Academic Coaching | When School is Too Much
Classes, friends, and all the extracurriculars that it takes to ‘get ahead’ in life can leave you wondering how you are supposed to do it all. Without balance in your life, it can feel impossible. You don’t have to figure it all out on your own. Academic coaching can help.
Teachers, tutors, counselors, coaches. Soo many adults, so little time – and how do you know who to turn to for help? Teachers, teach you the material. They are a great first stop when you start struggling in school. They can help re-teach a concept or help you catch up with missing assignments. Tutors can help you when the subject is just too hard to figure out in the classroom. A tutor can help you re-learn tough concepts, work through homework, or study for a test.
Counselors, whether school counselors or those out in private practice, can help you with your mental health. If you are struggling with depression or anxiety, they are a great person to have on your team. Speaking of teams, we usually think of athletic coaches but there are also academic coaches. Academic coaches, like athletic ones, are there to help you reach your goals. An academic coach will help you identify what is and isn’t working with your school life. You will create goals and actionable steps to reach those goals. If your academic coach is also a counselor, then you get the best of both worlds. You get targeted strategies to meet your academic goals with the expertise to tend to your mental health along the way.
Why is Academic Coaching Beneficial?
With academic coaching at The Well House, we utilize a solution-oriented approach. We focus on the realistic goals that you set for yourself to create a path for success. When tackling a load of classwork, social pressures, and extracurriculars; it can feel like you are climbing a growing wall. As you are tackling one task, it seems like three more are coming your way including grades, parental expectations, and the demands of higher education.
Academic coaching is going to teach you how to not only climb that wall you are facing but prepare you to leap over it. Sometimes all you need is for someone to show you a better way to prioritize and organize the tasks in front of you. Academic coaches are partnering with you to create a plan that works for you. That is going to look a bit different for everyone. Some people are paralyzed by the stress of school. Working past that to a place where the workload in front of you is manageable and expectations are able to be met with vigor is a key strategy for these kinds of students. Just like we all learn a bit differently, coaches help you to find your strategy for facing the challenges ahead.
Once you have mastered the academic portion, you can also move beyond to tackle some of the harder issues that are holding you back from living your best life. It is often found that underneath the academic issues, there are real-life issues as well. Whether you are dealing with past trauma, current trauma, or just want to feel more in control, our counselors can help you to gain the confidence and resources to face it all. These are all things that someone qualified to teach or tutor may not have the resources to handle. Academic coaching addresses the whole person rather than just the school-centered mind.
Reasons You May Need Academic Coaching
It is a struggle to keep up with the classwork
Classwork can become overwhelming quickly. Unfortunately, when we are overwhelmed, it is easy to procrastinate while panicking. This snowballs to create an even bigger stressor every time you think about it. The good news is, that stress is manageable when you are working with a counselor. They are there to teach you ways to manage your academic-related stressors.
We can help you to come up with a plan to tackle that snowball one piece at a time. Helping you to break it down into bite-sized pieces allows the pressure to become more manageable. Maybe you’ve gotten behind a bit because of an illness or your extracurriculars are making it difficult to find a balance. Balance is the key to living a life this is fulfilled. Counselors are there to help you achieve the life you desire, and move beyond YouTube breathing techniques.
You are feeling a rise in anxiety surrounding classwork
That being said, anxiety creates a physical response in the body that can be hard to overcome without some techniques. You feel your heart start to race, your breathing quickens, and your muscles are tightening in preparation for your response to stress. The human body has a hard time differentiating between a physical threat to you and a mental stressor. Your body is telling you to either run, freeze, or fight. How does that translate into your work in school? This lends itself to procrastination, avoidance, and poor performance.
Recognizing when you are starting to become anxious is the first step to overcoming those physical responses. A therapist can work with you to help reframe those stress triggers in a way that you can de-escalate those physical responses in a way that is manageable. When you are able to take back control over your body, it is that much easier to tackle the classwork that is coming your way.
You are capable of doing well in school with all the right tools.
You are looking for direction when it comes to higher education
Searching for the right university or college program for you is extraordinarily overwhelming. It can feel like your entire life is going to be determined with this one single decision. It can also feel like the program that you choose is a definition of who you are for the rest of your days. If you want to know a secret, most people have no clue who they are and what they want to be when they grow up even after they’ve been working in the ‘real world’ for years. Self-discovery is a constant journey.
