3 Tips to Keep Your Child from Falling Behind in Virtual School

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Key takeaways:

  • There is a real danger of students falling behind in reading, writing, math, and science
  • You can help your child by encouraging active learning
  • Create an optimal learning environment
  • Find age-appropriate activities to keep your child engaged and interacting with lessons
  • Look for signs of emotional or psychological distress
  • Find virtual learning support in Fort Lauderdale or Davie

Everyone knows that school has been a challenge since the onset of COVID-19. Some schools around the country are offering in-person learning at least a few times a week. Other school districts are entirely remote and will most likely remain that way for the rest of the year.

There is nationwide concern about students falling behind, especially in critical areas such as reading, writing, math, and science. Parents are often struggling to work from home while playing backup teacher for their children.

If this situation describes your home life these days, don’t despair. There are ways you can help your child succeed, including tutoring and virtual learning support, such as those provided by The Learning Lab locations in Fort Lauderdale and Davie.

The State of Learning in 2020 and Beyond

The learning loss experienced by students due to COVID-19 is hard to estimate. Education experts originally compared the situation to the phenomenon known as the “summer slide.” Research shows that students experience a learning loss of about 20% in reading and 27% in math over summer vacation.

Of course, summer only lasts for 8-12 weeks. The ongoing COVID-19 crisis is now about to hit the one-year mark, with many schools no closer to opening than they were back in March 2020. The consequence for students could be dire, particularly for disadvantaged students, those with learning differences, and non-English speakers.

Many students are not prepared for grade-level work, achievements in reading and math have dropped, and class failure rates rise. In some districts, children are a year behind in their studies.

All of these statistics sound frightening, but as a parent, you can do something to help prevent learning loss and ensure your child succeeds.

1. Keep the term active learning in mind

Active learning is an approach that encourages students to actively participate and interact in the learning process. It helps engage the student’s cognitive and sensory networks so that information is more likely to be retained. The opposite approach, passive learning, means that students are less likely to retain lessons.

What does active learning look like?

It can be things like taking notes (on paper is best, but on a device can work), highlighting text, and writing down questions in the margins. It is also helpful to print out worksheets and other lessons, as well as completed tasks. Review and discuss the lessons to ensure they understand and that the work has actually been completed.

2. Create an optimal learning environment

If the curriculum or instruction is not intensive enough, find ways to make the lessons more active and interactive. Look for age-appropriate activities that can be used to enrich lessons from your child’s teachers.

Preschool & kindergarten:

  • Read everything to your child, including food labels, signs, and anything else you come across 
  • Have conversations that encourage longer responses
  • Let your child stack, roll, or collect objects
  • Engage in sensory play

Elementary school:

  • Be flexible with the schedule
  • Mix up outdoor and indoor activities
  • Set up a video conference with classmates to collaborate on difficult assignments
  • Give rewards for good effort (gold stars exist for a reason)

Middle and high school:

  • Use social media connections and video conferencing to help complete assignments
  • Review all instructions before your child begins working
  • Set up regular check-in times to ensure that work is getting done

With older students, do your best to let them work as independently as possible, while still ensuring their work is completed.

3. Look for signs of emotional or psychological distress

The isolation many students feel – combined with worries about the virus and struggles with virtual school – has led to an increase in anxiety, sadness, and depression in children of all ages. Children who were once happy and fun-loving have suddenly become irritable and fearful. You might see grades slipping and motivation disappearing.

Be on the lookout for changes in your child’s mood, including red flags such as:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Lack of enjoyment in activities your child previously loved
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Remaining isolated in their room
  • Avoiding or refusing to do school work

Find virtual learning support for your child

If your child needs extra help, The Learning Lab is here. We offer tutoring and other educational tools to help children who are struggling with virtual and in-person school. Our eLearning Lab provides full in-person support while maintaining social distancing and other safe practices. We can also help children who struggle with learning challenges, such as dyslexia, ADHD, and other learning differences.  

Services include:

  • Weekly learning plans
  • Collaboration with teacher and school
  • 3:1 student/teacher ratio
  • Assignment submission reviews
  • Logistics support
  • Multisensory & active teaching methods
  • 504 Plan and IEP collaboration 

Our small group, Homework Lab offers a setting that supports all learners, and particularly those that struggle with executive functioning skills such as planning, prioritization, organization, and task initiation.  Some children just need to discuss assignments with their peers to fully understand. They also receive additional support from our team to ensure that they are fully supported, and all assignments are reviewed and ready to be turned in.

Contact us today to find virtual learning support in Fort Lauderdale and Davie.

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