The pandemic is starting to feel like a distant memory for many people, but for children, the effects are still being felt. Although the pandemic is waning and schools are gradually reopening, the educational landscape has been irrevocably changed. For parents, it can be hard to know how to help their children make up for lost time and ensure they don’t fall behind.
Over the last two and half years, many adults have struggled with the ever-changing world. So, imagine how our children must be feeling. Overall, children are poorly equipped to deal with the uncertainties of the pandemic. They have lacked the developmental stimulation of their peers, teachers, neighbours, and extra-curricular activities. They do not have the emotional experience to grapple with changing rules, vaccination mandates, and constraints, much less the politically charged messages that are front and center of every newspaper and program. The result of all this upheaval and uncertainty is pandemic fatigue. Pandemic fatigue can include lethargy, lack of focus, foggy-headedness, and general malaise, all of which are causing children to struggle in school.
Now that children are back in classrooms and ready to learn, teachers are starting to notice some effects lingering from the pandemic. For one, the effects of at-home learning through virtual classes are becoming more apparent. Children need to learn how to work on tasks independently, but they have become too relaxed in their education since missing classes over the past couple of years. Many educators are finding it challenging to keep students’ attention for long periods of time.
While students were learning at home, they had a lot of time to learn independently, but many of them who were not supervised didn’t use the time wisely. This means they have learned to become easily distracted and relaxed while working towards a task independently. This has become apparent in their academic performance now they are back in the classroom. It is becoming evident that this distractive behaviour is becoming a possible stumbling block on the way to getting educated. Children need to learn how to work independently but in a structured environment where they learn to stay on task.
As uncertainty spread across the globe with cases of COVID-19 rapidly rising, children were suddenly thrust into a scary world. They would hear parents and teachers talk about the pandemic, and they could no longer get together with friends for playtime.
The mental health effects of the pandemic have been well reported in the adult population. However, many people forget that children were also heavily impacted by the pandemic. Not only were they trying to navigate their new world in the pandemic, but they were also suffering the downstream effect of their parents’ strain during this time. This effect on their mental health has become apparent as counsellors report more children than ever reaching out for mental health support.
As stated in Psychology Today, “Parental and school involvement is critical in addressing the crisis of children’s mental health head-on.” This means that it is the responsibility of every school board to create an environment for children who may be struggling to get the help they need. The government has recently set up Ontario’s Learning Recovery Action Plan to help students caught in the midst of the global disruption.
It is well known that confidence is key in nearly every aspect of life. We see confident people succeed in their careers, make friends easily and overall, just enjoy life more. It’s no wonder that parents want their children to be confident. Unfortunately, the pandemic has affected the way children build their confidence.
Interacting with other children is a great way for kids to learn social skills and develop confidence. Playing games, joining clubs or even just talking to other kids at school helps them build self-esteem and learn how to interact with the world around them. Through the pandemic, many children could not see their friends, which led to fewer opportunities to meet and mingle with their peers. This lack of interaction has affected many children and left them feeling less confident.
Education is another important factor in building confidence. As children learn more about themselves and the world around them, they become more comfortable in their own skin. Again, with limited in-person classes, children had less opportunities to build their confidence through group work, praise from teachers, and peer interaction.
The Impact on Mathematics
Through just these few examples, it is easy to see that this challenging time for students has left a mark on their well-being and education. As far as education goes, mathematics has been found to be the most affected than any other subject over the past couple of years. Many students have slipped backward, losing the skill or knowledge they once had. They have also simply learned less than they would in previous years, which has led to unfinished learning.
Compared to reading, declines in math have been found to be more significant and seen more in younger grades. Early learning experts are sounding the alarm that the youngest learners are the most affected, and there is a need for help to fill in those learning gaps they may be experiencing.
Addressing The Problems
With the lasting effects of the pandemic on our children, it is vital to start addressing these problems. Here at Dropkick Math, we understand the constraints that have been put on our children over the past two and half years. We are a team of Ontario-certified teachers who are committed to students’ success in achieving competency in mathematics.
As one of the fastest-growing programs in Ontario aimed at addressing the education gap experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dropkick Math addresses deficiencies while correcting any underlying misconceptions about mathematics. We have developed math programs that use centred research-based techniques and strategies designed to complement existing lessons to facilitate students reaching their highest potential in mastering mathematics.
Our math learning techniques involve fun, engaging games that create a “math playground” that will entice any child to want to join in. We have also developed our programs to involve the parent or caregiver. This helps to foster a relationship between child and parent to help boost confidence and set a foundation for more learning at home.
For more information about our programs or to start your child with our FREE assessment, visit our website today!