Whether they’re trying to focus on classwork, fit in with peers, sit still and obey the rules, or comprehend the concepts they’re learning, most children struggle with something at some point in school. However, as is often the case, a child recently placed in a new or unfamiliar home is more likely to be under more emotional distress and be further distracted from achieving academic success than their stable home peers.
Before coming to live with us at the Alabama Free Will Baptist Children’s Home, our young residents (ages 6–18) generally lived in foster care or difficult home environments. Many became used to transferring from school to school or otherwise lacked stability during schooling. This led them to fall behind with their education when they ended up in our care. Learn more about why children need school stability for academic success and how consistency in schooling is influenced by familial relationships at home.
Why Unstable Schooling Interferes with Academic Success
In some cases, the parents of our residents had previously taken their child out of public school and enrolled them in “homeschooling;” however, this ended up stunting their child’s potential for academic success for multiple years. Often, they failed to adequately teach them or did not provide the necessary tools, resources, and supervision to learn.
A child doesn’t have to be taken out of public school to be affected by inconsistent or unstable education. One of our teenage residents attended ten different schools over the course of four years. This is unfortunately a common occurrence for children in foster care, especially teens.
Some experts say that a foster child can fall behind up to a year-and-a-half in school each time they change schools. Not only do they miss out on learning important concepts of math, science, reading, writing, and history: They’re also deprived of receiving social and academic support from teachers, forming friendships with peers, and participating in extracurricular activities with friends.
Academic Success Is a Blessing
While getting your child ready to return to school this fall, you might feel overwhelmed by last-minute trips to the store for school supplies, making sure they’re on the bus or dropped off in the car line on time, and helping them with their homework (in addition to your own work and daily errands).
Although it can be stressful, it’s good to remember what a blessing and privilege it is for your child to have stability in schooling and parental support for their academic success. This is a privilege that many kids in foster care and with unstable homes do not receive.
Supporting Our Residents’ Education
We are so grateful to have the ability to minister to our residents who have come from broken homes or foster care. We provide the stability they need at home and at school for them to succeed in their studies and for life after our care. If you feel led to support our ministry and our residents at the Alabama Free Will Baptist Children’s Home, please give your gifts as you’re able.