Grader

StrugglinginSchool,ThirdGradeGirlReadingBookinLibrary
Top Signs of Trouble in Third Grade
Trouble may be on the horizon for your child if she hasn't mastered basic reading and math skills by the end of third grade. Address any deficiencies in these areas immediately.

Your child may have trouble if she isn't able to:

  • Apply phonics rules in her reading.
  • Write complete sentences.
  • Automatically read high-frequency words.
  • Solve simple story problems in math.
  • Write legibly in cursive.
  • Add and subtract one-digit and two-digit numbers.

Quiz: Do You Know What Your Third Grader Should Know?

More on Your Third Grader

StrugglinginSchool,MomorTutorHelpingFourthGradeBoyRead
Top Signs of Trouble in Fourth Grade
By fourth grade, your child should have the basics of good behavior down pat. His schoolwork and homework will become slightly more complex.

Your child may have trouble if he hasn't learned to:

  • Organize his time efficiently.
  • Behave appropriately.
  • Master a solid reading vocabulary.
  • Handle basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts automatically.
  • Study for tests.
  • Write easily and legibly in cursive.

Quiz: Do You Know What Your Fourth Grader Should Know?

More on Your Fourth Grader

StrugglinginSchool,FifthGradeGirlFailingaTest
Top Signs of Trouble in Fifth Grade
With middle school approaching, your fifth grader's homework, projects, and tests will be more in-depth. Puberty may affect your child this school year or shortly down the road.

Your child may have trouble in fifth grade if she hasn't learned to:

  • Write solid sentences and paragraphs.
  • Work in groups.
  • Analyze and recall facts.
  • Give talks and share the information she's learned.
  • Read content area materials.

Quiz: Do You Know What Your Fifth Grader Should Know?

More on Your Fifth Grader

sonstrugglesontestsandquizzesinschool
Top Signs of Trouble in Sixth Grade
For many sixth-graders, the transition to middle school can be difficult because they have to adjust to a new and much larger school, new friends, and several teachers. Frequently, their report-card grades drop because they are now being compared to new groups of students from other elementary schools.

Your child may have trouble if he's not able to:

  • Determine when he needs help and know how to get it.
  • Handle different test formats (essay, short answer, multiple choice, true-false).
  • Study efficiently.
  • Resist drug and alcohol experimentation.
  • Demonstrate a genuine interest in school and learning.

Quiz: Do You Know What Your Sixth Grader Should Know?

More on Your Sixth Grader

StrugglinginSchool,JuniorHighGirlOutcastfromGroupofTeens
Top Signs of Trouble in Seventh Grade
Your seventh-grader is entering a period of change on all fronts. She is on the threshold of becoming a teenager, trying to determine who she is and what she can do separately from you. To navigate this year successfully, your child must learn how to balance academics and social life and how to have confidence in her academic abilities.

Your child may have trouble if she's not able to:

  • Establish a feeling of belonging within a group.
  • Appreciate her own individuality.
  • Avoid risk-taking behaviors.
  • Complete and turn in all assignments in a timely fashion.
  • Accept responsibility.

Quiz: Do You Know What Your Seventh Grader Should Know?

More on Your Seventh Grader

StrugglinginSchool,JuniorHighStudentsinComputerClass
Top Signs of Trouble in Eighth Grade
For many students, this is the last year to catch up on poor reading, writing, and math skills. If they don't, many will leave high school without graduating. Students who are not motivated to succeed in school will have trouble handling assignments this year and in high school.

Your child may have trouble if he's not able to: