Supporting Your Child Through Academic Anxiety (And How Online Learning Can Help)

For many students, today’s academic landscape can feel like a pressure cooker.

More than ever, children and teens are worrying about their grades and their futures after school, and these worries can progress into more intense feelings of anxiety for some.

Thankfully, once you understand academic anxiety and where it comes from, there are a variety of ways you can help. There’s also a potential solution way to tackle the anxiety at its source: switching to a school that better suits your child.

Keep reading to learn more about academic anxiety and how online school environments can help.

What is Academic Anxiety?

In a nutshell, academic anxiety refers to the excessive stress and worry that some students feel about their schoolwork, from grades to assignments to exams. This anxiety can lead to a whole host of struggles in daily life, including:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Obsessive perfectionism
  • Poor sleep or eating habits
  • Anger and irritability
  • Unexplained pains like headaches
  • Withdrawing from social activities
  • Persistent procrastination

What Causes Academic Anxiety?

It’s normal to feel nervous about school every once in a while, especially before big tests and exams. Anxiety, however, is heavier and has a bigger impact on daily life, often persisting over time.

Academic anxiety is more common than you think, and one of the reasons behind that is the range of potential causes. Some students become anxious because of high academic expectations, while others are more influenced by their peers. This is especially common in schools with fiercely competitive environments.

Other students may develop academic anxiety because they’re struggling to keep up with the workload or difficulty increase from year-to-year, having trouble staying organised, or aren’t getting the support they need from their teachers and their school.

Anxieties around school can also be triggered by specific events. Failing an exam, for example, can lead to a spiral of fear about failing future exams. For students living abroad, anxious feelings may be exacerbated by cultural or language barriers and unfamiliar curriculums or testing formats.

How Can You Tackle Academic Anxiety?

If your child is showing signs that they’re anxious about school and grades, there are various methods you can try to help.

First, try guiding your child or teen to create a personalised study schedule that breaks their work down into manageable bites and includes time for breaks and relaxation. This can go a long way in making school feel less overwhelming.

For many students, parental reassurance can also lift a big weight off their shoulders. Foster an environment where your child feels comfortable opening up about their school struggles without worrying that you’ll be disappointed in them. Celebrate their efforts and achievements and encourage them to stay resilient — problems can be solved, and setbacks can be springboards for growth.

From breathing exercises to walks in nature, mindfulness and self-care outside of school may mitigate stresses in school. These days, you can also find a variety of useful resources online. Educational websites can help students stay on track with their progress, while organisational to-do list tools can reduce anxiety around homework deadlines and exam revision.

How Does Online Learning Help?

In some cases, despite your best efforts, academic anxiety can persist because your child’s learning environment doesn’t match their needs and potential. Some young learners simply have trouble thriving in high-pressure international schools, while other schools may lack the resources to properly look after students’ wellbeing.

If you feel like that’s the case for your child, you’re not alone. Thankfully, there are other education options out there to consider. One such option is online schooling.

Many online schools offer a more personalised way of learning, empowering students to progress at their own pace and still achieve top grades. This can be invaluable for learners who get anxious when they compare themselves to their peers. Online classrooms are also free from distracting chatter and teasing, which is great for students who struggle to focus because of their worries.

If you do think online learning would be a great option for your child or teen, make sure to look for a school that specifically prioritises wellbeing as well as academic progress. Whether your child needs to ease back into a full curriculum or they’d benefit from a workshop that will teach them coping mechanisms, being part of a supportive environment goes a long way in boosting children’s mental health.

Consider King’s InterHigh

The leading British international online school, King’s InterHigh uses a whole host of methods to help students stay happy and confident while they’re learning. From innovative cycle testing initiatives to fully personalised learning to a complete wellbeing programme, King’s InterHigh is a school where students can achieve their fullest potential without stress and worries.

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King's InterHigh

King's InterHigh

King’s InterHigh is an independent British international online school. Offering Primary, Secondary and Sixth Form education, we cater to students from age 7 – 18 who are looking for a high-quality British education, working towards International GCSEs and A Levels, delivered in a way that revolves around their needs and interests. All with the backing of Inspired, the world’s leading education group.

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