Back to school certainly looks much different this year than last.
Over the last 18 months, the world has experienced the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and life has certainly changed as a result of it. For almost 12 months, people lived in a state of suspended animation as schools were shut down, business were closed up, and many were unsure about what the future held.
Students, in particular, were cut off from their peers and for almost 12 months and had to adapt to online learning and the "new school dynamic" that resulted from that; and in some cases, haven't stepped foot in a physical school in nearly 18 months.
This pandemic, and the new way of learning that resulted from it, has drastically changed the entire schooling dynamic for many students, and now, many of them are ill prepared to go back in person learning this fall.
Many students, as a result of online learning, have lost their ability to focus for extended periods of time on a given lesson or assignment, and furthermore, some have lost their knowledge on their various school subjects as they've been out of school for over one year.
Without a concerted effort to make sure that your child is up to speed with what they need to know going into the fall, they will be far behind every other student and only fall further and further behind as the goes on.
In this post we're going to describe a 3 simple things parents can do to help their children out tremendously and put them in the best position to succeed once they go back to school in the fall and keep them from falling behind the peers in a huge way.
What should I do to prepare my child for the fall?
1. Help Them Review Material From Previous Years
During this period of online learning, many students have lost their ability to concentrate, study, take notes and truly learn from information presented to them. On top of this, many have not retained much of the information they have learned during this time and have a very little understanding of this information. While getting good grades and doing well in their classes digitally, many of them are ill prepared to go back to in person learning where they won't have the extra help of google, the distractions of youtube or instagram, and will need to focus and spend 100% of their time and energy doing what they need to be doing for that class to do well in their classes once again. We've found that almost 90% of students simply aren't ready for this.
To combat this problem, and make sure that your child hasn't fallen behind, we suggest that you encourage your child to do some sort of review of material of the information they covered in school in the previous years so that they are in a good position heading into the next year. Without this review, they'll simply be caught off guard when they are expected to know information they are not familiar with or have simply forgotten while studying at home. Spending 30 minutes a day watching videos like those on Khan Academy to cover old concepts in their math, science, history, or literature classes will help cover any pain points they may have with those topics and will help resolve them before they get larger and turn into something much more serious.
Doing this small thing alone will put them light years ahead of other students so by the time your child gets back to school, they'll already have an incredible foundation with which they can build from and seamlessly transition back to "normal" life.
Here are some resources we recommend:
2. Get Them Tutoring
After reviewing some of the material from their previous years, it will be helpful to put them into a learning environment similar to what they will have once they return back to school. This is where getting a personal tutor for your child can come in very useful. Not only can a tutor help your child adjust to what schooling in person will be like once they head back to school, but they can also help them work thorough any pain points they have while reviewing things they've learned from the previous year.
Here are two tutoring services we personally recommend parents use that we've found trustworthy, exceptional and affordable.
3. Enjoy Your Final Days Of Summer!
The last two summers have been very different for all of us and it's incredible that we're all here to turn to a new chapter in our lives. While you still have time before the hustle and bustle of the school year begins, encourage your children to enjoy their final days of summer and you should do that same!
Enjoy spending one last day at the beach. Take one more swim in the pool. Bask in the sun on a lazy dog day! Enjoy it all!
Make new memories, see old friends, and make sure you take it all in because before you know it, that time will pass.
In conclusion, the best way to prepare your child for this fall is to review old materiel they've learned over the last few years using the number of online resources available to do this, and contact a tutor or education coach to help make sure that they have a solid foundation to build from and are not starting behind the 8-ball moving into the following year. Finally, enjoy your final days of summer and make the most of it so that you're all ready and (somewhat) excited to turn a new page and start a new adventure once the school year begins.
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