For most students around the U.S., the school year ended quite abruptly due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Teachers have struggled to convert their lessons to online learning opportunities, and parents have juggled work schedules to try to help their children finish out the school year. The stark reality of the situation is that for many students across the nation, their formal education will be on pause for six months or more before they will be able to return to their classrooms.
While we may not know exactly how this will impact their academic achievement, we can get a reasonable idea by examining prior research on summer and seasonal learning loss. Research done by NWEA, a nonprofit testing organization, indicates that despite debates over the severity of summer learning loss, there are at least three consistent trends found in the research. “Achievement typically slows or declines over the summer months, declines tend to be steeper for math than for reading, and the extent (proportionally) of loss increases in the upper grades.” A Brookings Institute review from 2017 found, “on average, students’ achievement scores declined over summer vacation by one month’s worth of school-year learning and that the loss was especially great for math.”
If these findings are any indication, by the time students return to school in the fall, they may have retained less than 50% of typically expected math and 70% of expected reading gains. This would put them almost a full year behind in math.
Due to these potential losses, educational experts are recommending that students participate in enrichment and ongoing learning activities throughout the summer to head off significant deficits in achievement. Online tutoring, summer enrichment programs, and family guided learning activities can help to reduce the loss.
Parents are left trying to balance family obligations, work, and now homeschooling their children. If you have found yourself struggling to help your child with school work, you’re not alone. Many parents are struggling with this exact same issue. It takes time to find the resources and keep children on track and focused on their learning when you’re trying to work from home yourself. It’s a lot, and it can be overwhelming.
For our part, we here at The Tutoring Center® are continuing to provide one-to-one instruction combined with The Rotational Approach to Learning® to prevent children from slipping through the cracks academically. Our programs help children achieve long-term success, build concentration and focus, and, with our outstanding instructors, find the love of learning. Don’t let your child fall behind. Give them the opportunity to grow academically this summer. If you’re interested in learning more, visit our website at TutoringCenter.com.
Dr. Edward S. Thalheimer is the President and Founder of The Tutoring Franchise Corp. If you would like further information about how to help children who need educational assistance, please go to www.tutoringcenter.com.