Choosing your college takes a heavy bit of introspection. Small or large; private or public; arts or science? Working with a counselor can help you to answer the necessary questions involved in this decision for yourself. We can’t tell you what to do with your life, but we can help guide you down the right path for you. Academic coaching can help you ask the right questions rather than all the generic questions that are coming your way.
You are overwhelmed and losing interest in school
When you feel buried by all the work and information that school flings your way, it is easy to lose interest entirely and want to give up. Giving up may seem easy at the time, but it makes for hardships later on. This is the time to reach out to people you trust to let them know how you are feeling. It can make it even worse to feel alone and discouraged. Reaching out to those people doesn’t make you weak or dumb. It means you are taking back control of your life and the way you feel.
Taking with a counselor during academic coaching will help you to understand why you are feeling the way you are. Through targeted questioning, we can guide you to finding solutions to the problems that seem too hard for you at the moment right now. It’s about small steps every day to create a life that is better for you. Not only can you be doing better in school, but you can also find fulfillment in it as well. There are no guarantees that we can make school as interesting as those other hobbies you love, but we can help you reframe it to make it less annoying and tedious.
Parents, how you may be contributing to your child’s stress
As much as we love our kids, it is hard not to put undue pressure on their academic performance and life choices. You obviously want the best for their life and their future, but have you taken a step back to wonder if the way that you are approaching that is stressing them out more than necessary? Every child dreads feeling like a failure in the eyes of the people they love the most.
So, that then begs the question: as a parent, how can you help your child when they are struggling with their academic performance and overall satisfaction with their education? One step would be to put them in the best position possible to heal themselves. Take some of the pressure off from your side by letting them know that you will be there for them even when things are not going the way we planned. Listen actively to how they are feeling about school and watch for signs of stress in your child. Make sure you are leaving them time to have a social life. Developing those skills will help them to cope now and create a healthy future in their relationships.
Bringing them into a counseling practice for academic coaching can also let them know that there are more resources out there than just extra tutoring time. Grades are often a reflection of a child’s mental state as well as their learning journey. When they do come to you with a report that contains less than ideal scores, ask them how they are doing. Stress and anxiety can cause major deviations in performance. Communicating to your child that their mental state is an important part of who they are means that they are more likely to check in with themselves as well rather than just letting it go unattended.
Communication with your child
Be truly empathetic and non-confrontational
When commuting with your child when it comes to grades, you are often addressing them in a moment of personal crisis. Here are some tips to let you better communicate. First and foremost, it is better to approach them in an empathetic and non-confrontational manner. They are likely to think that you are only going to be disappointed by their underperformance. When you come to them from a place of understanding, they are more likely to really and truly connect honestly with you.
Oftentimes, this will allow you to work your way to the root of the issue rather than addressing surface-level issues. You can go from “I never get any sleep” to “I’m so stressed out about graduating and facing adult life that I am unable to shut down at night.” These are two related issues, but you can see how the first has an obvious answer (go to bed earlier) and the second means that your teen could use the help of a counselor.
Find things to praise your child for
Another way to keep the conversation constructive is to find moments to praise your child. Maybe they are struggling with their academic performance, but they are over performing in other ways. Finding those little moments for them to feel valued and appreciated can help to facilitate their openness to a way to address larger issues. At the same time, allow there to be pauses in the conversation for your child to really think about their responses. Forcing them to solve their own issues right away may not be realistic since they themselves may not even really know why they are having a hard time.
Seek a third party to help them open up
If your child is unable to communicate those frustrations and issues with you as a parent, academic counseling is a great place for them to explore the issue for themselves. Working through it on their own can be less embarrassing sometimes than talking through it with you when they are feeling the pressure of underperformance. Either way, it may be beneficial for you as a parent to seek out some support of your own. Parent coaching, like academic coaching, is a great place to find resources on how to handle the stress that comes with being a parent to all ages of children.
How The Well House Group can help you
Here in Southlake, TX we have all the resources you can need to get back on your feet. Whether we can help you with stress management strategies, create a better balance in your life, and give you help when deciding the direction for higher education. What’s best about our academic coaching is that we are your partner. As counselors, we are able to address any higher issues that present themselves during our time together. For parents, we also offer parent coaching to help you be the best equipped to help your child.
Our counseling practice is also able to provide you with in-person academic coaching as well with our HIPAA secure telehealth connection. For those students with schedules that are harder to manage between academics, extracurriculars, and sports; online counseling means it is that much easier for you to seek out help.
Schedule a consultation with us today so that we can get started on making your academic life more manageable. You can schedule with us via text, phone call, or email. School doesn’t have to be miserable. Let us help you experience success again.